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Unit information: Migration: UK, EU and Global Policy Perspectives in 2020/21

Unit name Migration: UK, EU and Global Policy Perspectives
Unit code SPOL30069
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Ann Singleton
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will cover the history and current development of migration policies, in the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). It will examine EU policy development and policy failures in the context of the unfolding migration, humanitarian and refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and in Europe. The unit will explore conceptual and methodological problems surrounding the analysis of international migration. The focus will be on local, national and European migration patterns and trends in the wider global context of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Core themes of the unit include labour migration, the feminisation of migration flows, asylum seeking, the securitisation of migration debates, human trafficking and the social construction of migration as crime.

The objectives of this unit are to:

  • Provide an introduction to the institutions, processes and policy contradictions involved in EU justice and home affairs policy making.
  • Examine the development of UK and EU migration and asylum policies.
  • Identify historical and current patterns and trends in migration and asylum seeking.
  • Explore key issues in the migration policy domain, including the Mediterranean migration crisis, poverty, migration and development, social exclusion, citizenship, labour migration, human trafficking and asylum seeking.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Understand migration policy processes within the UK and the European Union
  • Develop the tools to be able to critically analyse migration policies in the UK and the EU.
  • Be familiar with theoretical and empirical literature on migration and asylum policy
  • Have developed a sharp awareness of contemporary debates in the migration policy field, in particular those relating to citizenship, asylum, human rights and integration policies.

Teaching details

This unit will draw on a blended learning approach to learning. Students will engage with asynchronous taught content (including, for example, narrated slides and other teaching and research materials) and will also engage with activities either individually, in small groups or peer to peer in preparation for synchronous sessions to present and discuss ideas and clarify content.

Assessment Details

3,000 word essay (100%)

Reading and References

  • Boswell, C. and Geddes, A. (2011), Migration and mobility in the European Union Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Location: JV7590 BOS
  • Castles, S., de Haas, H. & Miller M (2014) The Age of Migration 5th Edition Basingstoke; Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kraler, Albert, Jandl, Michael and Hofmann, M. (2006) ‘The evolution of EU migration policy and implications for data collection’ in M. Poulain, N. Perrin and A. Singleton (eds) Towards Harmonised European Statistics on International Migration, Louvain-la-Neuve, Presses universitaires de Louvain.
  • Salt, John (2015) International Migration and the United Kingdom. Report of the United Kingdom SOPEMI Correspondent to the OECD, 2015. Available at:
  • Spencer, S. (2011), The Migration Debate, Bristol, The Policy Press.