MA Race, Migration & Decolonial Studies

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Why is the Black Lives Matter movement so necessary and, for many, so threatening? How can Europeans disavow migrants from their own former colonies who seek refuge on their shores? What is intersectional activism? What is necessary to cultivate veritable solidarity across differences? How can we imagine, think and act beyond the constraints of the western, state-centred status quo?

Well over 100 years ago W.E.B. DuBois warned that the colour-line would constitute the defining issue of the 20th century. The 21st is already noteworthy for the deepening impunity of state and everyday violence towards ‘minorities’ of all persuasions. It is also increasingly characterised by large scale political surges to the extreme right, which have been empowered by mass incitement to hatred through the vilification of migrants. Why and how has ‘race’ played so central a role in these conditions and the extraordinary acts of resistance engaged to transform them? Why does a chronic lack of public knowledge concerning the social, political and economic histories fostering them continue to undermine effective collective action and positive change?

This unique programme examines the global historical legacies and entanglements of colonialism, imperialism and neoliberalism as they underpin these and other contemporary injustices exacted upon the vulnerable, the precarious, the stigmatised. In the tradition of black feminist, critical race and decolonial perspectives, the theories and practices of scholars, cultural workers and activists of colour and other ‘others’ constitute central components of its pedagogy.

For further details see:

Careers & Employability

There are exciting opportunities for students in a wide and dynamic range of professions including careers in: Media and Public Relations; Policy Analysis and Service Provision; Social, Community and Youth Development; Politics and Civil Society; and in Cultural and Creative  Industries.

Past Graduates have taken the following career and development destinations:

  • University Lecturers, Ireland & internationally
  • NGOs, IGOs and QUANGOs, Ireland & internationally
  • Funded doctoral programmes across Europe
  • University international student support offices
  • Government, Public Service and Civicorganisations, nationally & Internationally
  • Independent Research and Private Consultative Companies

The have worked with Irish Organisations such as:

  • Irish  Refugee Council
  • New Communities Partnership
  • Dublin City Council
  • Finglas Library
  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Immigrant Council of Ireland


And International Organisations which include:

  • UN Secretary General Offices
  • OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions & Human Rights
  • International Organisation for Migration
  • Hague Institute for Global Justice
  • Save the Children International & UNICEF
  • Red Cross
  • Eurofound
  • International Potato Centre


A large number of our Graduates continue through to PhD level. Some professions require further training, qualifications or certification.


Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Students will build on core modules in critical race and decolonial scholarship, global migration and creative art/research practices, with optional modules available from across a range of disciplines, literatures and societal issues. The minor dissertation project is an opportunity for students to further develop conceptual frameworks, methodologies and forms of knowledge mobilisation for use in their chosen fields and sectors – whether academic, activist, art, practitioner and/or policy focused.

The minor dissertaion is a key complent of the MSocSc Race, Migration & Decolinial Studies. Dissertaions undertaken by our students in the areas of race, migration and decolonial studies in the past include:


Ilaria Bessone, Strange Encounters with “Victims of Trafficking”: How Italian Women Employed in the Civic Sector Meet Migrant Women in Order to Help Them

Dewi Brinkhuis, The Negotiation of the Diasporics of Identity: Transracial International Adoptees in the Dutch Discourse of Belonging

Franz Gustav Buhr, Feeling/Filling the Distances: Ways of Seeing Diaspora in Everyday Life

Saima Butt, Praxis of Solidarity: Narrative Journeys Through Decolonization

Jose Caceres, Between Feeling and Perception in the Motherland: The Construction of the Venezuelan Migrant Identity in Spain

Kate Dearden, (In)Visible Multiculturalism on Dublin’s Moore Street

Jana Finke, Refugees and Locals Under One Roof: Intersecting Borders At Home

Christiana Fizet, Discursively Excused: Erasing the State’s Complicity in Racism in Ireland Through Public Discourse

Nare Galstyan, The Contemporary Diasporic Model and Migrant Organizations: The Case Study of Armenians in the Netherlands

Cedric Gutz, International Lifestyle Migration in Berlin

Cristine Khan, Locating the “Jahaji”: Negotiating Indo-Caribbean Identifications in South Richmond Hill

Irene Leonardelli, Roots and Routes on the European Border-Space: A People-Centred Study on Place-Making and Race-Making in a Sicilian Sea Village 

M Reveillex E. Lim,  Bittersweet Survival: Economic Reintegration  Realities of Filipino Return Migrants

Maritza Loaza, Human Rights and Development-Induced Displacement: The Case iof Colombians in Costa Rica

Gabriela Simões Mathias, From Japantown to Chinatown? Negotiating place in a multiethnic neighbourhood

