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"Migration 101"

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What is "Migration 101"?


Migration 101 is an introduction to the topics that will be covered in the EMMIR programme and that are important for prospective students and already-accepted students to know. EMMIR builds on previous knowledge from a first degree in a related field, such as Social sciences, History, Cultural studies, Educational sciences, Law, Economics, Development Studies and Journalism.


Migration studies as a social scientific field draws on fields such as anthropology, history, economics, law, sociology and postcolonial studies. As such, we recognise that migration studies is a very interdisciplinary field—in EMMIR combining cultural studies and social science perspectives—and thus our students can bring many different skills and knowledge to the table. We welcome diversity in the backgrounds of our students.

How to use "Migration 101"


When applying to EMMIR


As a requirement for this programme, prior knowledge of migration studies, intercultural relations, and empirical methods are an important part of your application. This prior knowledge is evaluated through your CV, your Statement of Purpose, and via a question in the online application asking for details regarding your experience and knowledge of these topics. 

Those who have studied an unrelated field are still welcome to apply to EMMIR as long as you appropriately and convincingly justify why you are changing fields and want to pursue a degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations. This can be done in your statement of purpose and in the online application portal, EConsort. It would benefit your application to display knowledge of migration or intercultural relations through other experiences such as volunteering, internships, or work experience.


For those who do not have access to migration studies as a discipline in their higher education institutions, and thus have not been exposed to various social scientific theories that EMMIR builds on, this page can serve as a gateway into the world of migration studies. Those who want to improve their application can use these materials to do so.


Please note: we highly recommend against repeating the content found here or writing an academic paper, using citations, or stating simple facts about migration studies in your application. We do not advise you to write your Statement of Purpose or other texts directly citing these resources. Instead, we encourage you to use them to find topics within migration studies/intercultural relations that you're interested in, find common themes, synthesise and analyse information, and link specific topics and resources to your broader questions and interests. You may use these resources to develop your own ideas, positioning, and reflections about migration and intercultural relations. These ideas you form may inspire you while writing you statement of purpose and online application for EMMIR.  

After EMMIR acceptance


This list of resources functions as more than an aid in the applications of prospective students. After being accepted to the EMMIR programme, we recommend our future students to read up on migration studies and intercultural relations as disciplines, as many of these topics will be quickly covered during the Intensive Phase (IP) in September. While the IP serves as a basic introduction to the discipline of migration studies and to EMMIR, there is basic knowledge of the social sciences that is assumed. In order to keep up with the rigorous academic standards and expectations during the first semester, we highly recommend prospective students to utilise to orient yourself in some of the key theories and contemporary approaches to migration studies as a field and discipline. 

What is included in "Migration 101"?


We have compiled a list of open-access resources for your personal use. If you have no academic or practical knowledge of migration studies intercultural relations, or empirical methods, or if you would like to increase your existing knowledge of these topics, you may use the following mini-database. Resources below include website with databases, research articles, online courses, videos, and more. 

Please note that this database comprises of many open-source (free to use) resources, but this can change depending on the owner of the resource. If you are interested in a specific resource that is not available, please reach out to the EMMIR team to see if they have it.

"Migration 101": Introduction to Migration Studies, Intercultural Relations, and Empirical Methods. An EMMIR open-source database

Online courses

Online courses offer a dynamic and accessible platform for young academics and professionals at the onset of their careers, providing a versatile foundation for lifelong learning. 

By engaging with these courses, you can familiarize yourself with the vernacular, pace, and intellectual rigor of a university setting, while gaining an introduction to theories, concepts, and contemporary issues in migration studies. 

Introductory Videos & Courses

Migration Matters, a non-profit organization that was created in response to media coverage about the so-called "refugee crisis". Their bite-size videos cover topics such as nationalism and othering. 

The Migration Matters course "Migration 101" may also be a very good jumping-off point for prospective and accepted EMMIR students. The Migration Matters videos covering nationalism are also part of the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange which provides courses for anyone interested in joining for free. 


MOOCs ("Massive Online Open Classes") are are free online courses available for anyone to enrol in. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and deliver high quality courses. MOOCs are often offered by very high-level and renowned educational institutions, such as some of the best universities in the world. MOOCs can be found on websites such as Coursera and EdX, where it is usually free to enrol but a payment may be required for a certificate. 

As for EMMIRians, MOOCs can offer benefits to potential and accepted students. Firstly, for those unsure of what to write about in their application, MOOCs can give insight into some pressing issues in this field that may inspire your own ideas. Secondly, if you choose to buy the certificate, these may look good on your CV (but the knowledge is still freely accessible, even without the certificate). Thirdly, the topic of your courses may inspire students to focus on different topics during their studies with EMMIR, such as focusing on gender and queer issues, health, humanitarianism, urbanisation, development, etc.

Some relevant MOOCs that can be helpful to prospective and accepted EMMIR students are: 

International Migrations: A Global Issue offered by SciencesPo on Coursera

International Women's Rights and Health offered by Stanford on Coursera

International Human Rights Law offered by UCLouvain on EdX 

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster offered by Harvard on EdX

Methods and Statistics in Social Sciences offered by the University of Amsterdam on Coursera

Anthropology of Current World Issues offered by the University of Queensland on EdX

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Crossing Borders offered by University of Leeds on FutureLearn

Migration and Cities offered by European University Institute on FutureLearn


JMDI (Joint Migration and Development Initiative) e-Toolbox on Migration and Local Development "is a flexible and comprehensive e-course for stakeholders working on migration and development at the local level (local and national authorities, civil society, migrants’ associations, academia, international organizations, etc.) on how to better mainstream migration into local governance for enhanced local development and protection of migrants."

