International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Master's Programme (One-Year)
About the education
This programme develops your skills in critically examining and evaluating research in relation to international migration. The programme focuses on:
- current international developments and research perspectives in migration and ethnic relations;
- the effects of globalisation and human mobility on societies, groups and individuals;
- the social and political adaptation and integration of ethnic minorities in different societies;
- issues of inclusion and exclusion of immigrants;
- majority-minority relations; and
- philosophical and ethical perspectives on life in diverse and complex societies.
Potential working fields include international organisations, academia, national and local government, NGOs or the media. Graduates are also eligible for PhD studies.
Malmö University offers a one-year and a two-year master's programme in Internation Migration and Ethnic Relations. The one-year programme provides an advanced level specialisation in the field of international migration and ethnic relations. The two-year programme prepares students for future research opportunities and enables further specialisation within one of two themes: migration and integration or migration and social theory.
The master's programme teaches you how to conduct in-depth analysis, evaluate policies and criticise and critique migration-related policies. You should expect research-based training and an interdisciplinary outlook that links social sciences with humanities.
As a student in the IMER master’s programme, you become part of a multidisciplinary learning environment that is closely connected to ongoing research at Malmö University and the world of migration and ethnic studies. You will be an active producer and critical reviewer of new knowledge. During your studies, you will be encouraged to be independent and creative and to develop your own areas of expertise and interest. The programme offer a comprehensive overview of the IMER research field and areas of specialization that you select yourself.
You are expected to contribute to the shared learning environment. Reading and discussing course material with other students is an essential part of the programme. It is therefore important that you are able to take personal responsibility for your own learning. You should have the capacity for independent work and methodological reasoning and a strong drive to continue developing these abilities. Good command of English in academic speech and writing is expected.
Understanding the complexities of international migration and ethnic relations is essential to ensure reflective decision-making in a variety of fields, for example, international organisations, academia, national and local governments, NGOs, and media. Students who have completed the programme are also eligible to apply for PhD studies.
Entry requirements and selection
Here you can find the entry requirements, as well as how the available study places are distributed between applicants in the selection.
For general admissions enquiries please contact the Admissions Office: email@example.com
- Bachelors Degree with a major in social science or humanities
- English proficiency equivalent to English 6 in Swedish upper secondary school
- Statement of Purpose, assessed and approved
University credits completed 100%
Statement of Purpose
You must submit a Statement of Purpose, together with documentation of your Bachelor’s Degree and your English proficiency, to meet the entry requirements of the programme. To complete your application, follow the steps below:
- Create an account on www.universityadmissions.se and apply for the programme. Follow the instructions for documenting your Bachelor’s Degree (or ongoing studies), and your English proficiency, pay the application fee or document your fee exemption
- Download the Statement of Purpose form and complete it. Save as PDF and upload to your Universityadmissions account before the deadline.
- Deadline for submitting the Statement of Purpose in the first application round (international applicants) is 1 February, 2023.
- Deadline for submitting the Statement of purpose in the second application round (national applicants) is 1 May, 2023.
Only Statements of Purpose submitted in accordance with the instructions above will be assessed. Late submissions will not be assessed.
The Statement of Purpose form and assessment criteria can be found here during the application period.
An eye-opening journey to diversity
Originally from Turkey, Akinalp Orhan moved to Sweden to study in the master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. Shortly after graduating from the two-year programme, Akinalp got a job at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He now works as an information management officer in...
An eye-opening journey to diversity
Originally from Turkey, Akinalp Orhan moved to Sweden to study in the master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. Shortly after graduating from the two-year programme, Akinalp got a job at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He now works as an information management officer in Copenhagen, less than an hour away from Malmö University.
Why did you choose the programme?
I knew that I wanted to study migration studies and looked for education across Europe. I had been an exchange student in Stockholm before and was already used to the Swedish education system, which is different from many other countries. I got offered the master’s scholarship by Malmö University, but before I made my decision, I familiarised myself with the University’s teaching environment, publications, and major projects. The decision was an easy one to make.
What did you take with you from the studies?
One of my key takeaways from my studies is critical thinking. The University and the teachers really pushed us to think beyond the norm, challenge the structure, and question what we know as the ”truth”. I see a significant positive impact of this in my day-to-day job.
