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Rationale for developing the course
Objectives and Learning Outcomes
Course Structure and Content
The phenomenon of migration is increasingly important in most European countries and worldwide. The huge emigration movements to the Americas in the 19th century have been followed by migration and flight within Europe in the aftermath of wars, conflicts, and state transformations in the 20th century. Migration in its different forms, processes of globalisation and transition have pervasively shaped European countries in the last decades. In turn, the transformation of the world’s political map has had significant effects on migration strategies. Recent debates show that an analysis of determinants, consequences, and the perception of the movement of people cannot be done without referring to the historical dimension. With migration affecting such numerous areas of the state and the society, it is impossible to investigate the subject within the limits of only one discipline. Similarly, there is also a need to develop and use trans-cultural approaches when addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow. AAs a consequence of this analysis, scholars of Stavanger (Norway), Oldenburg (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal), Nova Gorica (Slovenia), Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic), and Zagreb (Croatia) have developed the collaborative Master programme in Migration and Intercultural Relations.
Objectives and Learning Outcomes
Key objectives of Joint Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations are:
To enable students to conduct independent research.
To deal with issues related to migration and to base their analyses of migration processes on a trans-cultural perspective.
To gain insights into practical work with migrants and within intercultural contexts.
To acquire skills for conceptual work in this field as well as the ability to coordinate and evaluate such work.
To constructively use e-learning elements in order to encourage collaborative study and learning processes.
To provide, through the intensive programme in the first semester and later mobility, a “migration experience” that will allow for the student to integrate a self-reflective dimension into scholarly work.
The following learning outcomes are projected:
A student, upon successful completion of the joint master i Migration and Intercultural Relations, shall have:
acquired an in-depth overview of migration processes in past and present, their structures and consequences, as well as expert knowledge in specific areas.
Ability to critically evaluate categories and approaches of migration research and to apply them in a reflected manner.
Ability to define problems and research questions and to design and conduct research projects independently.
Acquired competencies in:
- team-work in intercultural and trans-cultural contexts
- handling new media and communication technology
- orienting oneself and working in hitherto unfamiliar areas.
Course Structure and Content
The Joint Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations consists of modules that will partly be studied through distance learning, i.e. blended learning approach.(see more in the next section)
The course spans over two years and comprises of 120 ECTS. This includes the internship module of 12 ECTS and the dissertation module (incl. colloquium) of 30 ECTS.
The teaching periods/semester pattern followed at the partner universities will be as follows:
Fall Semester: October - December (due to intensive teaching during IP in the first year)
Spring Semester: March - July
The course will begin on the 11th of October 2008 in Oldenburg, Germany with a compulsory Intensive Programme that will last for three weeks. Financial assistance will be provided to the students during the Intensie Programme. This gives students and teachers from various cultural backgrounds, the opportunity to introduce themselves. Working groups will be formed and this phase shall be used to evaluate students’ previous knowledge, their language skills, and the general conditions (technical equipment etc.). Students will be made familiar with the main features of the modules that will taken up in the first semester, as well as central definitions and concepts of migration studies. Subsequent teaching will be based on e-learning material to a great extent, so that a high degree of self-reliance is required from students.
The 2nd semester follows modules on research methodology (requires the autonomous realisation of empirical exercises) and (optional) national modules – Scandinavian, Slovene etc. Central themes of the national modules will be specific forms of migration, their implications for particular types of societies seen within the historical context, as well as comparative and contemporary approaches. The European and global perspective is an integral part of these (national) modules. For the non-resident students, these modules (6 ECTS each) extensively rely on distance learning.
During the 3rd semester, students will work on a project-based internship of at least 240 working hrs. Potential placements can be at scientific or political institutions, NGOs, advisory services for migrants, media institutions or others. Students are expected to critically evaluate their practical work and document their findings in the form of a written project report (12 ECTS). In addition to the Internship there will be offered modules both in Migration Theory and optional national modules. During the 1st to 3rd semester students may choose an optional module that has been adopted from another national MA programmes - where such provisions exist.
The 4th semester will be devoted to the Master dissertation and attending a colloquium – total of 30 ECTS. In the colloquium, students will present their research proposal, workplan and their respective work status. Students are encouraged to design their dissertation based on self-conducted research projects, applying and connecting methodological, theoretical and empirical knowledge they have obtained during the course of the programme. The dissertation is to be reviewed by two teachers from two partners in the consortium.
The study programme unites experts in history, political science, sociology and other disciplines, coming from various parts of Europe, who offer their expertise in research and teaching migration in existing national programmes. Thus, students have the unique opportunity to gain knowledge and research experience within the scope of different disciplines and within diverse national contexts.
The joint master has adopted the "blended learning" approach, which combines face-to-face teaching with e-learning. Our aim of student and staff interaction and exchange, both virtual and physical, requires a www-supported framework for continuous and active collaboration between the students and teachers at the partner universities. This use of e-learning elements (virtual learning platform, video conferences etc.) is a challenge for students and teachers, but it comes with the benefit of collective use of intellectual and material resources that exist only locally. Communication will be carried out via regular video-conferences, e-mailing and the programme’s own internet platform. Participating universities provide tutorials for local guidance and support. Students are also strongly encouraged to spend time at at least one of the partner universities.
International learner groups – people from different systems of higher education, speaking different languages – are a challenging experience for the course, offering exciting perspectives for the study of migration itself. English will be the common course language, but teaching will also address and include various languages, so that research results of several regions and different theoretical concepts/ traditions can be incorporated.
Admission criteria for the Joint Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations are as follows:
Applicants whose academic backgrounds comply with the general qualifications for university entrance (B.A/B.Sc or an equivalent) can apply for admission.A preliminary transcript of grades will be accepted during the application process, but the actual degree certificate must be presented upon admission.
Preference will be given to applicants who can document some knowledge of migration studies, intercultural relations, and empirical methods. Modules completed at the undergraduate level, papers, essays and examination results are considered valid documentation. Preference will also be given to qualified applicants who, in addition, have relevant professional experience.
In order to successfully complete the course, good English language skills are essential. Applicants must document their proficiency in English and this will be evaluated before course start. Exemption from language testing will be granted to:
Applicants from EU/EEC countries, who have English as the first foreign language, over a minimum period of 7 years in primary and /or secondary school will be exempted from producing documentation of English proficiency.
Applicants who have obtained a bachelors degree with English as the language of instruction.
Applicants who do not qualify for exemption must submit to further evaluation by the consortium committee.
Skills in other modern languages are recommended, but not compulsory.
The application must include a Statement of Purpose which clearly illustrates the applicant’s motivation to be admitted to the MA programme. Applicants are also specifically requested to elaborate on their professional or practical experiences in the field of migration or migration studies.
If the number of applicants who fulfil admission requirements exceeds the number of available university places, a ranking list of all applicants will be compiled. The ranking order will be based on the applicant’s background, knowledge of the subject, her/his general proficiency as well as the written Statement of Purpose.
The updated study plan for 2009/2010 will be available for registered students by log in (username and password). ). In the application phase students should contact the leading institution in the MA Consortium, the University of Stavanger for more information.
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