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.

Migration, Settlement and Belonging SOCIO4108

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Historically, the settlement of migrant groups and the formation of minority ethnic groups have changed the socio-cultural, political and economic fabric of receiving societies. This has contributed to making European societies more diverse in ethno-racial and cultural terms, particularly since the end of WWII. However, amidst claims about 'the end of multiculturalism', the relationship between migration, social cohesion and national values has become an increasingly contentious political issue. How we live with difference is the subject of continued political, public and media interest. The course combines an exploration of key theoretical and conceptual frameworks from sociology and related disciplines with the analysis of empirical material foregrounding the perspectives of migrants themselves as well as political and policy perspectives. Central to the course is the exploration of key debates around citizenships, diversity, multiculturalism, belonging and social cohesion. We will explore the role these debates play in migrants' sense of home and belonging, as well as look at how difference is experienced and negotiated on an everyday basis in UK cities and neighbourhoods. Drawing from sociological, social-anthropological and policy debates, we will address questions such as: what different forms of citizenship exist and how might these be practiced in society? How do migrants forge a sense of identity and belonging across geopolitical and cultural borders? What is the relationship between racial and ethno-cultural diversity and citizenship? What facilitates or hinders the integration of settled migrant groups and individuals? How do policies on migrant integration and multiculturalism compare across the UK, Scotland and other European countries? What is their impact on the lives of migrant groups?


Please note, this course is linked to Contemporary Migration in Global Perspective, which ran in 16/17. You do not need to have taken Contemporary Migration to take this course, but if you enjoyed the former course this one is designed to lead on from it.


20 contact hours over the course of a single semester. This will normally consist of 2 hours per week and may be a combination of lectures and seminars/workshops.

Requirements of Entry

In order to take this course you need to have met the requirements for entry into our Honours Programme. Basically, this means achieving a grade of 'D' or better in Sociology 1A and 1B and a 'C' or better in Sociology 2A and 2B. You also have to comply with the College of Social Science regulations for progression to Honours.

Excluded Courses



This course is linked to 'Contemporary Migration in Global Perspective (semester 1)' and while it isn't compulsory for students to take both courses, students looking to do the second semester course are strongly encouraged to take this one too


1. a 2,250 word essay (50% of overall mark)

2. a 2,250 project (50% of the overall mark)

The project/report will be based on a critical secondary analysis of qualitative data that has already been identified by the teaching team, highlighting migrants' perspectives of settlement, integration and belonging.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

To enable students to understand the impact of transnational migration on receiving and sending societies, in order to deepen our understanding of citizenship, diversity, belonging, globalisation and diasporic identities.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Review contemporary and emerging debates on migrant settlement, social cohesion and migrant belonging

2. Identify relevant theoretical frameworks and conceptualisations from sociology and related disciplines used in the study of migrant settlement

3. Critically analyse empirical qualitative data to assess the processes of migrant integration

4. Recognise political and ethical issues related to conducting research on migrants' lived experiences

5. Critically evaluate different state and non-state approaches to migrant integration

6. Effectively present knowledge acquired during the course both orally and in a variety of written forms, and work effectively both individually and as part of a group.

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.