I also valued the focus on intersectionality. Until then, I had never reflected on my personal history and never thought about how my own identities intersect with one another. Learning more about intersectionality and becoming more familiar with black women writers was eye-opening.
Another key topic was postcolonialism. In the second year, you will have the opportunity to study abroad, do an internship or take freestanding courses. I decided to take courses, from which one was about postcolonialism and intersectionality. That was one of the best decisions I made during my studies.
How did your studies prepare you for your current work?
After graduation, I worked in UNHCR for some time, preparing research and policy documents. Because I was dealing with issues concerning state and citizenship, I was constantly relying on the knowledge I acquired from my studies.
When people ask me about my study background, I always tell them that taking a master’s degree really teaches you to master the topic in focus. It’s not supposed to be easy, and you need to spend a lot of your time reading, writing, thinking and improving yourself. Just like in working life, you must use critical thinking. At UNHCR, I look at previous policies and doctrines critically, and I have my master’s studies to thank for that. Teachers are very good at pushing you to be critical, ask questions, question societal structures and challenge your own beliefs.
What is your impression of Malmö University?
I often tell people about the library with its large windows. The campus is centrally located and spread out in different parts of the city. If you want to change the environment, you can choose another building.
Academic writing is an important skill to focus on when starting your studies, especially if English isn’t your first language. The University provides webinars and lectures in academic writing. The help I got with the linguistics perspective and with structuring my texts has been extremely valuable, for example, when I got my first job after graduation.
The teaching environment is also something I appreciated, and it turned out to be highly diverse. To have students from so many different backgrounds was an enriching experience. For example, I got to study with people from South America. For someone from Turkey, it is such a distant region, and we learned very much from each other.
A programme for the independent thinker
In 2004, Sayaka Osanami Törngren enrolled in the master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. Today, she is an associate professor and senior researcher at Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare and a lecturer at the IMER MA programme. Her research an...
A programme for the independent thinker
In 2004, Sayaka Osanami Törngren enrolled in the master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. Today, she is an associate professor and senior researcher at Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare and a lecturer at the IMER MA programme. Her research and teaching often focus on race and ethnicity.
What does the programme offer?
This master’s programme offers you a platform to expand your knowledge and provides you with opportunities to discuss, address and engage with current issues. When I teach, I see a lot of diversity in the classroom, which is great when addressing issues like race, ethnicity, gender migration and diversity. Different students bring different perspectives. The discussions may sometimes be uncomfortable, but they can be an opportunity for self-reflection.
What kind of person would thrive in the programme?
This programme is for someone interested in migration, diversity, racism, discrimination and integration. You should be a curious, independent thinker willing to solve problems or suggest alternative ways of thinking. This is not the kind of programme where you can expect professors and lecturers to tell you what to do. On the contrary, you should bring your own agendas and issues you wish to discuss and work with. This kind of person will do well in the programme.
What are the main differences between the one-year and two-year version of the programme?
The two-year version of the programme gives you possibilities to pursue both theoretical and practical knowledge and experiences further. During the second year, you will be able to choose either elective courses or gain experience through applying for internships. I’ve had research interns connected to my projects and for me, it’s really an exciting semester to see students grow and develop.
What kind of research do you do?
For the past few years, I've been researching by using eye-tracking. In my current research, I try to combine explicit and implicit attitudes – what is expressed consciously and overtly and what underlies unconsciously. For example by showing pictures of different faces asking how Swedish you think the person is while tracking eye movements, I try to see if eye movements can say something else than what people report on the survey. Through different research in Sweden it is established that someone with stereotypical Swedish features would be recognised as Swedish by a single glance, whereas someone who is not White, like me, wouldn’t be recognized as Swedish because of how I look. But we don’t exactly know what or where people are looking at when we categorize people.
In another project, I implement an eye-tracking experiment to investigate racial discrimination in hiring processes. If you get 10 identical CVs in which some of the candidates do not match what you perceive to be Swedish, who will get hired? Here, eye-tracking is also used to detect unconscious biases and queues, like time spent looking at someone’s face instead of that person’s qualifications.
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