Master specialisation
Governance of Migration and Diversity

Master's specialisation: Governance of Migration and Diversity

The one-year Master’s specialisation '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, international development and urban design as a foundation for a better understanding of the governance of migration and diversity.

About the Master's specialisation

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. This Master’s programme 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 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 four tracks

The Governance of Migration and Diversity specialisation is offered as part of four Master’s programmes, part of the GMD collaboration:

·  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)

Why choose this Master's specialisation?

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 1 in the ShanghaiRanking's 2017.

All students participate in the general part of the Master’s programme which constitutes 50% (30 ECTS) of the courses. The other 50% entails a track-specific programme. 
After completing the Master's specialisation, you will obtain  a diploma from the discipline and Master's programme you are enrolled in (Sociology, Public Administration, History 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

The Master’s programme in Public Administration provides insights, tools and competences that can be applied to governance problems found anywhere in the modern world.

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’s programme you will:

  • Develop a multidisciplinary understanding of migration and diversity from various perspectives, including history, 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. Graduates of this programme currently work as e.g. integration advisors at local governments or as project assistants at e.g. IOM.

Joint part (30 ECTS, all GMD students)


Governance of Migration and Diversity (5 ECT)     History of Migration and Diversity (5 ECTS)           Politics of Migration & Diversity (5 ECTS)   




 Sociology of Migration & Diversity (5 ECTS)







Migration & Development (5 ECTS)Social Inequality in the City (5 ECTS)       


Sociology track (30 ECTS)


Public administration track (30 ECTS)


History track (30 ECTS)


Development Studies track (58 ECTS)


No master track at TU Delft

Social Science
Research in Practice
(7,5 ECTS)


Comparative Public Policy (5 ECTS)


Research Seminar (5 ECTS)


The making of Development (6 ECTS)


Encounters in Development (3 ECTS)

Migration in a globalized world (5 ECTS) Media, Governance and Politics (5 ECTS)   Research Techniques (8 ECTS) 

Thesis (22,5 ECTS)


Designing Migration Policy Research (5 ECTS)


Thesis (30 ECTS)


Optional courses (16 ECTS)



    Thesis Design (4 ECTS) 


Thesis  (15 ECTS)



Thesis (21 ECTS)


* As a compenstation sociology students receive dispensation for one of the joint GMD courses (selecting between ‘Social Inequality in the City, Diversity and Design’ or ‘Migration and Development’).


At the end of  summer we had a special GMD meeting with the students from the academic year 2017-2018 and the new 2018-2019 GMD students. In the morning we warmly welcomed this years’ new GMD students. The day kicked off with a meeting at the ‘Belvedere Verhalen Huis’ in Rotterdam and a special ‘migration tour’ through the city, which guided us to locations  in Rotterdam related to the city’s migration history. It has been a great start of a promising new year. We would like to welcome the students of the academic year 2018-2019 once more to our programme!
In the evening the lucky GMD Master’s students received their degrees during the graduation ceremony. It has been a great evening. We would like to congratulate all the  proud graduates once more!

In the evening the lucky GMD Master’s students received their degrees during the graduation ceremony. It has been a great evening. We would like to congratulate all the  proud graduates once more!

Bachelor Open Dag 7

Open days

Open days

Still in doubt about what you would like to study next year? Or do you have some final questions about our programme? Register here for the Master Open Day at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, March 26th, 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.


Site visits - governance of migration and diversity in practice

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 2018 we visited Imam Malik Islamic Centre Leiden, which introduced the historical context of Islam in the Netherlands and showcased several community activities and projects that the Mosque is involved in.


During our visit to The National Expertise Centre Honour-Based Violence in The Hague 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.

We also could visit the Special Envoy for Migration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marit Maij, who 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 forth site visit took place in Brussels, where we visited the European Parliament and European Commission, to learn about the dilemmas of the EU politics and policy on migration and diversity. In the visit to the European Parliament 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 to us the challenges of their advocacy work as well as the political struggles they are facing in the area of fundamental rights, asylum and migration.

At the European Commission interactions took place with the representatives of the DG International Cooperation and Development and the DG Migration and Home affairs. The day was concluded with an informal outing, with some students taking the opportunity to exploring the European capital further during the weekend.  

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