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Study information

Geographies of Migration

Module titleGeographies of Migration
Module codeGEO2136
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Nick Gill (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Migration is one of the key challenges of our times and it impacts on political and social life in a range of fundamental ways. This module provides a lively and engaging overview of this vibrant field, informed by the impressive range of geographical scholarship on the issue. The course will equip you with the conceptual skills and factual knowledge to understand migration trends and debates, and to form and express your own views on migration and related topics.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will provide an introduction and overview to the varied and vibrant topic of migration. The module aims to contextualise the study of migration within the discipline of geography and to enable you to understand migration from a variety of conceptual and applied perspectives.

It does so by moving through the following main sections:

  • ‘Concepts’, which provides the theoretical building blocks you need to think clearly and critically about migration
  • ‘Perspectives’, which showcases different ways of looking at migration.
  • ‘Challenges’, where we look at a range of real-world issues that arise from migration and its governance.

This module will improve your employability, especially through the development of skills in the application of critical analytical perspectives to a range of contemporary global challenges. More specifically, the module will be a useful way to acquire skills that could be helpful in migration-related jobs in government, the charitable sector and the private sector.

The teaching contributions on this module involve elements of research undertaken by module staff, such as work on geopolitics and the media, refugees and hospitality, and gender-based violence. Moreover, the course is designed to develop your ability to critically think about migration, research it, and write about it effectively.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe some of the key trends in migration at the global, regional, national and local scales and recall basic facts about migration.
  • 2. Show awareness of geographical approaches and theories that have attempted to analyse migration and to employ insights from geographical theories about states, violence, borders, nationalism, rationality and materiality to discuss and interpret migration patterns, experiences and controversies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically analyse the historical, social, economic, and political processes that drive and/or control migration
  • 4. Critically engage with media, visual narratives, policy responses, academic texts and other materials to interrogate the representation and management of migration

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Develop familiarity with a pressing global challenge that is of wide interest and significance, and develop the confidence to talk about it freely and in an informed way.
  • 6. Develop evidence-based arguments that engage with multiple points of view and express opinions effectively and persuasively in written and oral forms

Syllabus plan

Topics are indicative and may be subject to variation.

Introductory Topics:

  • Mobility
  • Identity
  • Violence
  • Representing Migration


  • Nationalism
  • Geopolitics
  • Hospitality
  • Integration


  • Historical Geographies of Migration
  • Migrants as Rational Actors
  • Experiences of Migration


  • Forced Migration and Human Displacement
  • Migration and Climate Change
  • Migration and Surveillance
  • Migration and Exploitation


  • Migration Futures

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Workshops on the assessments and recapping
Guided Independent Study11Online learning activities
Guided Independent Study56Revision lecture and workshops
Guided Independent Study30Prepare and write essay
Guided Independent Study30Prepare and Write Funding Proposal

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion during teachingOngoing throughout module1,2,5,6Informal oral feedback
In-course quizzesOccasional during lectures/seminars1,2,4,5Informal oral or online feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay601500 words1-4Individual Written
Funding proposal401000 words1,2,5,6Individual Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written essayWritten essay1-4Referral/Deferral period
Funding proposalFunding proposal1,2,5,6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral—if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped, and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral—if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to re-submit the relevant assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • De Haas, H., Castles, S., & Miller, M. J. (2019). The age of migration: International population movements in the modern world. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Samers, M. and Collyer, M. (2017) Migration. Routledge
  • Mitchell, K., Jones, R., & Fluri, J. L. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook on critical geographies of migration. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Koser, Khalid. International Migration: A Very Short Introduction. 2d ed. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Mavroudi, Elizabeth, and Caroline Nagel. Global Migration: Patterns, Processes, and Politics. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Brettell, Caroline B., and James F. Hollifield, eds. Migration Theory: Talking across Disciplines. 3d ed. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Boyle, Paul, Keith Halfacree, and Vaughan Robinson. Exploring Contemporary Migration. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Hoerder, Dirk. Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.
  • King, Russell, Richard Black, Michael Collyer, Anthony J. Fielding, and Ronald Skeldon. The Atlas of Human Migration: Global Patterns of People on the Move. London: Earthscan, 2010.
  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, and Nando Sigona, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Benhabib, Seyla, and Judith Resnik, eds. Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender. New York: New York University Press, 2009.
  • Geddes, Andrew, Hadj-Abdou, Leila, , Brumat, Leiza, Migration and mobility in the European Union (2nd Edition), London : Red Globe Press, 2020, The European Union series
  • Adey, P. (2017). Mobility. Routledge.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Key words search

Migration, borders, mobility, refugees

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


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Last revision date