International Migration and Ethnic Relations

Programme - first cycle - 180 credits


Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6


final grades 66% national university aptitude test 34%

Nikolai_Atefie_student“I like how the course is organised as we have to do lots of individual assignments and this is where you learn a lot. The teachers are also very open and accessible.” - Nikolai Atefie, student.


This programme gives you a solid foundation for a career dealing with migration and diversity related issues such as asylum law, segregation, discrimination, social cohesion, globalisation and integration, or for further studies at the Master’s level.
  • Global migration and migration policies
  • Refugees and asylum law
  • Integration and segregation -
  • Identity and community
  • Racism and nationalism
  • Research methodology and project work
  • Academic writing
  • Managing projects
  • Possibility for field studies
  • Possibility for internship or study abroad
Future employment may be in fields such as administration and social work at local authorities, governmental and non-governmental organisations and in fields such as business and journalism.


What is International Migration and Ethnic Relations about?

Study IMER


Migration and its effects on a global scale has become one of the most fundamental issues concerning societies worldwide. Governments, corporations, politicians and individuals all over the world try to grasp the possibilities and concerns of increasing mobility on a global scale. International Migration and Ethnic Relations at Malmö University addresses these issues. 

Refugees from war-torn regions of the world, people seeking to find jobs and a decent living away from their country of birth, executives in multinational corporations; they are all part of migratory movements. This programme studies the effects of migration at a global and national level, on the formation of ethnic communities, religious groups, families, individuals – to find out how policies could facilitate integration and hinder segregation and racism in societies worldwide. It also addresses fundamental issues concerning concepts such as culture and ethnicity.

What makes International Migration and Ethnic Relations unique?

In the past decades, Malmö has gone through a dramatic change. What recently was a working class industrial city is now a thriving city, focused on the production of service and knowledge rather than industrial goods. Malmö is also one of the cities in northern Europe with the largest proportion of newly arrived migrants. It is therefore an exciting place to study the effects of international migration and ethnic relations and we collaborate with the surrounding society concerning these issues. The strong international element in the programme is emphasised by the possibility for students to take an entire semester abroad with one of our partner universities around the world.

What career will I be prepared for?

Graduates typically get jobs within a wide range of areas such as government and non-government organisations concerned with issues of globalisation, migration, refugees, integration and segregation. Graduates can also find jobs connected to social work, journalism and various businesses concerned with global issues. You can also proceed to studies at advanced level/master's courses and eventually conduct research at the PhD level. 


Nikolai wants to have a positive impact on society with his work

Nikolai_Atefie_studentNikolai Atefie is a busy young man. The 19-year-old Austrian, who is studying for a bachelor’s degree in international migration and ethnic relations, has four jobs and two business cards.

It’s perhaps not a surprise that the Vienna native opted to study in Malmö. After all, he has grandparents from Iran and Hungary so he feels very much at home in the diverse environment of Malmö University.

Nikolai has made Sweden his second port of call after spending a year in Strasbourg working with the Council of Europe. After finishing high-school he had to make a choice what to do with his future.

For him the answer was obvious. Go abroad. He hasn’t looked back since.

– In Austria it is mandatory to take military or civil service. I’m against armed conflict so that was a no-go and neither did I want to work in an office for six months. Getting the opportunity to go abroad and represent Austria was ideal for me, Atefie says.

In Strasbourg the Austrian was installed as the project manager for the European alliance of cities and regions for Roma inclusion, where he communicated youth issues. It’s clear that he grew passionate about his work and takes an avid interest in minority rights.

– I knew nothing about the Roma community before I went there and it took me a year to understand the issue. Roma people are misunderstood. What is going on at European level about this issue is a shame as it is not contributing to improve the situation, he says matter-of-factly.

After completing a year in France he decided to embark on the next chapter of his life by enrolling in Malmö University. Atefie made the move from Strasbourg to Skåne last August to begin the first year of the three-year academic bachelor's programme International Migration and Ethnic Relations. The programme aims to prepare students for a career dealing with migration and diversity related issues such as asylum law and globalisation.

All of which appealed to the young Austrian who was eager to study in English as opposed to his native German.

– Once I found the programme in Malmö I became convinced very quickly as it seemed to have everything I was looking for. Sweden has a very good reputation in Austria in terms of education.

– I like how the course is organised as we have to do lots of individual assignments and this is where you learn a lot. The teachers are also very open and accessible.

