Migration and Development

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Development Studies

Module overview

This core module offers students the opportunity to combine study and analysis of critical perspectives on development and the increasingly important and related field of migration studies. The module will address the political economy of migration from a historical perspective, major trends in migration theories, and different forms of and approaches to the study of migration and displacement. Moving beyond a narrow preoccupation with the direct and causal linkages between migration and development, the module interrogates the academic and policy discourses underpinning each, and explores some of the ways in which historical, socio-political and globalizing forces construct migration contexts and environments, and how these are navigated and challenged by migrants themselves.

Specific topics include sedentarism and the study of migration; history and colonialism; nations, states and territories; seasonal and labour migration, irregular migration, circular migration; diverse forms of forced migration, including trafficking; models of immigration and emigration and their consequences; diasporas and transnationalism; policy understandings of and responses to migration, and transformations in the north and south.

One notable feature of the assessment of this module is that in addition to coursework essays and an unseen examination, students are asked to participate in team based project work. This will result in the collaborative production of a 3000 word migration related research report on a topic selected by students and approved in advance by the module convenor.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, students should:

  • Understand the main historical, political, economic and sociological-anthropological theories of human movement and migration
  • Be able to conceptualize migration in relation to political and economic regimes of power, processes of globalization and development, and as an experiential, social and symbolic category
  • Have acquired knowledge of sources of data on incidence of migration including diverse forced and voluntary forms
  • Be aware of the main international institutional responses (analytical, policy and political) to global migration
  • Have an interest and confidence in thinking in inter-disciplinary ways, drawing insights, questions and evidence from a variety of perspectives and be able to formulate research questions and to work independently towards addressing those questions


Teaching takes place through a weekly 1 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial.

Method of assessment

100% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit two essays, each worth 40%. A group-based project based on migration-related research worth 20% of the overall grade. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules