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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5660M Ethics and Politics of Migration and Citizenship

30 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr James Souter

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In recent decades, migration and citizenship have become important and controversial issues within liberal-democratic states. This module examines key debates in contemporary political theory on these phenomena. The first part of the module explores ethical and political questions surrounding the admission of migrants and refugees by states, relating in particular to practices of border control and the grounds on which liberal-democratic states aim to distinguish between different kinds of entrant. The second part of the module studies the ethics and politics of membership, focusing on formal and informal kinds of citizenship that migrants may access or be denied within other states.


The module will familiarise students with contemporary debates in contemporary political theory on migration and citizenship. By the end of the module, students are expected to be able to discuss some of the key ethical and political challenges surrounding recent patterns of migration and understandings of citizenship, with a focus on the experiences of liberal-democratic states.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of key debates around migration and citizenship in contemporary political theory;
2. Critically engage with these debates, and appreciate the complexity of competing arguments within them;
3. Develop, articulate and defend their own responses to such arguments in writing;
4. Relate these debates to real-life cases and processes surrounding migration and citizenship, and ascertain some of their implications for popular/political discussions of these phenomena.


This is a political theory module that focuses on conceptual and normative issues of migration and citizenship in liberal democracies. It addresses a range of specific topics, which may vary from year to year, such as conceptual issues in the categorisation of migrants and citizens; the open borders debate; responsibilities of states to refugees; the duties of citizens to obey and resist; multicultural citizenship; and critical perspectives on migration and citizenship (e.g. from feminist, comparative and critical race theory perspectives).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours178.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

The module will require private and independent study. The module outline will include an extensive list of recommended literature, some of which will be required reading in advance of the seminars and for assessed written assignments. Some of the seminars may require student presentations – either individual or group – and these will also require independent research and group preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The main mechanism for formative student feedback will be through mid-term formative draft work of 1,000 words of material towards their final essay. Students will be provided with written feedback on their submissions, and will have the opportunity to discuss their plans and arguments during the module staff’s academic support hours. 1,000 word formative essay draft

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1x 4000 End of term essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/06/2024 15:45:28


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