Queen Mary Summer School

Migration and Urban Change in London and Paris


Academic Lead: Dr Olivia Sheringham and Dr Anna-Louise Milne

This module will be delivered in collaboration with the University of London Institute in Paris.

This module takes a critical look at two of the most exciting and dynamic cities on the planet, exploring the ways in which they have been shaped by global migration patterns both historically and in the present day. Focusing on core themes including inequality and difference, integration and borders, heritage and diversity, it explores the specific colonial legacies of London and Paris and how these have shaped contemporary processes and lived experiences of migration in each city. In the context of a growing hardening of the border between the UK and continental Europe, this module will provide students with the opportunity to explore how these institutional bordering processes are played out on the ground and to consider the convergences and differences between these distinct, yet closely connected, urban contexts.

This three-week intensive programme comprises one week in London, one week in Paris (which includes the opportunity to experience the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris on July 14th) and a final week in London that will focus on both cities. In both cases, the city will be used as a classroom and laboratory for investigating a range of continuities and changes, problems and potentials relating to impacts and experiences of migration across the urban fabric. In London, students will have the opportunity to work with community and migrant organisations in Tower Hamlets, one of the most diverse boroughs in the metropolis and home to Queen Mary. They will also visit the Migration Museum Project, Brixton Archives and particular areas of the city with notable migration histories, including Brick Lane, Portobello Road and the London Docklands. In Paris students will also have the opportunity to work with local refugee-support organisations in the areas of Paris north of the Gare du Nord (La Chapelle, La Goutte-d’Or), long the first ports of arrival in the city for immigrants. They will also visit the National Migration Museum, located in the old and fantastically decorated Pavilion of the Colonies, and conduct fieldwork in Belleville, now one of the main Chinese areas of the city but previously, in the nineteenth-century, a hot-bed of revolution before becoming an area of Eastern-European Jewish immigration in the first half of the twentieth century.

In order to take part in this London and Paris summer course, please ensure you have the correct visa for both countries before arriving to the U.K. Some students may need to obtain both a U.K. Short Term Study visa and a Schengen visa for France to take part in the programme. Please check your visa status for the U.K. here: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa and for France here: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/who-needs-schengen-visa/

For students who need to obtain both visas please be aware that you may need to send your passport away on two separate occasions, please ensure you do this is good time to prevent difficulties travelling to the U.K. for the start of your course. We have a wealth of information on our Advice and Counselling pages about Schengen visas, please take a moment to read them.

Please note students who hold a European or U.S.A. passport will not need to obtain a Schengen visa for this course.

If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact our Advice and Counselling service

Course content is subject to approval. 

Course aims

This course aims to: 

  • Provide critical understanding of the role of migration in shaping London and Paris as global cities, introducing students to a range of interdisciplinary scholarship which explores postcolonial legacies and contemporary debates around migration in both contexts;
  • Develop understanding of theoretical perspectives on cities and migration, particularly in relation to debates around integration, diversity, cultural identity and heritage, and borders;
  • Enable investigation of a range of issues and themes central to understanding how London and Paris have been shaped by migration including: the specific colonial legacies of both cities; integration policies and processes; citizenship and belonging; culture and identity;
  • Offer opportunities to undertake urban fieldwork, observation and community engagement;.

Teaching and learning

Students participating in this programme will develop a sound understanding of the role of migration in the shaping of London and Paris as global cities,  drawing from academic argument and debate, observational and participatory field work and their own research and investigation. A range of skills and capacities will be developed across the three weeks of the programme. The main learning outcomes are as follows:

  • Students will understand how global migration processes have shaped both London and Paris through a focus on postcolonial legacies and contemporary debates. 
  • Through the prism of London and Paris, students will gain a critical understanding of core scholarly debates around post colonialism, transnational urbanism, integration and urban culture
  • Students will be able to decipher historical and political processes through the built environment of the city
  • Students will develop understanding of core geographical concepts such as place, space and scale


Migration and Urban Change in London and Paris fees are £1,650.

We offer a 10% discount to:

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current Queen Mary students 


The cost of accommodation is approximately £500 per session. For further information, please visit our accommodation page.

Additional costs and course excursions

There will be an additional cost of £300 to cover field trips, the travel costs between London and Paris and accommodation in Paris.

There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20.
All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7 overall or higher
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 100 (L22; S25; R24; W27)
  • China UEE (University Entrance Exam) - 110
  • CET 4 - 550 or CET 6 - 490
  • PTE Academic 68
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 185 70- grade C (old marking system)
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at summerschool@qmul.ac.uk

How to apply

Applications are open! 

Click here to fill out our online application form.

Check out our accommodation and fee discount deadlines.

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help.

Application deadline: 26 May 2019.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need to upload the following documents together with your online application:

  • your current academic transcript or your record of studies to date
  • evidence of your English Language proficiency, if your first language isn’t English
  • a written statement explaining why you'd like to attend the Summer School
  • a copy of your passport

What do I do next? 

  • work with your home university adviser to select the courses you want to study at Queen Mary and ensure they are approved/can transfer back to your own institution
  • gather your transcripts and your proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • check that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • fill out our online application form

What happens then?

  • we make a decision on your application within 5 days of your application date and send you an offer letter
  • you accept our offer
  • apply for a visa (if you need it)
  • book your flights to London**
  • read all of our pre-departure emails carefully before you arrive
  • pack and get ready for your stay in London
  • arrive in London and move into your new home with us on campus
  • join the welcome programme and start your course
  • complete all your welcome programme/orientation tasks
  • enjoy your time at the Queen Mary Summer School

** Please don’t connect or enter the UK via Ireland, as there are visa restrictions.

Teaching dates
Session One: 1 July - 19 July 2019
Course hours
45 contact hours
Written Essay: neighbourhood profile (2000 words) - 60% Group Podcast (15 minutes) - 40%

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