SP335      Half Unit
Migration: Current Research, Critical Approaches

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Lucinda Platt (OLD.2.25)


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Social Policy, BSc in Social Policy and Economics, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is only available to third year undergraduate students.

Course content

This interdisciplinary course addresses contemporary global migration issues with reference to both developing and developed country contexts and to different patterns and forms of migration. The course examines the relationship between migration and social and public policies, including the implications for how migrants and migration are conceptualised, for inequalities in the movement of people, for welfare systems, and for the impacts of migration in countries of origin and destination. It draws on current approaches to researching migration, and considers the implications of those approaches.  


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT.

Each week, all students are expected to read one key text (or sometimes two short texts) in preparation for the class and to participate actively in discussions. This will be complemented by class activities picking up on other issues covered in the lecture and class questions.

A longer list of complementary readings (and other materials, including podcasts, lectures, reports, maps and interactive materials), that students are encouraged to engage with, will also be supplied. They will also be expected to use these in the formative and summative essays.

A Moodle discussion forum specifically for the undergraduate students on the course, will be used to share thoughts and relevant material.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

  • Goldin, I., Cameron, G.  & Balarajan, M. (2012) Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future, Princeton University Press. CHAPTER 1
  • Shachar, A. (2009) The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. INTRODUCTION.
  • Favell A., Feldblum, M. and Smith, M. (2007) "The human face of global mobility: a research agenda", Society, 44: 15-25..
  • Long, K. (2013) "When Refugees stopped being Migrants: Movement, Labour and Humanitarian Protection", Migration Studies, 1: 1, 4-26.
  • Donato, K. et al. (2006) "A Glass Half Full? Gender in Migration Studies", International Migration Review, 40: 1, 3-26.
  • Lee, J. et al. (2014) "The International Migration Review at 50: Reflecting on Half a Century of International Migration Research and Looking Ahead", International Migration Review, 48: Anniversary Issue, S3–S36.
  • Cerrutti, M. and Parrado, E. (2015) “Intraregional Migration in South America: Trends and a Research Agenda”, Annual Review of Sociology, 41, 399-421.
  • Luthra, R., Platt, L. and Salamonska, J. (2016) "Types of Migration: the Motivations, Composition, and Early Integration Patterns of ‘New Migrants’ in Europe", International Migration Review, published online Sept 2016.
  • Guveli, A., Ganzeboom, H., Baykara-Krumme, H., Platt, L. Eroglu, Spierings, N. Bayrakdar, S. Nauck, B. and Sozeri, E.K. (2016) "2000 Families: identifying the research potential of an origins-of-migration study", Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40: 14.
  • Dahinden (2016) "A plea for the ‘de-migranticization' of research on migration and integration", Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39:13, 2207-2225.
  • Shutes, I. and Walker, S. (2018) "Gender and Free Movement: EU Migrant Women's Access to Residence and Social Rights in the UK", Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44:1, 137-153
  • Czaika, M. and De Haas, H. (2013) "The effectiveness of migration policies", Population and Development Review, 39: 3, 487-508.

The reading list includes required and supplementary readings that demonstrate current debates and approaches. Readings will be complemented by podcasts, videos and interactive materials relating to the readings. A film showing will also provide an early point of reference and discussion.


Essay (100%, 1500 words) in the LT.

The course is assessed by one summative assignment (100% summative coursework). This is a written essay (2,000 words) that should address one question from a set provided.

The summative assignment is due at the beginning of the term following the term in which the course is taught. 

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2019/20: 13

Average class size 2019/20: 13

Capped 2019/20: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication