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Unit information: Migration and Development in 2020/21

Unit name Migration and Development
Unit code GEOG30018
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Winnie Wang
Open unit status Not open

GEOG25110 Philosophy, Social Theory and Geography AND GEOG25010 Spatial Modelling 2



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


Human migration is a key process in globalization and plays an essential part in economic and social transformations in both developing and developed worlds. This unit introduces a range of scholarly debates concerning both theoretical elaborations and empirical studies within the broad field of migration and development. It engages students with the widespread and diverse nature of both internal and international migration and their social, economic and political impacts on development at different levels, from global to local. The unit covers a variety of topics in the central debates of the relationship between migration and development such as economic migration, gender relations in migration, migration policies and politics, refugee crisis, and migration and environment.

The unit aims to help students understand the interactive and interdependent relationship between migration and development from different conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches. It also aims to enhance students’ critical thinking in analysing current and past migration trend and issues, particularly related to development.

Lecture outline

Introduction of global migration and development

Main theoretical perspectives on migration and development

Conducting research in migration and development studies

Migration and economic globalization

Internal migration and rural development

Migrants, politics and development

Forced migration and development

Migrants, Citizenship rights and integration

Gender, migration and development

Migration, environment and development

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the complexities of the relationships between migration and development as well as the relevant key concepts;
  2. Critically engage in theoretical and empirical debates in migration and development;
  3. Appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of studies in migration and development and embrace cross-disciplinary understanding of issues concerned within the realm of migration and development;
  4. Understand both qualitative and quantitative analysis in migration studies;
  5. Demonstrate analytical and conceptual skills in their written work.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace

Assessment Details


5-minute individual presentation on project


3000-word Research paper (60%) An independent piece of empirical work in the field of migration studies with relevance for development.

Take home assessment (40%)

All assessments assess all of the ILOs.

Reading and References

Further required readings will be set for each week. Most of them are journal articles.

Essential Reading

Castles, S. and M. J. Miller (2009). The Age of Migration. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and London, MacMillan Pres ltd

Castles, S. and Delgado Wise, R. (eds) (2008) Migration and Development: Perspectives from the South. Geneva: IOM. Chap 1-3

Massey, D et al (1993) Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal. Population and Development Review 19:431-66

De Haas, H. (2010) Migration and development: a theoretical perspective. International Migration Review 44(1): 227–264

Handbook Of Research Methods In Migration. Edited by Carlos Vargas-Silva, Senior Researcher, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, UK.