Governance of Migration and Diversity track (GMD)

Are you a strong advocate of ensuring migrants are treated fairly?

Do you think current migration-related policies can be improved, also from a diversity standpoint, and do you want to help make that happen?

Migration and social diversity are key factors in the transformations of societies across the globe. These factors play a key role in almost any policy domain, at many levels and in many types of organization:

  • in education, health, housing, and labour
  • in intergovernmental organizations, national governments and regional groupings
  • at local and neighbourhood levels of governance
  • in businesses, research institutes and non-governmental organizations

This is your chance to equip yourself for working on current challenges around migration-related issues, particularly in the context of global development, and how to address them.

This MA in Development Studies track at the ISS is available through our cooperation and partnership with various faculties and schools at Leiden, Delft and Erasmus universities.

ISS students will take several courses regarding the Governance of Migration and Diversity, together with students from our partner institutions, plus follow other courses and study activities within the ISS MA in Development Studies.

Students will acquire an ISS MA Degree in Development Studies, with a specialization in Governance of Migration and Diversity.

  • Benefit from an exceptional study experience with courses offered by leading scholars from five programmes at three universities: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Leiden University and Delft University of Technology;
  • Equip yourself to understand current migration issues from different, critical perspectives and to usefully contribute to knowledge production in the context of development;
  • Develop professional skills for analysing and responding to concrete situations, going beyond the myths and over-generalizations that are commonplace in daily discussions and political debates.

This MA track is relevant for people with a passion and enthusiasm to work on migration-related matters.

Graduates will be prepared to move into key positions in civil society organizations (e.g. unions, political parties, research institutes), governmental community and development organizations (as policy advisors, policy makers, administrators, lobbyists) and business organizations (including human resources, management and consultancy) at local, national and international levels.

Duration15.5 months
DatesSeptember 2024 – December 2025
Tuition Fee19,000 Euros
LocationISS, Erasmus University, Leiden University & Delft University
Degree receiveMA degree in Development Studies (Governance of Migration and Diversity specialization)
Academic requirementsAcademic requirements
Application deadline1 July 2024
How to apply

To apply, please fill in the ISS MA application form:

  • under Programme please select 'Master of Arts in Development Studies';
  • under Specialization please select ' Governance of Migration and Diversity' .
Credits88 European Credits (ECTs)
Internship requirements during courseNot required, but interested students may be able to apply
Programme contactDarren Baradhan


  1. Students take 25 credits on migration and its implications, consisting of five compulsory 5 credit courses: one course provided by each partner and one provided jointly as a core course. 

The six courses are:

Core course

  • Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) - 5 credits

Five partner-provided courses

  1. History of Migration and Diversity (HMD) - (History, Leiden University) - 5 credits
  2. Politics of Migration and Diversity (PMD) - (Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, EUR) - 5 credits
  3. Sociology of Migration and Diversity (SMD) - (Sociology, EUR) - 5 credits
  4. Social Inequality in the City (Technical University Delft) - 5 credits
  5. Migration and Development (M&D): Livelihoods, Human Security and Intersectionality (ISS, EUR) - 5 credits

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.

ISS students in this track fulfill their Foundation Courses and Major Courses requirements by doing the above courses.

  1. In addition, the ISS students will do:
  • General Course in Development Theory: The Making of Development (8 credits)
  • ISS foundational course - optional (3 credits)
  • Climate Change and Development in the Anthropocene (3 credits)
  • Research Techniques Courses (8 credits)
  • Working towards the Research Paper (2 credits)
  • Optional Courses - out of the wide range available at ISS, including in other Majors and specialization areas (16 credits in total)
  • Thesis design (5 credits)
  • Research Paper (21 credits)

This MA track provides state-of-the-art courses and training by expert scholars from several academic disciplines.

Classes include online and offline lectures and learning methods through which students will equip themselves to discuss current events related to migration and diversity from different theoretical standpoints and from the perspectives of different actors.

The GMD track offers various extracurricular activities and seminars such as visits to ‘super diverse’ neighbourhoods and relevant policy organizations, including Dutch ministries, municipalities, international and local organizations in Dutch several cities as well as the EU capital, and symposia organized with students concerning current developments in relation to migration and diversity.

Additionally, ISS offers multiple platforms to discuss cutting-edge research on a range of issues within the broad themes of migration and development, such as the Development Research Seminars and the monthly informal Migration Seminar Series organized as part of the Migration and Diversity research theme.

Videos: Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) track

Governance of Migration and Diversity Track

Why study Governance, Migration and Diversity Track?

Webinar: Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) track 2023

Webinar Session held at ISS on Governance Migration and Diversity (GMD) track

GMD in a flash

An informational video about the GMD track at ISS

The specialized courses ISS has to offer and the diverse backgrounds of both the staff and your fellow peers is why I choose ISS
Gabriela Anderson

Talkshow on the European migration regime

Four students of the Governance of Migration and Diversity Master have organized the talkshow ‘Europe’s Achilles Heel: The asylum and migration regime unpacked’. Together with Prof. Dr. Thea Hilhorst, Dr. Zeynep Kaşlı, Sahar Shirzad, and Anna Farrow, host Iana Hilhorst reflects on the current European migration management.

Europe’s Achilles Heel: The asylum and migration regime unpacked

Dr Nanneke Winters

Dr Nanneke Winters - track coordinator

'In a world where people move, or are compelled to move for a combination of structural and personal reasons, thinking and working on migration and diversity means grappling with questions such as, who is allowed to move and who is not, what sorts of challenges and opportunities await people on the move, and how different im/mobility practices shape all sorts of public and private interactions, spaces and organizations.

Specializing in the Governance of Migration and Diversity is essential to grasp how different experiences, practices, governance, control and contestations around im/mobility trigger, reinforce or transform often intersecting forms of in/equalities across the globe, and particularly in a development context. This programme is for anyone eager to contribute to global justice.'

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