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MSc Migration Studies: Policy and Practice

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: Distance Learning
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Our MSc Migration Studies: Policy and Practice course offers you the opportunity to develop your skills and capabilities in professional practice or policymaking focused on issues of migration and working with migrant populations. You will gain a range of skill sets to work with diverse migrant and minority populations; or to obtain employment with specialist agencies who support migrant and minority communities.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Enhanced opportunities in understanding the complexities of international migration and community relations, both pre-and post-diasporic community formation, are increasingly recognised as essential to ensuring reflective decision-making in a variety of fields.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

Our course at Buckinghamshire New University uniquely embeds deep knowledge of Roma and other Traveller communities into the curricula, informed by many years of working with well-established community networks. This specialist knowledge will enable you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the transnational Roma community experience, pre and post-migration, whilst you learn from academics, which include lecturers from the Roma communities who are themselves migrants.

Our course is also unique because the design of our dissertation allows you to explore non-traditional approaches in a range of fields, including innovative opportunities to produce performances, texts, visual arts and more.

What facilities can I use?

The course is delivered online but for participants undertaking modules or a dissertation in a practice-based subject, arrangements may be made to enable access to specialist facilities or training; subject to agreement with the academic team. We will also include guest lectures from cutting edge specialists in relevant fields and pertinent optional modules.

Where appropriate and possible (Covid-19 restrictions may apply) optional fieldwork visits may be provided. Online access to specialist collections, resources or locations of interest to select modules might also be offered. There will also be the encouragement of travel* (Covid-19 restrictions may apply) to various settings of relevance to studies in migration.

*Any associated costs will be incurred by students.

What will I study?

Throughout the course you will develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques and research methods applicable to research or advanced scholarship on international migration and diaspora communities. You will also develop a critical awareness and systematic understanding of the current knowledge, theory and evidence-based practice relevant to the field of migration studies, as well as current areas of scholarly interest and policy relevance. Close attention is paid to ethical perspectives and social justice considerations throughout the course.

On completion of this course you will be able to evaluate migration policy formulation and interventions, whilst effectively communicating the implications and practical applications of your research. You will also be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the lived experiences of migrants in society, the social construction of their identities, and their agency. Your learning will support the development of a systematic and critical understanding of processes through which policies impacting migrant, minority and diasporic communities are formulated, implemented, developed and evaluated.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Teaching methods on the course will include:

  • online lectures
  • online classroom-based activities (utilising Blackboard Collaborate)
  • independent learning methods
  • practical online based sessions (including role-playing and simulations).

A range of summative assessment methods may be employed on this course, as follows:

  • time-constrained assignments
  • poster presentations
  • reflective accounts
  • oral presentations
  • time constrained examinations
  • essays
  • research reports
  • professional style reports e.g. court reports, expert witness reports
  • risk assessment/management reports.

The final empirical dissertation represents a major piece of independent research activity within your chosen field of migration. This will involve a number of options including collecting original empirical (quantitative or qualitative) data from participants, or equivalent alternatives such as computational modelling of empirical or secondary data analysis, making use of large data sets, or an extended literature review or a performance piece. It will be undertaken with support from an academic supervisor delivered via regular meetings throughout the academic year.


NEW in 2022: Specialist training in modern slavery awareness with Hope for Justice

BNU is proud to partner with international charity Hope for Justice to ensure that all of our MSc Migration Studies: Policy and Practice graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in the fight against modern slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. 

From September 2022, all Migration Studies students will automatically be enrolled on the Modern Slavery Awareness course delivered by experts from Hope for Justice, which works to bring an end to modern slavery and human trafficking, and to protect the human rights of victims and survivors. 


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The course is CPD accredited and students receive a CPD certificate when they pass.

The Modern Slavery Awareness course is designed to equip people who are specialists in their own field with relevant, comprehensive and practical guidance, so as to increase the number of victims identified and improve the response and help offered. It is currently being offered to organisations involved in policing and law enforcement, central or local government, healthcare and social work, or non-governmental work in the community, such as food banks, drop-in centres, community organisations and outreach, and those working with vulnerable people. 

By completing the course, students will be able to:

  • understand what Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Exploitation (MSHT) are and identify the different types that exist;
  • recognise the signs and indicators of MSHT;
  • respond appropriately if they identify a possible victim of MSHT; and
  • develop awareness of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) - the UK government's framework for identifying victims of modern slavery.

Learn more about Hope for Justice and their work preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society.

Useful Documents

MSc Migration Studies - Policy and Practice Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical applicant will hold a 2:1 in a related degree such as: Politics & International Relations; Sociology; Social Policy; Criminology; Law; Health; Policing; Geography; Communication & Media Studies; Economics.

Alternatively, you may have a 2:1 in a non-related subject.

Candidates may also currently be working within: NGOs/charities (addressing refugee, diversity, housing, poverty, human rights issues, etc). Applications will be reviewed on an individual basis and an interview may be required.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Migration Studies: Issues & Perspectives

Migration Studies: Inclusion, Inequality and Identity

Policy and Governance (Migration) (optional)

Case Studies: Working with Communities (optional)

Racism, Migration and Health (optional)

Refugee Studies (optional)

European Human Rights (optional)

Migration, Media and the Arts (optional)

Positive Psychology in Practice (optional)

Vulnerable Groups in Forensic Settings (optional)

Family Intervention Skills (optional)

Civil Protection Crisis and Emergency Management (optional)

International Human Rights (optional)

Applied Research Skills

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Postgraduate Migration Dissertation

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£8,000 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£8,000 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Migration issues are key to policy and practice leadership and strategic development within international organisations, for those working in:

  • Policy and practice
  • Leadership and strategic development within international organisations
  • Academia
  • National and local governments
  • NGOs
  • Third Sector and Front Line Response agencies
  • Border Agency
  • NCA/Police
  • Media
  • Policy advisers
  • Lobbyists
  • Advocacy
  • Diversity and Inclusion.

Undertaking a programme of this type will also act as a feeder pathway to Level 8 studies providing eligibility to provide for a PhD or Prof Doc. in a related research field.

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