Master specialisation

Governance of Migration and Diversity

The one-year master programme Governance of Migration and Diversity' (GMD) integrates knowledge from various disciplines with a focus on how public and private organisations can respond to the opportunities offered and the challenges posed by migration and diversity. It brings together history, sociology, politics, law, international development and urban design as a foundation for a better understanding of the governance of migration and diversity.

Master Governance Migration and Diversity


About the master programme

How to reconstruct a city centre? What are the opportunities for the management of migration flows and how to prevent discrimination and promote interaction and cohesion in culturally diverse societies?

In our globalised and complex network society these urgent questions need to be answered. In order to do this, experts who demonstrate analytical skills, connective leadership, entrepreneurial attitudes and a strong ethical compass to achieve innovative solutions for societal problems are needed. The master track in Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam focuses on the research, analysis and management of societal issues.

Migration and diversity are key factors in some of the most fundamental transformations of society today. These transformations do not merely involve migrants. Moreover, they have an impact on society at large. Migration and diversity have become highly politicised issues that play an important role in contemporary politics in many countries. These issues influence many different aspects of society, such as education, housing, labour and international relations.

Courses are provided by five different departments belonging to one of the three universities: History and Law at Leiden University, Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology and Sociology, Public Administration and the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Choose one of five tracks

The Governance of Migration and Diversity master programme is part of the LDE (Leiden - Delft - Erasmus) GMD collaboration and consists of five tracks:

·  GMD Sociology track, Erasmus University Rotterdam

·  GMD Public Administration track, Erasmus University Rotterdam

·  GMD History track, Leiden University

·  GMD Development studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (International Institute of Social Studies)

·  GMD Legal track, Leiden University


Why choose this master programme?

We offer:

  • Knowledge which will help you to address governance issues related to migration and diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • A unique interdisciplinary programme, with courses taught by  leading scholars from three universities and five academic disciplines.
  • A focus on policies, politics and governance at an international, national and local level.
  • Education which has a direct link to contemporary issues. Students are trained to contribute to the governance of migration and diversity.  
  • Top level education. The Public Administration programme at Erasmus University is ranked number 4 in the Shanghai Ranking 2022.

All students participate in the general part of the master programme which constitutes 50% (30 ECTS) of the courses. The other 50% entails a track-specific programme. 

Note that participating in this master will involve travel costs between the cities (Leiden, Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam).

After completing the master, you will obtain a diploma from the discipline and master track you are enrolled in (Sociology, Public Administration, History, Law or Development Studies), with ‘Governance of Migration of Diversity’ as your specialisation. For information on the specific tracks, such as admission criteria, please consult the track-websites.

Career opportunities

After the completion of this specialisation you will be able to identify and analyse social issues related to migration and diversity. Furthermore, you are able to provide advice on these problems.

During this master programme you will:

  • Develop a multidisciplinary understanding of migration and diversity from various perspectives, including history, law, development studies, sociology, public administration and urbanism.
  • Acquire a methodological understanding in order to study migration and diversity.
  • Learn to better understand the governance implications of migration and diversity at the local (urban), regional, national as well as European and international level.
  • Obtain professional skills in terms of designing strategies for the management of migration and diversity at the policy level.  

Graduates of this specialisation will be suitable candidates for positions in governmental organisations (policymakers, policy advisors, lobbyists) and organisations in civil society (e.g. unions, political parties, research institutes) on the local, national or international level. 

For example our graduates currently work as e.g. integration advisors at local governments or as project assistants at IOM.

GMD Master Testimonial

For me, the GMD Programme has been an interesting journey that has enriched my knowledge and changed my perspective on migration.
Sherry Ebrahim
The program provided us with practical experiences beyond theoretical learning, including site visits and research projects, enabling us to gain real-life knowledge.
It’s easy to get lost in the statistics and policies of it all, but especially in the Development Studies track, you learn that at the end of the day it really boils down to the individual person.
This opportunity to look at an area of study from a multidisciplinary approach was one of the main features I noticed when I applied for the Master's degree.
Marcela Renderos
A great thing I take away from this master's programme, and hold dear in my heart, are the people and the connections I have made!
Esther van der Sluijs
I wholeheartedly recommend this master's programme to everyone who has a genuine interest in migration issues and is open to embarking on an enriching and challenging academic adventure.
Fatma Köse
GMD master offers a unique learning experience by bringing together knowledge from various disciplines (sociology, history, politics), enabling a comprehensive understanding of migration and diversity dynamics.

Joint courses

Governance of Migration and Diversity (5 EC)   History of Migration and Diversity (5 EC)         

Migration & Development (5 EC)

Sociology of Migration & Diversity (5 EC)                                    








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


Sociology track * at EUR


Public administration track at EUR


History track at Leiden


Development Studies track at ISS


No master track at TU Delft

Migration in a Globalized World (5 EC)

+ Elective (‘Media, Governance and Politics’ or ‘Governing Social Inequalities’ - 5 EC)


Comparative Public Policy (5 EC)


Academic skills and thesis seminar (5 EC)


The making of development: histories, theories and practices (8 EC)


Students choose one ISS Foundational course (3 EC) (Optional)

Social Science
Research in Practice
(7,5 EC)

 Media, Governance and Politics (5 EC) 

History of Migration and Diversity ctd. (5 EC)

 Research Techniques (8 EC, select from optional ISS courses) 
Thesis (22,5 EC)) Designing Migration Policy Research (5 EC) Thesis (20 EC) 

Climate Change and Development in the Anthropocene (3 EC).

Research and Techniques  (Select from optional ISS courses: total 8 EC).

