Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Human Mobility in a Changing Climate GEOG4123

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course introduces students to mobility as a core concept in human geography. Students will explore different forms of movement that operate in the modern social world - from global population flows to everyday patterns of mobility, critically engaging with conceptual debates on climate-migration, transnationalism, integration and Diaspora. A key focus of the course will be on the relationship between human mobility and the environment including how populations become displaced by environmental disasters and hazards, and how elite mobilities contribute to climate change. The course will also encourage students to discuss how migration and mobility are practiced and represented in everyday life to understand the ways in which 'modern society is a society on the move' (Urry and Lash, 1994). 


2 hour lecture per week and 1 hour seminar per fortnight

Requirements of Entry

Fulfilment of entry requirements to Level 3 Geography

Excluded Courses





Essay (60%) 

Group debate (40%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course introduces students to core material on the geographies of international migration and mobility. Students will gain critical knowledge of key conceptual debates relating to international migration through case study examples from across the world. This will enable students to understand how migration is constructed as a political problem, how it is governed and managed at different scales, and how it is experienced by people on the move.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

ILO 1: Explain and synthesise geographical theories on migration and mobility

ILO 2: Critically discuss and explain the relationship between migration and environmental change

ILO 3: Analyse, in written and oral form, how migration is constructed as a geopolitical and/or environmental problem 

ILO 4: Critically assess different forms and actors of migration governance in the global North and/or South

ILO 5: Evaluate the effects of different forms of migrant solidarity and resistance

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.