Ask Atefie about his future plans and his answers are assured and to the point. He intends to work in journalism – or should that be – return to media work where he already has substantial experience.

When he was 14 he began his association with the Austrian broadcasting corporation and wrote for the youth section of a major newspaper. He’s maintained his media output in Malmö where he hosts a weekly late night talk show on Radio AF.

– My ambition for the future is to make documentaries. I want to have a positive impact on society with my work, he says.

For now though he is enjoying life in Malmö which he describes as a “cosy town” where he has made a lot of friends. 

Carolina works for the UN

Former student Carolina Hamma works as 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:
SGIME revision 14
Date of establishment:
02 March 2007
Date of ratification:
15 May 2014
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
01 September 2014
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
07 November 2012

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.


Term 1 contains an introductory course in IMER (International Migration and Ethnic Relations I), with modules focusing on two main themes within the field: international migration and ethnic relations.

Term 2 contains one course aimed at strengthening the students’ written English proficiency, followed by a course aimed at giving a basis for the students’ conscious and reflected choice of research design and research methods in the field of IMER.

Term 3 consists of two courses aimed at a deeper understanding of the role of international and internal migration in the construction of contemporary societies and how societies address the outcome of such movements, specifically the issues of ethnic diversity and integration: IMER II: The Challenges of Ethnic Diversity and IMER II: Europe and International Migration.

Terms 4 consists of the course Refugees and Asylum Law followed by the course Project Management: Plan, Execute and Evaluate.

Term 5 consist of elective courses, giving the students a chance to develop their interests and knowledge within fields relevant for future work or studies. The studies during term 5 may include field studies, internships or international exchange studies.

Term 6 consists of the courses IMER III: Research Theory and Methodology and IMER III: Project Work.



For programme with start Autumn 2017:
Autumn 2017 - Semester 1
Spring 2018 - Semester 2
Autumn 2018 - Semester 3
Spring 2019 - Semester 4
Autumn 2019 - Semester 5
  • -
Spring 2020 - Semester 6

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

A graduate of the Bachelor’s Programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations shall:

- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the causes of international migration and its effects on sending and receiving societies, using both theoretical approaches and empirical case studies.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how ethnicity and culture are constructed and reconstructed in social processes at societal and micro level, and how diverse forms of group identification and group processes relate to mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in society.
- Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of specific areas within the IMER-field of study which includes current research questions in this field.
- Demonstrate knowledge of methods used within the IMER-filed, in particular the comparative method, ethnographic methods and interviews, text analysis, and quantitative methods.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the multidisciplinary foundation of IMER and of methodological considerations connected to this multidisciplinary approach.

Competence and skills

A graduate of the Bachelor’s Programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations shall:

- Critically discuss various problems in the IMER-field by collecting, analyzing and evaluating information based on scholarly foundations.
- Show the competence to independently, and within an agreed timeframe, identify, formulate and solve problems in the IMER-field of studies, by using theories, methods, research results and various forms of empiricism.
- Demonstrate an ability to apply and reflect on different scientific methods used in the IMER-field of study.
- Demonstrate an ability to communicate and discuss information, problems and solutions with different groups in society, both orally and in writing.
- Demonstrate the ability to reflect on how to plan, conduct and evaluate projects addressing issues in the IMER-field.
- Show the ability to communicate research results orally and in writing.

Judgement and approach

A graduate of the Bachelor’s Programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations shall:

- Identify and critically approach questions and problems connected to migration-related phenomena in society like ethnic issues, integration and so on.
- Show the ability to make judgments taking into consideration relevant scientific, societal and ethical aspects.
- Show the ability to be critically engaged, understand the role of knowledge in society, and understand the responsibilities behind its use.
- Show the ability to identify their need for further knowledge and competency.


Bachelor's Degree.

Other Information

Progression requirements within the programme:

To continue studies from year 1 to year 2:
60 credits from year one. (Exemption may be granted to students who have completed 45 credits in the first year under condition that these 45 credits include at least 20 credits from IM104L International Migration and Ethnic Relations 1-30).

To start the final term of the programme:
150 credits within the programme. (Exemption may be granted to students who have completed 120 credits under condition that these credits include 60 credits of main subject courses in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, that is both the 1-30 and the 31-60 levels, term 1 and 3 in the programme).

In addition, special requirements can be applied to the elective courses.


Further information

Cecilia Hansson, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-66 57165

Christian Fernandez, Programme Coordinator
Phone: 040-66 57351

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