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Migration, Immigration & Social Policy - SPY00053H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kelly Devenney
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module is designed to provide a critical understanding of migration and immigration policy at a national and global level. The module will explore influences on immigration policy (including economic, political and media driven) and the impacts that immigration policy has on particular groups and communities. The module will provide students with the knowledge and understanding to critique and analyse current trends and debates within immigration policy. 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims


  • To explore migration and immigration policy and its relationship to social policy
  • To engage students in current debates about migration and immigration in the UK and abroad
  • To develop students use of critical analysis to understand how policies develop and the various factors that influence policy development in this area
  • To develop students use of critical analysis and research evidence to assess the impacts of policies on groups and communities.


Module learning outcomes

  1. Be able to critically evaluate the development of policy responses to migration and immigration within their historical context. 
  2. Understand current debates and controversies within immigration policy and how various actors influence these debates in the UK and internationally 
  3. Use research evidence and data to analyse the impact of immigration policies on migrant groups and communities
  4. Understand key concepts in the study of migration and immigration and apply them to an example. 

Module content

The module is designed around three key themes: 


1. Exploring Migration, Immigration and Social Policy 

- Who migrates and why? 

-Key concepts in migration 

- Citizenship and welfare for migrant populations 


2. Key Policy Debates

- UK immigration policy

- EU immigration policy, the free movement of people and Brexit

- Global case studies

3. The impact of policy

- Asylum seekers and refugees

-The 'hostile environment policy' in the UK

- The costs and benefits of immigration to the UK


Task Length % of module mark
Report with timeline
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The assessment for this module is a report including a time-line (equivalent 500 words) 

Students will: 

Choose a migrant group (eg. asylum seekers/ EU migrants). This can be a UK or international example. 

1. Produce a time-line which provides a critical overview of policy developments relating to the chosen group/ community (equivalent 500 words)

2. Produce a written report on the impact of policy development on the chosen group or community. (equivalent 3,500 words) 


Formative assessment is embedded into the module in the following ways: 

1. A workshop on producing a time-line which includes an opportunity to create a practice timeline with feedback. 

2. Assessment workshop with opportunity for formative feedback on assessment plans

3. Ongoing formative feedback will be provided during workshops and interactive activities


Re- Assessment: Students will be required to choose a different topic for re-assessment. 



Task Length % of module mark
Report with timeline
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will normally receive written feedback on summative work within 20 working days. Feedback will be via the department's standard marking matrix.  Ongoing formative feedback will be provided during workshops and interactive activities

Indicative reading

Castles, De Haan & Miller (2013) The age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World

Philmore, J (2015) Migration & Social Policy

Bloch & McKay (2016) Living on the Margins: Undocumented Migrants in a Global City

Freeman, G (2016) Handbook of Migration and Social Policy 

Lewis, H., Dwyer, P., Hodkinson, S. and Waite, L. (2015) Precarious lives: forced labour, exploitation and asylum, Bristol, The Policy Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.