The MERM programme allows students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills for evaluating and conducting first-class research in the fields of migration, ethnic relations and multiculturalism. The emphasis is on these topics and not on a particular discipline. In the different courses, approaches and theories from (social) psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology are used for developing a theoretical understanding and for formulating specific research questions.
The programme, firstly, focuses on the different phases and aspects of migration flows around the world and in Europe in particular. Theories, trends and policies are analyzed from a comparative perspective, providing insight into the characteristics and motives of migrants and the economic, political and social factors and processes involved in migration.
The programme, secondly, deals with acculturation and integration processes in different domains, including education, the labor market, and politics. In addition, questions of (ethnic, religious, and national) identity and identity politics are addressed, also in relation to processes of ethnic mobilization.
Thirdly, you will study the nature and consequences of ethnic and religious heterogeneity of nation states, with special emphasis on potential ethnic conflicts and separatism in multicultural societies. Topics like prejudice, racism and nationalism in various European societies, as well different approaches for dealing with cultural diversity (e.g., multiculturalism, assimilation) are discussed and examined.
In each semester of the first year, students follow two courses that focus on theory, one course on methods and statistics, and one research practical. The research practical integrates the theoretical and statistical knowledge provided in the other courses, and students learn how to apply this to research questions using actual data. The second year continues with research training, research seminars, and the final Master’s project. In addition, part of the programme in the second year consists of ‘electives’ which students can use for participating in summer courses, in a course of another research master programme, in additional statistical courses, or by a traineeship with one of the teachers of the MERM programme. Students conclude the programme with a Master's thesis. The thesis is prepared in two research seminars and individually supervised by one of the teachers.