'The mission of COMPAS is to conduct high quality research in order to develop theory and knowledge, inform policy-making and public debate, and engage users of research within the field of migration.’

The mobility of people is now firmly recognised as a key dimension shaping society today, but the relationship between migration and societal change is only partly understood. Research at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), core funded by the Economic and Social Research Council is geared to deepen the understanding of this relationship.

Research by Theme

COMPAS' 2012-2019 research programme is grouped around five inter-related thematic clusters, addressing elements of the migration process:

  • Flows and Dynamics - exploring global migration flows and the dynamics that drive, facilitate and inhibit migration

  • Labour markets - analysing the socio-economics of international labour migration, particularly the economics and politics of labour shortages and demand

  • Citizenship and Belonging - addressing the relationship between mobility, citizenship and the numerous ways in which people ‘belong’

  • Urban Change and settlement - challenging assumptions around movement and settlement patterns, investigating emergent urbanisms and processes of integration

  • Welfare  - addressing the relationship between migration and welfare provision in ‘receiving’ and ‘sending’ countries

More on COMPAS' Research Programme

Migration and Citizenship

COMPAS has launched a new special blog series on "Migration and Citizenship", together with Politics in Spires. Blogs will be posted every Thursday by a variety of experts. 

This blog series explores the relationship between migration, the 'migrant' and 'citizenship'. It hopes to help us reflect on who counts as a migrant and will consider the impacts of immigration controls and associated policies on the meaning of citizenship. 

View the blog

Migration: The COMPAS Anthology

We are pleased to announce the publication of Migration:The COMPAS Anthology

The Anthology combines academic writing with a selection of images from annual COMPAS photography competitions, and poems drawn from poetry competitions for adults and children. We hope that as well as a resource for teaching and research, the anthology will serve as a provocation.

More information on the different versions that are available to read, download and buy.

A Decade of Migration

On 21-22 February we hosted an international conference - Decade of Migration - to mark the 10 year anniversary of COMPAS and look to future research agendas.

By bringing together leading academics and senior practitioners from across the world, this event discussed how migration research has re-configured the social sciences over the past 10 years and in turn how changes in the social sciences have influenced the study of mobility and migration, their patterns, consequences and policies.

Thank you to everyone that participated and spoke at the event. Short videos of the conference and the public event as well as podcasts of sessions are now available. More information>

Visit the Migration Observatory for data and analysis on UK migration

Latest News

From the blog

The life of a multiple migrant

Ayumi Takenaka looks at the contributors to and attitudes related to multiple onward migration. MORE >