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The European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) is the first African-European-Asian Erasmus Mundus Master Course in migration studies and is jointly run by three African, four European, and two Asian partners, facilitated by a wider network of associate partners.


EMMIR is a unique study programme focusing on migration through an intercultural approach. It equips students with profound theoretical and methodological skills in migration studies and allows them to conduct fieldwork primarily in African, Asian and European contexts. It is designed as a multidisciplinary two-year master’s programme (120 ECTS) that addresses important contemporary issues in a still emerging field of study.

Since 2011, the programme runs under the European label of excellence, Erasmus Mundus. It is fully accredited and graduates will be awarded a joint degree by all EMMIR partner universities. EMMIR includes study periods in both Europe, Asia, and Africa. Student’s mobility is understood as a key to mutual understanding of different views and cultures of migration and movement and will sharpen intercultural sensitivity.

EMMIR is jointly run by 9 partners and supported by a wide range of international associate partners. Various associate organisations on the regional, national, and international level provide significant assistance for student internships and graduate’s employment.

As an EMMIR student you will become acquainted with different cultures and academic traditions and gain knowledge about migration issues in internships. You will gain profound skills and specialise in one of the programme foci, this will provide you with excellent chances for employment in national and international governmental and private sector organisations or in academia.

What is Erasmus Mundus? Erasmus Mundus is a co-operation and mobility Programme in the field of higher education. It aims at enhancing the quality of European higher education and promoting dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through cooperation with third countries. In addition the programme contributes to the development of human resources and the international cooperation capacity of higher education institutions in third countries by increasing mobility between the European Union and these countries. Learn more about Erasmus Mundus from the Erasmus Mundus Association here.

EMMIR: The European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations

Erasmus+ EMMIR is the first African-European Erasmus Mundus Master Course in Migration Studies. The first cohort set out to study in September 2011. Since 2013 the programme is fully accredited by the national agencies as part of the European pilot project JOQAR. By the end of 2021, nine cohorts have graduated with a success rate of nearly 100%

In summer 2016, the programme has been selected for further co-funding under the European Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus label of excellence. Consequently, from 2017 onwards, another three editions of the study programme will be supported by a limited number of scholarships for both European and non-European students. 

EMMIR is a unique Master course focusing on migration through an intercultural approach. It provides profound theoretical and methodological skills in migration studies combined with field work in Europe and Africa. It is designed as a multidisciplinary programme that addresses important contemporary issues in an emerging field of study. 

With EMMIR, you will:


Experience an  interdisciplinary teaching and research environment


Participate in an international peer group and study in up to 4 countries


Gain theoretical and methodological skills in migration studies


Focus on migration through an intercultural approach

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Why a master's programme in migration and intercultural relations?

In the 21st century, migration processes – multidirectional in their spatial structures and multi-layered in their social and cultural settings – increasingly contribute to shaping societies. Indeed, the presence of migrants adds emphasis to intercultural relations and intercultural communication, which are of key concern for social cohesion. Moreover, and along with increasingly accelerating tendencies of globalisation, migration contests concepts of the nation state and territorial borders and directs attention to questions of social justice and human rights, conflict, and reconciliation. Migration also leads to the emergence, for example, of new concepts of identity and transnational social spaces. Against this backdrop, it becomes evident that answers to policy questions linked to phenomena as diverse as voluntary and forced migration, internal displacement and transcontinental movements, regular and irregular border crossings, unskilled labour and brain circulation need differentiated investigation and evaluation as well as complex negotiation. 

Sustainable answers to global challenges

As a multi-perspectival study programme in migration studies, EMMIR responds to these challenges by providing state of the art education in theoretical concepts, empirical and hermeneutic methods plus issue-based transdisciplinary approaches to migration and inter/transculturality. Teaching and research in EMMIR addresses issues that currently rank highly on the global agenda – and need expertise on transnational, transcultural, and transdisciplinary level. Migration and mobility, flight, displacement and refuge – globally and (supra)nationally discussed primarily on a policy level – touch decisive dimensions in economic and social development, demography, international relations, political theory, and cultural cooperation, to name some of the key areas. Sustainable answers bridging the interests of nation states (incl. their welfare systems and labour markets) with human rights, democratic values and globality have still to be found. Research on inter/transcultural relations and inter/transcultural communication is closely linked to these questions and frequently key to the understanding of challenges and conflict.


The programme, combining the expertise of European and African universities in migration studies, strongly encourages you to critically evaluate the existing body of knowledge, concepts, and theories as well as terminologies, and to conduct your own research projects. You experience the benefits and the challenges of an international learner group, in which diverse backgrounds of fellow students and teachers offer innovative perspectives for the study of migration. The programme is also embedded in a wide network, comprising national and international (non-)governmental institutions as well as professionals in the private and the public sector. The language of instruction is English, but you are encouraged to enhance your multilingual skills.


