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)

Urban Governance and Politics (5 ECTS)


Media, Governance and Politics (5 ECTS)





Research Techniques (8 ECTS) 

Sociology track (35 ECTS) *     

Thesis (22,5 ECTS)



Thesis (30 ECTS)




Designing Migration Policy Research (5 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?

Don't miss the Master Open Day at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, May 17th, 21.00h about the GMD - Public Administration and Sociology track. Register here: 

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

And read all about the GMD History track here: external Opens external


GMD end-of-the-year potluck!

Just before the Christmas break we finished the GMD year in style. We kicked off the day with beautiful poster presentations prepared by the students, who presented the findings of their GMD research projects. Followed with a festive potluck dinner.

Dear students, best wishes for 2018!

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.

This year we visited the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Dutch Refugee Council where we learned about their joint approach on the integration of refugees in Rotterdam. After this visit, we travelled back in time with a visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp to learn about decades of migration from Antwerp to North America and the private-public collaborations in the management of these migration flows.

Subsequently, we visited the International Organisation of Migration where we talked about their role as a non-governmental actor in the broader network of the governance of migration. Lastly, the students visited the National Expertise Centre Honour-Based Violence in The Hague were they spoke with researchers from the Centre and the director of SPIOR (Platform for Islamic Organisations in Rijnmond) about their work and the collaboration between different organisations that work on honour based violence.

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