Working towards the Research Paper (2EC).

Optional courses (16 EC, select from optional ISS courses)

  Legal perspectives on Migration and Diversity (5 EC)   Thesis Design (5 EC) 
  Thesis  (15 EC)   Research paper  (21 EC) 

For the joint courses: In total PA, SOC, HIS, track have 60EC, DEV track has 88ECs

- PA students take GMD, SMD, PMD, HMD. Furthermore, they choose between the M&D and the Delft course in block 3.
- SOC students take GMD, SMD, HMD, PMD. *They do not take the joint courses in block 3.
- ISS students take the joint courses GMD and M&D. They choose 3 out of the following 4 courses: PMD, SMD, HMD, Social inequality in the city.
- HIS students take all joint courses (GMD, HMD, M&D, PMD, SMD, Delft course).

Coordinators of the programme

Dr. Maria Schiller (Public Administration - Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Maria is the Managing Coordinator of the Master Governance of Migration and Diversity and the Coordinator of the Public Administration track. She teaches joint and track-specific courses in the Master and supervises MA theses on a broad range of topics. In the academic year 2020-2021 she will be involved in teaching the courses Governance of Migration and Diversity, Comparative Public Policy, and Designing Migration Policy Research. You can reach Maria via

Prof. dr. Marlou Schrover (History - Leiden University)

Marlou Schrover is a migration historian and coordinates the History track in the Governance of Migration and Diversity Master. She teaches the course on the history of Governance of Migration and Diversity, and she supervises MA theses on historical subjects, covering a wide range of subjects and a large variety of themes.

Portret Arjen Leerkes

Dr. Arjen Leerkes (Sociology – Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Arjen Leerkes is a Professor of Migration, Securitization and Social Cohesion at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a research fellow at the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. He is the coordinator of the sociology track of the interdisciplinary master Governance of Migration and Diversity, where he also teaches the Sociology of Migration and Diversity course.

Nanneke Winters

Dr. Nanneke Winters (Development Studies – International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague)

Nanneke is assistant professor of migration and development and the coordinator of the Development Studies track at ISS. She is the mentor of ISS-GMD students and supervises MA theses on a broad range of topics related to migrant trajectories, displacement, im/mobility, borders, illegalization, transnational families, and translocal livelihoods. She co-teaches the Migration and Development and the Research Preparation courses at ISS and acts as the ISS liaison for the The Hague Southwest Thesis Hub.

Dr. Reinout Kleinhans (Architecture and the Built Environment – Delft University of Technology)

Reinout is Associate Professor of Urban Regeneration at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department of Urbanism. He is the coordinator of the joint GMD course ‘Social Inequality in the City, Diversity and Design’. His research interests are urban regeneration, self-organisation, participatory planning, community entrepreneurship, online/offline citizen engagement, social capital and collective efficacy.

Moritz Jesse

Dr. Moritz Jesse (European Law - Leiden University)

Jean Monnet Professor and Associate Professor of European Law.

Read more about Dr. Moritz Jesse

LDE Centre GMD

The LDE Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity builds on the existing LDE Master specialisation Governance of Migration and Diversity. The LDE Master specialisation GMD and the cooperation between scholars from all three universities and across disciplines also feeds into research collaborations within the LDE Centre GMD. Hence, the research centre will support exchanges amongst teaching staff from the three universities, aimed at gaining efficient use of teaching expertise, and contribute to training the future generation of professionals that will work in the context of today’s highly diverse societies


At the end of summer you will join a Welcome Day with the students from your academic year. The day kicks off at the ‘Belvedere Verhalen Huis’ in Rotterdam, where we want to welcome you and provide you as students of the new academic year and provide you with some more introductory information. After a light lunch, some of your professors will take you on a‘migration tour’ through the city, which brings us to locations in Rotterdam related to the city’s migration history. 

In the evening you have the option to join the graduation of the GMD master students from the past academic year, to get a taste of our  graduation ceremony. 


Bachelor Open Dag
Collegezaal Bachelor Open dag
Arie Kers

Open days

Still in doubt about what you would like to study next year? Or do you have some final questions about our programme? Then visit us at the Master Open Day event at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, 25th November 2023, about the GMD - Public Administration and Sociology track. 

For all your questions about the GMD - Migration and Development track at ISS check the webinar.

And read all about the GMD History track.

GMD site visit Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) site visit studentgroup GMD

Site visits 

As part of the main course of the GMD, each year the students visit several sites of actors that actively deal with governance issues in migration and diversity. Each of the track coordinators organises their own visit, tapping into their own expertise and network to provide a unique insight into the practice of their field.

In previous years we visited:

  • Imam Malik Islamic Centre Leiden. The Centre introduced us to the historical context of Islam in the Netherlands and showcased several community activities and projects that the Mosque is involved in.
  • The National Expertise Centre Honour-Based Violence in The Hague. Here we spoke with researchers from the Centre and the director of SPIOR (Platform for Islamic Organisations in Rijnmond) about their work and collaborations with Muslim communities on honour based violence, forced marriages and sexuality.
  • Special Envoy for Migration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They introduced us migration management issues from the perspective of the Dutch government and allowed us to learn about the priorities of Dutch migration policies.
  • The European Parliament and European Commission in Brussel. The students learned about the dilemmas of the EU politics and policy on migration and diversity. We had meetings with the senior advocacy officer at the European Network Against Racism, with the research director of Migration Policy group and a Policy Advisor in the European Parliament for Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld. They explained the challenges of their advocacy work as well as the political struggles they are facing in the area of fundamental rights, asylum and migration.
Ilona van Breugel
Ilona van Breugel


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