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Victoria University of Wellington
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Master of Migration Studies

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


Victoria University of Wellington


Take an in-depth look at the causes and effects of migration with postgraduate study, and boost your career opportunities.

Migration is increasingly a high-priority issue for governments and organisations around the world. Explore the social, economic and political drivers and consequences of forced and voluntary migration.

Drawing on several disciplines, including political science, geography and history, you'll discover why and how migration happens and gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities it creates. You can choose to examine topics such as the refugee crisis in Europe, labour migration, multiculturalism and immigration as an election issue.

Learning across disciplines

You'll not only gain an in-depth understanding of migration issues, you'll develop your critical thinking, communications and research skills.

If you're a Master's student, you may have the opportunity to do an internship with an organisation involved in migration policy, research or practice. Or you can choose to complete a 60-point research project instead. Take the opportunity to contribute your own perspectives to the study of migration.


People with an in-depth knowledge of migration issues are increasingly in demand in governments, NGOs, media and research organisations. You'll be able to apply your understanding of migration in a wide range of professions such as policy analysis, research, international development, community development and refugee resettlement.

PhD study

If you do well in your Master's research, you may also be able to continue your academic studies with a PhD in one of the disciplines that examines migration and its impacts.

You’ll work under supervision to produce original research that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. Full-time candidates usually complete the degree within three to four years.

Qualification family structure

The Master of Migration is part of a tiered family of qualifications:

  • Master of Migration Studies
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Migration Studies
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Migration Studies

Choose the qualification that suits your career goals, time constraints and financial situation.

What you'll study

The Master of Migration is divided into Part 1 and Part 2.

In Part 1 you'll complete four 30-point courses and you'll have some choice in what you study. In the core course Approaches to Migration Studies POLS 488 you'll examine how migration is analysed, study the main concepts, theories and debates and prepare a research proposal. In your elective courses you might focus on a particular historical migration flow, explore the challenges of refugee resettlement in New Zealand, study the international or domestic politics of migration or choose to complete an individual research project.

If you're doing the Diploma, you'll complete Part 1 of the Master's.

Certificate students complete the core course in Part 1 and choose one further course from the MMigS programme.

Entry criteria

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet:

A Bachelor's degree with at least a B+ average in a relevant subject

To be accepted by the head of school as being capable of proceeding with the proposed course of study

Proof of English proficiency

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet one of the following:

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0

TOEFL: minimum score of 90 for the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 58 (with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,5,5

Application Deadline - Trimester 1: 1 Dec.

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