Migration 101 - EMMIR

Further browsing

EMMIR partner lecture series


Reading Refugees Reading Migration: Lectures from the (Online) Orientation Course for College and University Teachers is a YouTube lecture series by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (a partner of the EMMIR programme).


Gendered Perspectives in Forced Migration is an online lecture series by Dr. Lydia Potts (EMMIR Consortium Coordinator) as part of the TraGS (Transnational Perspectives in Gender Studies) project at the University of Oldenburg in Germany, the University of Fez in Morocco, the University of Calcutta in India, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.



• 'Talking Migration' is a podcast that covers various thought-provoking issues such as Should there be no borders?, and What does it mean to stand in solidatiry with refugees?. Their episode What is the Global Compact for Migration? is an introduction for those who don't know much about this topic.

• The Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) has a regular podcast about their work called Peace in a Pod, which include episodes such as "2023 trends in Migration".

• Combining the expertise of Oxford University's Centre on Migration Policy and Society, the Refugee Studies Centre, Border Criminologies in the Department of Law, the Transport Studies Unit in the School of Geography and the Environment, the Refugee-Led Research Hub, and researchers working on migration and mobility across divisions and departments, the University of Oxford has one the largest concentrations of migration researchers in the world who work together on producing the Migration Oxford podcast.

Migration 101 - EMMIR

Websites, blogs, & online resources

Many academics and researchers are currently striving to make their knowledge open access for everyone. This is often in response to criticisms that academia is elitist and an 'ivory tower'. Thus, many great resources are slowly but surely becoming available online. 



• The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes their Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue on their website. 

The Meaning of Migrants is a website with the purpose of explaining what the meaning of 'migrants' is and why it matters to use the word correctly. There are videos and infographics which are very helpful for introductory and experienced scholars of migration. 

Age of Migration is the companion website for the book,The Age of Migration 5th Edition by Stephen Castles, Hein de Haas, and Mark J. Miller. The website also includes a web-only chapter of the book.

Refworld is a vast source of information, run by UNHCR, that can help to inform quality decisions on refugee status. Refworld contains a vast collection of reports relating to country information, legal information, and policy documents.

"Researching Forced Migration: A Guide to Reference and Information Sources" is a website dedicated to students in a higher education setting who require an introduction to the main research tools and information sources in their subject area of interest.


• Jorgen Carling is a main voice in contemporary migration studies. He is a Research Professor in migration and transnationalism studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). On his blog, he writes about topics such as "Who is Who in Migration Studies: 108 names worth knowing" and "Thirty six migration nexuses and counting". 

• The blog of COMPAS (the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society at the University of Oxford) has posts such as book recommendations and analyses of pop culture shows, films, and more through a migration lens.

• WorldBank has a blog which covers topics such as "A journey through borders: understanding migration in Central Asia" and "Migrants and diaspora have contributed to the outcomes of the Russia’s 2018 Football World Cup". See, migration can connect to so many topics!

Migration 101 - EMMIR.png

Academic texts

Over the course of the EMMIR programme, many academic texts will become accessible to you through the required readings on the syllabus as well as through the various library catalogues at our partner universities

In order to prepare for the intensive phase and the rest of the EMMIR programme, it can be very useful for prospective and accepted students to acclimate themselves to the often difficult language and jargon of articles published in academic journals.

Here is a list of open-source articles that provide a glimpse of the vast amounts information about themes and contemporary approaches to migration studies, intercultural relations, and research methodology. Topics such as integration, transnationalism, methodological nationalism, and more appear in various EMMIR modules.


• Audebert, C., & Doraï, M. (2010). International migration in the twenty-first century: Towards new research perspectives. In Audebert C. & Doraï M. (Eds.), Migration in A Globalised World: New Research Issues and Prospects (pp. 203-212). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from

• Faist, T. (2010). Transnationalisation: Its conceptual and empirical relevance. In Audebert C. & Doraï M. (Eds.), Migration in A Globalised World: New Research Issues and Prospects (pp. 79-106). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from

• Kainz, Lena / Betts, Alexander (2020): Power and proliferation: Explaining the fragmentation of global migration governance. Migration Studies:

• Krause, Ulrike (2017): Researching forced migration: Critical reflections on research ethics during fieldwork. Refugee Studies Centre. Working Paper Series 123, 1-39:

• Schiller, N. (2010). A global perspective on transnational migration: Theorising migration without methodological nationalism. In Bauböck R. & Faist T. (Eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods (pp. 109-130). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from

• Sontag, K. (2018). Trends in Migration Studies. In Mobile Entrepreneurs: An Ethnographic Study of the Migration of the Highly Skilled (pp. 123-128). Opladen; Berlin; Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich. doi:10.2307/j.ctvbj7k27.14

• Saharso, S., & Scholten, P. (2013). Comparative Migration Studies: an introduction. Comparative Migration Studies, 1(1), 1-6. doi: 10.5117/cms2013.1.saha


• “The Palgrave Handbook of South–South Migration and Inequality” edited by Heaven Crawley, Joseph Kofi Teye

Last pageupdate: February 2024

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