Skip to main content

Unit information: Migration and Work in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Migration and Work
Unit code LAWDM0124
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Bales
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit considers how migrants are situated in the labour market and the scope to which law facilitates or prevents their exploitation. In this respect, their treatment under English common law and statute is considered. Additionally, we consider the constraints on such treatment imposed at the European level, by the Council of Europe and the European Union. Further, we look at the overarching requirements established under International Labour Organisation and United Nations Conventions. To this end, the following topics would be covered as a minimum: the situation of migrants in the labour market; social security provision for migrant workers which affects the terms of their hire; the significance of international and European human rights instruments to social security, forced labour and trafficking; International Labour Organisation and other UN instruments concerning migrant work; trafficking, criminality and the Modern Slavery Act; mobile EU workers, issues of discrimination, seasonal work and posted work; and UK treatment of employment contracts illegal by virtue of immigration status.

Intended learning outcomes

  • For students to be able to contextualise the legal issues which arise from the intersection of migration and law.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the multilevel legal frameworks which interact so as to regulate treatment of migrant workers.
  • To be able to research independently on topics relating to the treatment of migrants at work.

Teaching details

The contact hours for this unit will be 30 hours. This will usually take the form of: 8 lectures, 10 two-hour seminars and 2 assessment preparation and feedback sessions.

Assessment Details

Summative: a 2000 word essay (33%) will assess the candidate's ability to research a topic within the scope of this unit. The remaining Intended Learning Outcomes will be assessed in a 3 hour written examination (67%). Both assessments will assess all of the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit in the context of topics selected by the examiners.

Formative: students should do one formative assessment (this will usually be 1 x 1500 word essay).

Reading and References

  • Costello and Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work (OUP, 2014)
  • Ryan (ed), Labour Migration in Hard Times: Reforming Labour Market Regulation (Liverpool: Institute of Employment Rights, 2013).