Migration, Environment, and Climate Change

First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
Methods and Theory in Global and International Studies 6 Multiculturalism in the Contemporary World 6
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 6 International Organizations and Law: Protecting Human Rights and Displaced People 6
History of International Relations 6 Displacement, Mobility and Climate Change 6
Global Migration 6 Global Security 6
Negotiation: Theory and Practice 6 Conflict, Humanitarian Action and Negotiation 6
Third Semester Credits Fourth Semester Credits
Internships, Professional Experience, and Job Searches 3 MA Thesis Preparation 24
Global Health, Energy and Environment 9 Global and International Studies Research Colloquium 3
Asylum and Refugees Policy 6 Tutorial (Meetings with Advisors) 6
World Public Opinion 6 Internship or Fieldwork (optional)  
International Project Management 3    

Courses are taught in English and offered as a mix of online and in-residence at Salamanca. Choices for distance online learning are available.


“We are in a battle for our lives. But I firmly believe it is a battle that can be won.”
António Guterres

The United Nations Secretary-General’s reflection on the need of global solidarity and global action to face the climate crisis reflects the importance that this transcendental phenomenon has for all humanity. In his speech during the Special Talk on Sustainable Development and Climate Change held in Islamabad (Pakistan) in February 2020, he also stated that climate emergency can only be tackled if “we can generate the political will and the unity we need to make a difference”. Environmental degradation and the climate crisis are pressing emergencies that are increasingly part of our daily lives. In recent years, we have witnessed situations that were previously unthinkable, such as the shift of Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to the province of East Kalimantan due to rising sea levels and the progressive collapse of the land in the city, the sinking of the Marshall Islands, or the cyclones, hurricanes and floods that more frequently affect countries all over the world, from the Philippines to India, Japan, United States or Sri Lanka. These events have highlighted the tremendous challenges that our society is facing in regard to the economic, social and political effects of the increase in climate vulnerability at the global level. For all these reasons, it is increasingly necessary to be able to understand and have appropriate tools to analyze the effects that climate change has on pressing issues such as public health, food and water security, peace and security, and above all migration.

On September 25, 2015, the 193 member countries of the United Nations approved the so-called Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that established a diagnosis of the main challenges that will have to be faced in the near future, as well as a plan to achieve these goals within 15 years. Among these objectives and main concerns of the signatory countries were, in a transversal way, the issue of migration, a key challenge of our current society insofar as it directly affects sustainable development and climate change, as well as the effects derived from the combination of both phenomena. For all these reasons, it can be said that both migration and climate change have been consolidated as defining issues in global policies. Moreover, they will continue to affect global governance in a central way throughout the coming decades.

According to estimates made by the International Organization for Migration, there are currently about 272 million international migrants in the world, of which about 41 million are displaced persons. Of these, 25 million are reportedly linked to climate-related disasters, which already represent more than 87 percent of all disaster-related displacement worldwide. This trend, far from diminishing, will continue to increase, according to some predictions, to 200 million people displaced by climate change by 2050. Therefore, this context, present and future, makes it necessary to implement new policies that allow a better management of migration and displacement, as well as new strategies to reduce them.

The phenomenon of human displacement due to environmental and climate degradation requires holistic responses that involve different areas of government. Consequently, it is imperative to profoundly understand the root causes of forced displacement, whether it is poverty and inequality, climate change, governance problems or violent conflict, and to make progress in articulating concrete measures to address the situation of groups affected by these situations. Within this context, the Master in Global and International Studies: Migration, Environment and Climate Change arises to prepare highly qualified professionals who can be incorporated into both the labor and research markets and who have the analytical skills necessary to comprehend the relationship between migration, environment and climate change. In this sense, this master’s degree will offer students the possibility of being trained in subjects that are central elements in the agendas of the most relevant actors at a national, regional and international level, such as the following:

  • The effects of climate change on public health, food and water security, migration, peace and security.
  • The inclusion of environmental factors in the analysis and application of contemporary migration policies and practices, from prevention to governance of displacement, border management, integration regimes and modes of return and reintegration.
  • The strategies of population redistribution from the global level, due to the future increase of uninhabitability in many areas of the planet, including local perspectives of urban planning strategies aimed at creating sustainable cities in which migrants can feel integrated.
  • Strategies and models to link sustainable development with policies to curb climate change, and their implications for the management of population movements in today’s world.

The labor market, both in the professional and academic sphere, is demanding specialists who can develop and give answers to all these questions previously mentioned. Therefore, the professional profile that the graduates of this master’s degree will reach is highly demanded at all levels. Thus, upon completion of this degree, students will be able to address and identify the appropriate initiatives, strategies, and policies required to meet the challenges of human mobility problems arising from environmental factors and climate change. Furthermore, they will be able to use the knowledge and skills acquired to achieve a better management of the crises generated by human movements and climate change and to stimulate processes leading to greater sustainable development and social welfare.