Master in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Why do people migrate? How do immigrants integrate and develop (new or dual) cultural identities? How do host societies respond to immigrants? Why and when do ethnic and religious differences lead to conflicts and misunderstandings? What are the reasons for prejudice and racism, and how can these negative reactions be minimised?

Topics of high societal significance

In this Master's programme in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism, you will focus on questions of high societal significance and policy relevance that relate to:

  • International migration
  • Integration and cultural identity
  • Development of ethnic relations
  • Management of cultural diversity

The programme addresses these topics from the assumption that a systematic understanding of the precursors and processes of migration and integration is essential for the development of adequate policies and interventions in pluralistic societies.

Interdisciplinary methodology

This two-year Master's programme contributes to interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical knowledge in the social sciences. We focus on the main theories and approaches developed in the fields of Sociology and Social and Cultural Psychology. In addition to these two central disciplinary fields, we also cover perspectives from adjacent fields such as Political Science, Economics, Anthropology, and Geography.


You will receive extensive training in research methodology, and graduate well prepared for further PhD studies within the Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) or another institute in the Netherlands or abroad. Your studies will also prepare you for a career in research or advisory positions within academic institutes, policy organisations, and NGOs. The programme’s instructional staff participate in the research groups of the Departments of Interdisciplinary Social Science (Prof Verkuyten and Prof Finkenauer and Prof de Wit), Sociology (Prof Buskens) and Methods and Statistics (Prof Van der Heijden).

Multiple high ratings

The Master's programme in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism is one of the oldest and most established social science Research Master's programmes in the Netherlands. It has an excellent national and international reputation and has been awarded several high ratings by different organisations in the Netherlands.

Programme Objective

Through your studies, you develop into a well-qualified science practitioner. You will acquire the skills and knowledge to go on to PhD training or a research career outside academia. You will receive structured and systematic training in theoretically and methodologically advanced research, that will equip you to help solve social science problems in the fields of migration, ethnic relations, and multiculturalism.

Career Prospects

This Master's programme prepares you for subsequent PhD training. It also serves as a freestanding programme for graduates who aspire to research positions outside academia.

Academic Careers

This Master's programme prepares you for a scientific career, in academia (PhD training), research institutes, government organisations, NGOs, and private enterprises.

Graduates are working in positions such as:

  • PhD student (ERCOMER; University of Amsterdam; Radboud University, Nijmegen; Erasmus University, Rotterdam; University of Leuven; Université de Montréal; University of Melbourne; University of Michigan, University of Crete, NIDI or the European University Institute)
  • Researcher (in research companies such as SCP, WODC Ministry of Security and Justice, Migration Policy Group, municipalities, and non-governmental organisations)

What does your job involve?

  • PhD student: You will conduct four years of research at a university in the Netherlands or abroad, writing scientific publications and working as a teacher for Bachelor's and Master's students. After you obtain your degree, you can apply for a research function.

Professional Careers

Students who regard the MSc as the terminus of their academic education can capitalise on their:

  • Research experience abroad
  • Foreign language fluency
  • Analytical, research, and reporting skills
  • Successful completion of a demanding programme

Graduates are working in positions such as:

  • Policymaker at for example VNG international, the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)
  • Advisor at KPMG, International Labour Organisation, APCO Worldwide, BMC Group (Dutch site)

What does your job involve?

  • Business advisor at a consultancy office: You will be involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of various processes within the company. You will be responsible for determining appropriate policies and their entry and execution.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less