International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Master's Programme (Two-Year)

Programme - second cycle - 120 credits


Admission requirements

1. Degree of Bachelor in Social Sciences or Humanities
2. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B from Swedish secondary school.


Applicants are selected in order according to precedence from submitted two-part supporting document. Note There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!

There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!

juliet_williams_student“The programme is applicable in many areas. I learned how to think academically and it sharpened my analytical skills. The teachers set the foundation and made us good at what we do. Whatever I do in the future I will be well prepared for it.” - Juliet Williams, student


This programme develops your skills in critically examining and evaluating research in relation to international migration.
Potential working fields include international organizations, academia, national and local government, NGOs or the media. Students are also eligible for PhD studies.


Once you have completed your application with your academic credentials and English proficiency, you need to submit a supporting document and a reference letter along with your application.

To complete your application, follow the steps below 

  1. Create an account and apply to the programme via the website
  2. Once you have applied you can upload your documents. Applicants in their final year, who will receive their diploma before the programme starts, can also apply but must follow the specific instructions.
  3. The supporting document should consist of two parts:
    •  A summary of the independent degree project you have conducted as part of your first-cycle level education.
    •  A letter of intent in which you describe the purpose and your objectives for applying. 
  4. You should submit a reference letter from at least one member of academic staff, ideally a supervisor or equivalent. The letter must include the contact’s name, affiliation and email address. Letters should be scanned and then uploaded. 

Download the supporting document to be completed here

Make sure you save your supporting documents before uploading and submitting. Alternatively, you can send them via post, details can be found at


What is International Migration and Ethnic Relations about?

The master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) 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; philosophical and ethical perspectives on life in diverse and complex societies.

Choose between One-Year or Two-Year Programme

Students outside Gäddan 8

Malmö University offers a one-year and a two-year programme. 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.

What makes International Migration and Ethnic Relations unique?

This 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.

Study methods include lectures and discussions, group projects, study visits, thesis work and self-study of literature. 

Career opportunities

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 the media. Students who have completed the programme are also eligible to apply for PhD studies.


“Whatever I do in the future I will be well prepared for it”

Juliet Williams is from Kingston, Jamaica. She is studying International Migration and Ethnic Relations, a master’s degree.

Juliet Williams ; IMER master_puffbild

Before Juliet came to Sweden she studied counselling and psychology. She also worked for many years in the administrative field in Kingston. After talking to a friend who recommended studies in Sweden, Juliet applied for a European scholarship.

– I always knew that I wanted to come to Sweden.  Swedish politics appealed to me very much.  I believe that Sweden is very good at taking care of its citizens.

The programme gave her an insight into a new reality.

– It showed me how much I didn´t know before.  The programme is applicable in many areas and I really recommend it, and hope many more people study at Malmö University. I learned how to think academically, it sharpened my analytical skills. The teachers set the foundation and made us good at what we do. Whatever I do in the future I will be well prepared for it.

It also appealed to Juliet that the courses are taught in English.

– I didn´t have the time to learn Swedish and so I was happy the lectures were in English.  I enjoy my studies immensely; we have fabulous teachers with a lot of knowledge. They really respect the students and treat us equally. That gives us a lot of confidence.

Juliet also wants to recommend everyone to study in Malmö. Back in Jamaica she did not have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike, but having lived in Malmö since 2012 she had her chance.

– Malmö is a wonderful city, it respects bikers. I didn´t know how to ride a bike, but Malmö allowed me to take this opportunity!


Malmö Graduate Working for the UN

Carolina Hamma has studied international migration and ethnic relations at Malmö University. Now she is an Electoral Adviser for UNMIT (United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste). She is part of a team ensuring that international principles on elections are fulfilled, in cooperation with local agencies.

How did you end up working in Timor-Leste?
– I uploaded my CV to the UN-Volunteers website and they contacted me a few months later about this opportunity. It sounded really interesting. Then I had a phone interview, where I among other things had to prove that I speak Portuguese.

Carolina Hamma


What else have you worked with since graduating from Malmö University?
– I’ve had many different jobs; I’ve worked as a project assistant on a research project about young people in Malmö, and as a social worker at a home for refugee minors. I have also interned at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and worked for RedR UK, a non-profit in London that trains humanitarian NGO workers. I have always done what I’ve felt has been really meaningful, and it hasn’t always been easy achieving my goals. Language skills have been crucial; I speak several languages, including Spanish and Portuguese which I’ve learned while travelling and taking classes.

