Global Migrations: Histories, Structures, Experiences. SOCIO5089

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course explores the histories of global migration, the economic and political structures which shape migration, and the ways in which migration is lived, experienced and embodied. It aims to encourage an understanding of migration as a phenomenon which is always political and personal at the same time.


Weekly two hour sessions through the first semester.

Requirements of Entry

None for the course specifically, but entry to the MSc/MRes programme requires a good first degree in a relevant discipline.

Excluded Courses



This is one of two core courses on the MSc/MRes Global Migrations and Social Justice; the other is A Public Social Science for Social Justice.


One essay of no more than 4000 words (excluding the bibliography). The essay must be typed or word processed, double spaced and in font size 12. Two copies of the essay must be submitted. A list of essay questions will be provided in the course guide, although students may also answer a question they have devised themselves on condition that they obtain the prior agreement of the Course Convenors.

Course Aims

Migration is, at once, a political and personal phenomenon. Accordingly, this course aims to provide an interdisciplinary introduction to the global and comparative history of migration, and to critical analysis of the ways in which political and economic contexts shape migration. At the same time, however, it insists on the importance of recognizing that structures and histories are not abstract, but are always 'lived out' as matters of feeling, identity and embodiment. It aims to demonstrate the importance, therefore, of attentiveness to the lived experience of migration as it is expressed in ethnographic, literary and personal accounts, and to the local and everyday ways in which structures of migration are negotiated and contested.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Demonstrate a historical and comparative understanding of global migrations;

■ Describe and assess some of the ways in which migration is shaped by economic structures and by the political processes through which nation states regulate movement and define who has the right to belong;

■ Critically reflect on the value of accounts of the lived experience of migration;

■ Bring elements of these different approaches together in a single analysis.

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.