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MA Migration and Diaspora Studies and Intensive Language (Chinese)

MA Migration and Diaspora Studies and Intensive Language (Chinese)

Different course options

Full time | SOAS, University of London | 2 years | SEP

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Diaspora Studies Immigration Studies Human Geography Anthropology Chinese Languages

Course type


Course Summary


Overview and entry requirements

Our MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies is a broad-based degree for students who want to receive research training in migration and diaspora, as well as humanitarian and refugee studies. This two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who wish to combine knowledge of migration and diaspora with expertise in a regional language. It prepares students to apply their knowledge in a specific region by achieving proficiency in a language.

Like the MA Migration and Diaspora Studies, this programme is engaged and practice oriented and offers the possibility of creative assignments along with conventional assessment forms. It is enthused by the belief that knowledge and practice produced by diaspora and migrants' grassroots organisations, activists, practitioners and artists should be intertwined with academic knowledge, and validated as part of a real decolonising effort.

Students enrolled in the MA programme have the unique chance to carry out internships while studying through the module 'From Theory to Practice and Back: Work-placements in Migration Research'. The internships aim to bridge theory and practice in the fields of migration, diaspora and humanitarian practice.

The course is available exclusively to students enrolled in the MA Migration and Diaspora Studies. The course is organised in the form of internships and independent study projects, along with some class seminars in collaboration with the organisations, with whom we partner. Students have the opportunity to work with a broad range of organisations operating in areas as varied as migrants' support and refugees’ legal protection, activist and political campaigns and networks, as well as galleries and art collectives promoting diaspora and BAME cultures, identities, and arts. You may also be interested in this degree if you come from other disciplines, such as Law or Politics, and now wish to incorporate an anthropological perspective on issues of migration and diaspora.

Intensive Language (Chinese):

This module is a core component of the two-year programmes with Intensive Language (Chinese). Classes are taught in Chinese by academic staff at a university in China over a period of six weeks during the summer (July/August). Assessment is conducted at SOAS upon return. The intensive classroom environment and immersion experience of living and studying in China is designed to facilitate the student’s ability to build fluency within the appropriate daily social and cultural contexts.


Students from SOAS Department of Anthropology and Sociology develop an in-depth understanding of the world. Employers value our graduates’ cultural awareness and global perspective, as well as their skills in analysis, data interpretation and problem-solving.


Scholars of diaspora have argued that diaspora has enabled the conceptualisation of communities beyond reified and essentialist ethnic or racial configurations. Central notions associated with diaspora are those of imagination, consciousness, subjectivity, recognition. As James Clifford long ago noted, diaspora functions as a utopic/dystopic vision to think of political subjectivities and communities not as epiphenomena of nation-states but as springboard for de-territorialised formations. Yet, many diasporic communities are still trapped in (albeit ever transforming) colonial forms of power and material dispossession, not only of their identity and culture, but also of their land and resources. Against this background the course offers an exploration of the formation of diasporas and their cultural politics. It looks at how diasporic subjectivities are formed through gendered aesthetic practices and performances, which can take on and signify religious, cultural, political meanings, which are in turn constantly negotiated, hybridised and re-fashioned across bodies, times and spaces.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

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Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in social science of humanities subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

University information

At SOAS University of London, students are encouraged to challenge conventional views and to think globally. SOAS is the leading higher education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East, offering over a hundred postgraduate programmes, all taught by world-class specialists. The central London campus is home to a large postgraduate community, with 45% of students studying towards a...more