What’s a typical day at work like for you in Timor-Leste?
– Each day is different from the last. But I’ll give an example from the other day: I woke up at 6am and heard what I thought was a very loud, broken motorbike emitting a strong smell of burnt rubber. It turned out it was the Health Ministry that had decided to gas the area for dengue mosquitos. Dengue fever is a big problem here. The gas lay thick and foul-smelling around the whole block. After an ice-cold shower, I took the jeep to work. We were going to Iraler, a mountain village in the district where I work. Six of us fit into the four-wheel drive: three international UNVs and three staff from CNE (National Commission for Elections). Iraler was some 75 km away, but it took us a few hours to get there as the roads are mainly eroded sand, dirt and mud. When we arrived we met up with some colleagues from the Secretariat for Election Administration who were conducting Voters Education in the village. We were going to monitor the event.

– We also interviewed first-time and young voters about the knowledge about and access to information on the presidential election of March 17. We also delivered election material   to the democratically elected village chief and recorded the GPS coordinates of the village. This is needed because the village is so isolated that the votes have to be collected by helicopter on election day. When we were done the village hosted us for lunch, as we had travelled so far to visit them.

Hamma UN bil


After that we went to a different village to check on a campaign for one of the presidential candidates and leave some information material about the election. Then it was time to go home. The roads were lined with children waving and shouting ‘malaj malaj!’ (which means foreigner). There are a lot of young people in Timor-Leste, 69 per cent of the population are younger than 25.  Many of the older people died during the Indonesian occupation 1975-2000. A third of the total population is thought to have lost their lives during those years.

Do you have any advice for current students?
– Be realistic when you follow your dreams and find out as much as possible about what they entail. Become an information junkie. And it’s alright to give up and try something new, ha-ha! I know that everyone says the opposite, but there’s nothing wrong with choosing a new path.


Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2017

Other semesters:

Programme Code:
SAIMA revision 11
Date of establishment:
06 March 2007
Date of ratification:
15 November 2012
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
01 September 2013
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
15 November 2012

Entry requirements

1. Degree of Bachelor in Social Sciences or Humanities
2. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B from Swedish secondary school.


Semester 1:

International Migration, Inclusion and Exclusion, 15 credits
The course gives an introduction to advanced IMER studies and current themes in IMER research.

Identity and Ethnicity in a Global Community, 15 credits
During the course, we will discuss and problematize the work of classical theorists relevant to the multidisciplinary field of IMER research.

Semester 2:

Theory of Science and Research Methodology, 15 credits
During the course, we will discuss the theory of science and research methods relevant to the multidisciplinary field of advanced IMER studies.

Migration and Citizenship, 15 credits.

Semester 3:

Elective courses, 30 credits
During this semester, the student chooses advanced level courses (covering a total of 30 credits) offered by IMER, or does a period of exchange studies. Such exchange studies must be approved by the programme coordinator.

Semester 4:

IMER Master Thesis, 30 credits
The two-year master’s programme is concluded with a 30-credit thesis, covering one full semester.



For programme with start Autumn 2017:
Autumn 2017 - Semester 1
Spring 2018 - Semester 2
Autumn 2018 - Semester 3
  • -
Spring 2019 - Semester 4

Learning outcomes

On completion of the program the student shall:

• display deepened knowledge of a wide range of issues within the field of IMER and specialized and broadened knowledge and understanding of the causes and consequences of international migration as well as of dynamics in ethnic relations;
• display in-depth knowledge of theories and methods in the humanities and social sciences, with particular emphasis on issues related to IMER research;
• show an ability to independently develop well-framed arguments, within agreed timeframes, on the basis of diverse scientific perspectives, to identify issues and their complexity, in line with strict scientific research procedures;
• show an ability to independently and as part of a group, present this analysis and other findings in a logical and coherent manner, orally and in writing;
• show an ability to evaluate and elaborate questions within the field of international migration and ethnic relations from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Master's Degree (120 credits).


Further information

Ingrid Alexandersson, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-66 57331

Anne Sofie Roald, Programme Coordinator
Phone: 040-66 57358

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department Department of Global Political Studies.