Viktoriia Mudrak, Transnational families and distant parenthood, example of Ukrainian migrant mothers’ and fathers’ parental strategies

Marina Pislaru, The Economics of Colour: Inside China s Racialized ESL Market

Al Amin Rabby, The Strugglefor Education Among Rohingya Refugees of Myanmar Living in  Bangladesh

Laura Roberts, The Impact of Structural and Practical Mechanisms on the Diffusion of Power Among Migrant Communities: The Case of the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative

Dilnoza Saratova, Identity Born in Violence: The Case of Uzbek Youth in Kyrgyzstan

Agne Stankeviciute Inter-ethnic Couples in Lithuania Dealing with Racialisation and Ethnic Intolerance

Tirza Snoijl, Mopping the Floor with the Tap Still Running’ A Critical Case Study on Structural Ethno-Racial Inequality and Dutch Homelessness Policy

Manon Tiessien, An Expedition into the White Lowlands: Whiteness, Multiculturalism and Color-blind Ideology (Ethnic Identity Construction Among Native Dutch) 

Eva Gracia Turgeon, From Roots to Routes: Locating Montreal Multilingual Youth within Quebec Hegenomic Discourse

Jolijn van der Ploeg, “The Dutch Ae Coming Back” Exploring the Impact of Gentrification on Local Social Cohesion in an Ethnically Diverse Neighborhood in Amsterdam

Sanda Vantoni, The Impact of the Family on Moroccan Return Migration 

Richard Webster, Secrecy, Subordination and the Inconsistent Implementation of International Human Rights Obligations: Unpacking the Unknowability of LGBTI Asylum Claims in “Modern” Ireland

Emma Wright, North to South Mobility: Study Abroad in Ecuador; Towards and Understanding of Decolonial Education

Qinfei Zhu, The Ethnic Identity Development of the Second Generation Chinese Immigrants in Ireland

View All Modules Here


90 Credits:  60 Credits Taught Modules 30 Credits Dissertation


Core Modules include:

  • Critical Race & Decolonial Paradigms
  • Global Migration
  • Art, Knowledge & Social Change

Optional Modules include:

  • Geographies of the Global South 
  • Postcolonial Geographies
  • Queer Frictions
  • Theory of Sexuality & Gender
  • Ethnicity & Nationalism
  • Everyday Nationalism
  • Social Research 
  • Economic Globalisation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Organised Violence & Society 
  • Global Justice & Development
  • Racism & Anti-Racism
  • Human Rights Law & Equality 
  • Immigration & Asylum Law
  • Travellers Rights & Nomadism
  • Gender, War & Violence 

The options for 2019/2020 may be subject to change. Internships available on a limited basis to qualified students.

MA Race, Migration & Decolonial Studies (W430) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7990
nonEU    fee per year - € 21520

MA Race, Migration & Decolonial Studies (W431) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5200
nonEU    fee per year - € 10760

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of Masters scholarships for full­time international students, who have been offered a place on a UCD Masters degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

The Mary Kelly Bursary comprises an award of €2,000 towards university fees to students who have been accepted to one of the School of Sociology’s Masters programmes as a full-time student. For more informatoin please see Funding Opportunities

Applicants should normally have a primary degree in sociology or social science, or a closely related discipline.

A Second Class Honours Grade One (2:1) or higher is required but Second Class Honours Grade Two (2:2) standard or equivalent may be considered.  Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements but can confirm professional qualifications and/or experience will be considered. Applicants may be called for an interview.

All candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit evidence of a certificate of proficiency (such as TOEFL, Cambridge or IELTS). Test results must be less than two years old.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 


Supporting documentation must be submitted by all students.  Applications will not be considered unless all documents are submitted immediately and received by UCD before the closing date. Documents must be uploaded to the Online Applications system.

The online applications are closed till January 2023

Dilnoza Satarova

The ethnic clashes of June 2010 in the south of Kyrgyzstan stressed the urgent need for seeking solutions to a wide range of problems related to diversity management, protection of minorities, multicultural co-existence and reconciliation. This Programme’s focus on development of critical and research skills and offered the opportunity to work with and learn from leading scholars and specialists in the field of race, ethnicity and migration were among the factors that determined my choice of UCD. The guidance, enormous support and friendship of my supervisor is the most valuable experience I gained from the programme. She provided support in preparing my thesis by advising on theories, structure, style and language, and methodology. As a result of this I not only produced a thesis which was graded highly, but also learned a lot about research methods and process.

Dilnoza works for the OSCE
(Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Race, Migration & Decolonial Studies FT (W430)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Race, Migration & Decolonial Studies PT (W431)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised