Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (MA)

Governance of Migration and Diversity

Become a migration expert! Migration, including refugee migration, is a key issue in current and past political and societal debates.

Learn from migration experts

The interdisciplinary programme Governance of Migration and Diversity offers you the knowledge of migration experts in several fields of study, from Leiden University, Delft University and Erasmus University Rotterdam (LDE). You will attend courses at all participating universities and become an all-round migration expert who is able to analyse and assess migration and diversity from multiple angles (history, sociology, politics, international development and urbanism). You will also build an extensive academic and professional network.

Explore migration within a wider context

The programme aims to frame the historical study of migration in a wider interdisciplinary context. To achieve this, you attend courses at all participating universities, and you will be trained to contribute to the governance of migration and diversity in the context of very different organisations. You will address questions such as:

  • What are the opportunities and challenges for the governance of migration?
  • How have societies changed in terms of (ethnic/cultural/religious) diversity?
  • How are newcomers incorporated?
  • How can discrimination be prevented?

Why choose Governance of Migration and Diversity?

  • You will gain knowledge helping you address governance issues related to migration and diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • You will take part in courses offered by leading scholars from three universities and five academic disciplines.
  • The course content of the programme directly relates to current issues and trains you to contribute to the governance of migration and diversity in the context of very different organisations.

You will have the opportunity to do an internship at an organisation affiliated with one of the course lecturers or relevant to the topic of migration and diversity. 

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.”

About the programme

The programme consists of two parts: core courses for all Governance of Migration and Diversity students (30EC) and track-specific courses which you choose in advance. Each of the four tracks entails a master specialisation of an existing accredited master programme at one of the participating universities. After completing the master specialisation, you will be rewarded with a diploma from the discipline and master programme in which you enrolled, listing ‘Governance of Migration of Diversity’ as your specialisation.

You have the option to choose one of four disciplinary tracks in which you will explore migration from a specific discipline:

  • History track (Leiden University);
  • Sociology track (Erasmus University Rotterdam);
  • Public Policy track (Erasmus University Rotterdam);
  • International Relations & Development track (ISS, The Hague).

Drivers of international migration
Historically, migration is not randomly distributed over different countries. Some countries send many migrants, while others don’t and other countries receive many migrants while others don’t. Furthermore, between specific countries or even regional area’s we see high numbers of migrants. To gain a comprehensive understanding of drivers of migration, it is not sufficient to choose one theoretical approach. Combining historical insights with theories from sociology and knowledge on countries’ policies of migration is essential to come to an understanding of migration processes.

Accommodating diversity
Diversity resulting from international migration poses western societies with new challenges. These include socio-economic and socio-cultural differences and also issues including racism and discrimination. How do host societies deal with ethnic diversity? And why do countries choose different approaches? Over the past years multicultural approaches have been increasingly abandoned in European countries. They were succeeded by assimilationist or universalist policies. What results have these policy approaches achieved and how are they evaluated?

Migration and development
Migration has consequences for sending and receiving societies. For example, think about theories of ‘brain drain’ and ‘brain gain’. Also, migration has very physical consequences in the built environment of cities. For example, remittances enable families remaining in origin regions to live by higher life standards including for example new houses and possessions. Also in receiving regions of migration, migration impacts on urban landscapes. For example via the build of mosques and in terms of segregation and concentration of different ethnic groups

Curriculum overview

Core courses (30 EC, for all  students)

Governance of Migration and Diversity (5 EC)

Sociology of Migration and Diversity
(5 EC)
Politics of Migration & Diversity
(5 EC)
History of Migration and Diversity
(5 EC)
Migration & Development
(5 EC)
Social Inequality in the City, Diversity and Design
(5 EC)

Courses per track

  • The City as Habitat (7,5 EC)
  • Thesis (22,5 EC)
  • Comparative Public Policy (5 EC)
  • Media, Governance and Politics (5 EC)
  • Designing Migration Policy Research (5 EC)
  • Thesis (15 EC)
  • Research Seminar (5 EC + dispensation of 1 joint course)
  • Thesis (25 EC)

For more information on the courses offered by Leiden University for the sub-specialisation Governance of Migration of Diversity (History track), please visit our e-Prospectus.

  • The Making of Development: Histories, Theories and Practices (8 EC)
  • Research Techniques Courses (8 EC in total)
  • Optional Courses (16 EC in total)
  • Research Paper (Thesis) (27 EC in total)


The Governance of Migration and Diversity programme develops your professional skills, in terms of designing governance strategies around concrete cases in the joint governance course, as well as within the master specialisations. Graduates of Governance of Migration and Diversity will be suitable candidates for positions in business organisations (e.g. HR, consultancy), governmental organisations (policymakers, policy advisors, lobbyists) and organisations in civil society (e.g. unions, political parties, research institutes) on a local, national or international level. 


If you would like to apply for Governance of Migration and Diversity (History track) at Leiden University you should apply to the master’s programme in Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence. Please visit the Admission and Application page.

Please note: You should add a short letter of motivation, in which you state that you wish to study the subspecialisation Governance of Migration and Diversity.