Decentralised knowledge production

Through the incorporation of Western and Non-Western perspectives, particular attention is given to the question of how, where, by, and for whom knowledge is produced, also including, processes and dimensions of academic knowledge production and dissemination. At the same time, the programme aims at synthesising existing knowledge with the goal of developing much needed innovative answers to urgent social and political issues. In order to reach this goal, the EMMIR Consortium considers it necessary to combine the scholarship dominating global discourses with conscious efforts to decentralise the production and dispersion of knowledge. And, indeed, the foci of scholarship and, thus, the existing knowledges do vary considerably: while (im)migration and inter/transcultural relations are widely researched especially in what are traditionally considered to be ‘countries of immigration’, the situation in countries of emigration or considerable internal displacement, for example in sub-Sahara Africa, is different; there, scholarship in the field is still limited and hardly recognised. But also on the European level, the existing body of critical scholarship has not yet resulted in a common understanding of Europe’s role and liability in global migration processes, in a coordinated set of immigration or asylum policies or in an integrated conceptualisation of European citizenship incorporating the realities of societies that have been and will continue to be shaped by migration movements.


EMMIR, as an interdisciplinary site of critical analysis and reflection, provides room for you as students but also for the scholars to ponder on these questions in a mutually enriching dialogue, focusing on a range of phenomena, concepts, and theories of migration. Combining the partners’ diverse expertise in migration studies with intersecting fields, such as gender studies, cultural studies, education and development studies, the curriculum takes into account all forms of migration and displacement. Related issues to be addressed are inter/transcultural conflict resolution mechanisms, multicultural governance issues and global/regional integration.

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A Joint Programme


The programme, unique in combining the expertise of African and European universities, strongly encourages students to critically evaluate and to enrich the existing body of knowledge, concepts, theories and terminologies. Through the incorporation of Western and Non-Western perspectives, particular attention is given to the question of how, where, by and for whom knowledge on phenomena and dynamics of migration is produced, also including, of course, processes and dimensions of academic knowledge production and dissemination.


In order to tie in with social dynamics as well as securing graduates’ employability the three African and four European universities in the EMMIR partnership join forces with associates in the seven partner countries and beyond. The areas associates represent are: aid and advocacy, civil society and culture, research and documentation and local authorities, schools and continuing education. EMMIR aims at training you to contribute to improved information about the dynamics of migration and to become new professionals, consciously combining your specific national/regional/institutional situated-ness and tasks with transnational perspectives, in the specific context of this programme primarily in Europe and Africa but also beyond. On a medium to long term scale, you – as researchers, programme managers, administrators, teachers, policy advisers – will contribute to the development of critical and innovative concepts that finally better the situation of refugees and migrants.


Yara, Cohort 7

"Critical minds and interdisciplinary approaches -- EMMIR is a family of teachers and students who combine migration studies with postcolonial thinking. Jointly, we are searching for responses to the current affairs of today's world!"


Jean, Cohort 6

"EMMIR is an actor for social change that goes beyond academia and connects theories with field practice. The program encouraged me to create a non-profit media organisation in Germany, 'Migration Heute' where we debate on media discourses and the representation of minorities across EU member states.


Jaafar, Cohort 2

"How does one describe a programme that provides you with extensive empirical opportunities and hyper-diversity whilst consistently performing at high academic standards? One word: phenomenal! Beware, intellectually inspiring yet emotionally challenging, but a great life experience; one that enriches you and makes you reinvent the worlds you inhabit."



Student mobility is one of the programme’s crucial features and the EMMIR study plan combines both group and individual mobility. You study the first semester in Oldenburg, Germany (UOL) and the second semester in Stavanger, Norway (UIS), together with the whole group. Then you choose your individual mobility path during for the third semester, which includes a project-based internship and one of the modules offered by EMMIR partner universities. The fourth semester starts with the proposal colloquium in early December at UOL, after which you are free to design your own mobility according to your master thesis. You can focus on your research as well as do internships in any country under the direct supervision of one of the full partner universities. For more information on the structure and timing of the program, please see here.


All four semesters are organised in modules according to the Eu­ropean Bologna standard. Each module consists of a number of seminars, lectures, workshops, study trips, tutorials, and other forms of teaching as detailed in the relevant module syllabus (see Module Catalogue); once you have successfully completed a module, you are assigned a specific num­ber of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credit points. Each semester you need to gain 30 ECTS (120 ECTS in four semesters). One ECTS credit point refers to a workload of 25 to 30 hours (including contact hours, reading, assignments and independent study). 


EMMIR Partner Institutions


EMMIR integrates knowledge from migration studies, intercultural relations and a wide variety of intersecting fields, such as gender studies, cultural studies, education, and development studies. EMMIR is jointly run by a consortium of nine African, Asian, and European groups:

  • Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany (coordinating).

  • Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan.

  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda.

  • University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia.

  • University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.

  • University of Stavanger, Norway.

  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata, India.

  • Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India.


The programme is embedded in a wide network of associated partners and potential employers for graduates, including international organisations, NGOs, governmental institutions, research centres as well as professionals in the private and the public sector.


The four European and three African universities in the EMMIR partnership join forces with associates in the seven partner countries and beyond in order to tie in with social dynamics as well as to secure the employability of the graduates. The areas associates represent are:

a) aid and advocacy,
b) civil society and culture,
c) research and documentation, and
d) local authorities, schools and continuing education.


To learn more about each partner, click on each logo to visit their websites:

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Page last updated: January 2021

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