Migration, Superdiversity and Policy MA/PGDip/PGCert

The MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy will explore the social, economic and political impacts of international migration and examine current, proposed and ideal approaches to welfare provision in the era of superdiversity. It will explore data to help map superdiverse populations and examine the rights and entitlements of migrants in different societies. Taking an applied approach, the programme will help studens to learn how to access data sources and undertake research in ways that can increase understanding of the nature of superdiversity and the needs of superdiverse communities. 

Download a copy of the MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy course brochure (PDF)

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IRiS logoThe MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy will explore the social, economic and political effects of the new era of migration and consequent emerging superdiversity. It will analyse the multiple variables displayed by different migrants in terms of age and gender profiles, as well as immigration status, and associated rights and entitlements.It will also address the ways that social policy has been created and adapted in order to accommodate the changing fabric of urban and rural populations that have experienced high levels of inward migration. Students will critically examine the suitability and adaptability of traditional multicultural models of welfare provision that were originally based upon providing for large and geographically contained clusters of post-colonial migrants and explore a range of new approaches to service delivery focusing on good practice from across the world.

The MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy will allow students to consider new ways that the needs of diverse populations may be met and how to overcome challenges such as lack of demographic information and details about need.

More about the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)

Why study this course

Placements, internships and support

Students on the programme will have the opportunity to undertake a work-based internship in a migration related organisation. Students will be supported by the specialist University Careers Network to identify a suitable organisation, and in addition, they will also be linked up with organisations involved in IRiS's Practitioner Research Programme (PRP).

Conference and seminars

The University of Birmingham offers a vibrant and dynamic student experience. Students enrolled on the Migration, Superdiversity and Policy programme, can take advantage of the specialist IRiS seminar programme which hosts sessions from world-leading migration scholars. The link to IRiS, the world's first research centre to focus on superdiversity, offers ongoing opportunities for postgreaduate students to enhance their learning and experience whilst at Birmingham. Last year, for example, IRiS hosted the first International Conference on 'Superdiversity: Theory, method and practice in an era of change'.

Small bursaries to undertake mini-research projects

Small bursaries to undertake independent mini-research projects in a student's specialist area of interest relating to migration, superdiversity and policy are also available. Students are required to submit a short proposal outlining their research ideas in order to be considered for an IRiS research bursary.


Students studying for the Masters (MA) must complete the core module and five optional modules or three options and the 40 credit Specialist Project before moving on to undertake a 60 credit dissertation in the area of migration and superdiversity.

Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma must complete the core module plus five optional modules or three options plust the 40 credit Specialist Project in a migration related policy topic.

Students studying for the Postgraduate Certificate must complete three 20 credit modules, including the core module listed below.

Migration, Superdiversity, Policy and Practice (20 credits)

Module Lead(s): Lisa Goodson

This module examines theories surrounding migration and superdiversity paying particular attention to the policies and politics that shape responses to migration from a global to local level. It challenges students to think critically about migration and the impact upon policy and the provision of social welfare and to examine reactions and responses to migration from a range of contrasting perspectives. It encourages students to reflect on ways in which migration is shaping questions about citizenship, inclusion, identity and cohesion at different policy levels.

Optional modules

  • Globalisation, Migration and Citizenship
    Module Lead: Nando Sigona
  • Introduction to Applied Social Research
    Module Lead: Lisa Goodson
  • International Social Policy
    Module Lead: Kelly Hall
  • Specialist Project in Superdiversity, Migration and Policy (40 Credits)
  • Other Optional Modules (20 Credits)
  • Dissertation (60 Credits)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees for 2017-2018:

Masters (MA)

Code: 9484 £7,020 f/t (UK/EU students)
Code: 9485 £3,510 p/t (UK/EU students)
Code: 9484 £15,660 f/t (International students)

Code: 9486 £4,680 f/t (UK/EU students)
Code: 9487 £2,340 p/t (UK/EU students)
Code: 9486 £10,440 f/t (International students)

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students


A new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK was introduced for students commencing their studies in the 2016-17 academic year. The government-backed student loans provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas, including part-time and distance learning.

For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.


Standard fees apply

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available.

International scholarships and studentships
For information please see International Scholarships 

Entry requirements

An upper second class Honours degree or equivalent would be the standard entry requirement. This would usually be in a social science, although applications from those with degrees in other disciplines will be considered. Applications will also be encouraged from those without an Honours degree who have relevant work or volunteering experience in a related policy or practice area.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy will enable students to consider approaches to meeting the needs of diverse populations in equitable ways.  Migration, Superdiversity and Policy is unique in bringing together theory and practice with cutting edge research and research methods to enable students to develop applied knowledge in a rapidly evolving field.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, presentations and participatory workshops.

Birmingham is a dynamic and superdiverse city which offers the ideal setting for the MA. The programme leaders, Lisa Goodson, Nando Sigona and Jenny Phillimore, are excellently placed to lead this initiative having many years of research and publication experience in migration related issues. They have managed over forty externally commissioned research projects in relation to migration, from a wide range of funders. They have advised EU and UK Governments on integration policyu and their work has contributed to the development of migration related social policy.

All participants will be supported by a personal tutor and will also be able to draw on the support of the Institute's Programme Director, Welfare Tutors and International Student Tutors.

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity is the world's first research centre to focus on superdiversity and is at the forefront of international research in this field. IRiS offers a unique opportunity for students to benefit from the programme of events and scholars from a wide range of disciplines engaged in research and policy work in migration and superdiversity.

More about the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)

Assessment methods

On completion of the taught modules (120 credits) Masters students undertake a 10,000 word dissertation on a new migration related subject of their choice. Each student is allocated an experienced specialist supervisor, selected for their knowledge of both the subject matter and supervision skills.

This MA Migration, Superdiversity and Policy will be of interest to professionals already working in multiagency migration related settings and areas of local government such as housing, community and safety, health, youth services and social care. It will also be of interest to recent social science course graduates looking to pursue a career in this area and to people considering progressing to PhD level.

For more information see our Careers section