Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (MA)

About the programme

The one-year master’s programme in Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence offers a general programme, as well as two subspecialisations: Economic History and Governance of Migration and Diversity.

In our research and teaching the comparative method, inspired by an interest in (global) connections, plays a central role. We try to connect local sources with global developments. Primary sources form the building blocks that are needed to understand how people experienced social and cultural changes and global interactions. Recognising the importance of time and place as historical variables, the MA Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence aims at understanding larger processes and mechanisms through time, by focusing more specifically on:

  • Urban and state institutions and their effects on inclusion and exclusion;
  • Social engineering, criminality, and urban subcultures;
  • Changing labour relations in capitalist institutions and their relations to economic development;
  • The (gendered) interaction between migration and membership regimes in different parts of the world and the effects of categorisation in making distinctions between migrants and established;
  • Transnational commercial networks, cultural exchanges and global interdependence;
  • Characteristics of different capitalist systems and their effects on the welfare state, labor relations and sustainable development.

The general Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence programme consists of the following elements:

Literature Seminar

The programme starts with an intensive Literature Seminar, which covers the first 8 weeks of the semester. During this course you will discuss recent insights and key issues within the field of your programme.

Research Seminars

You will take two Research Seminars during which you will carry out research on the basis of primary source material or published documents.

Optional Course
We also offer students the ability to take an Optional Course from a wide range of possibilities. These may comprise MA-courses offered by Leiden University and those offered by other universities. 


You conclude the programme by writing a MA-thesis. Students are guided in writing their thesis by thesis supervisors. Students are also expected to follow a thesis seminar, aimed at providing students with some additional support in the writing process. Upon graduation students sit for a final ceremony for which they defend their thesis and answer questions on additional literature. 

For more details about our Economic history specialisation, please visit our Economic History page.

Governance of Migration and Diversity is a cooperation between Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. For more information about this programme, please visit our Governance of Migration and Diversity page.

  • Seminars
  • Self-study
  • Internship options
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, research papers
  • Oral presentations
  • Thesis

The one-year Master of Arts in History (study load 60 EC) aims to bring students state-of-the-art knowledge in their subject areas of choice. You will pay specific attention to the analysis of historical process, the study of primary sources, conducting historical research, historiography and methodology.

The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts and the analysis of complex conceptual problems, and the ability to independently conduct high-quality scientific research are key goals of the programme. Opportunities are provided for students to broaden their skills and experience by taking part in internships or doing research abroad.

Prof.dr. Marlou Schrover

Professor of Migration History

Prof.dr. Marlou Schrover

“Leiden University has a long tradition of studying migration and ethnicity. What I find so interesting about Leiden is that, on the one hand, this tradition is continuously being expanded on while, on the other, migration research is being carried out within many different disciplines. This allows for a comparative approach. I try to do promote this collaboration as well as benefit from it.”


“We can only really study migration and integration if we place the similarities and differences side by side: today’s immigration has to be compared with immigration in the past, and immigration has to be compared with emigration. Leiden University is, in my opinion, the ideal place for this approach.”

Mark Rutgers


Mark Rutgers

“Many of our master’s students discover the quality of our programmes only after they join us. In the Netherlands, self-promotion is not a big part of our culture, yet Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty ranks alongside the most prestigious universities in the world, and is the established leader in continental Europe. What can our students expect from this programme? An education on par with the world’s best, with teaching by top researchers.”

Alumni: close-knit global community

“Your graduation from a master’s programme marks a new chapter in your relationship with Leiden University. Our alumni community is highly active in terms of network-building and development. They are valued by the university, and we support them with personal and professional development and free use of our facilities such as the Leiden University Library. This close-knit global community offers life-long support for all our former students in terms of reaching goals, maintaining friendships and expanding networks.”

Research: encouraging you to think beyond your own discipline

“Some of the most high-profile humanities research produced today is conducted at Leiden University’s Humanities Faculty. These faculty members are among a handful worldwide who can lay claim to such a depth and breadth of academic expertise. One example is our centre of excellence on Native American cultures, languages and history – a research group that is one of the best in the world. At Leiden, we can offer students expertise in most niche areas of interest. Our faculty members often work together across disciplines, and encourage students to think beyond the limits of their own discipline, which is where the future of innovative research lies.”

Careers: opportunities to develop your talent

Decisions made during your studies have a big impact on your future. We offer you many opportunities to develop your talents both within and outside of the classroom, including internships, study trips abroad, student committees, and minors. These opportunities help define your objectives for after your studies, and equip you with additional skills and experience.”

Latest knowledge

All courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. The curriculum is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights. Regular seminars are held presenting students with our researchers' latest findings. Your research thesis is often linked to one of the research projects of our faculty members, who play an active role in every individual's education, acting as mentors and community builders.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

We use cookies. Read the terms and conditions.