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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3981 Spaces of Migration and Encounter

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr. Nichola Wood

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG3982Spaces of Migration and Encounter: Concepts and Contemporary

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the experiences and challenges of living in an era of super-mobility and super-diversity over the course of three interrelated blocks. The first block encourages students to develop a conceptual understanding of the geographies of migration, refuge/asylum, nationalism and cosmopolitanism through a critical appreciation of the main theoretical approaches to these topics. The second block explores contemporary experiences of migration focusing on the social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of migration and the transnational/translocal processes that underpin and emerge from such mobility. The final block explores the challenges of encountering and living with difference and the social, cultural and political impacts that migration is having on both migrant and `host’ communities. The module will involve lectures, discussions, reading and reflection, and is assessed through an essay (that allows students to explore the concepts introduced in block I), and a podcast (giving students the opportunity to explore the links between migration, and encounters with difference in more depth). The module develops themes introduced at Level 2 in GEOG2055 Citizenship and Identity and GEOG2020 Political and Development Geographies but is accessible to students who have not taken these modules.


By the end of this module students who have engaged well with the syllabus should be able to:
1. demonstrate a critical and conceptual understanding of inter-disciplinary scholarship on migration, cosmopolitanism, refuge/asylum and nationalism.
2. use the theories and concepts explored above to analyse real-world experiences of migration and encounters with social and cultural difference.
3. appreciate the diverse, dynamic and contested nature of debates surrounding migration, cosmopolitanism, refuge/asylum and nationalism.
4. understand the motivations and experiences that lie behind migratory decisions and experiences;
5. use academic, journalistic and electronic information sources to inform their critical analysis of migration and encounters with difference.
6. express their understanding in written and digital formats.

Learning outcomes
1. An understanding of the main ideas and approaches of the geographies of migration and encounters with difference.
2. Knowledge of the processes underpinning people's mobilities in a globalized world and the diverse experiences and challenges of living with difference.
3. Appreciation of the importance of spaces, places and connections between them in the constitution of social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of migration and encounters with difference;
4. An understanding of the embodied, material, social and cultural aspects of migration and encounter in addition to the broader inequities of global migration regimes;
5. Skills in the identification and acquisition of literature and other sources of information, knowledge of techniques of information retrieval, analysis and presentation in written formats.
6. Skills in producing podcasts.
7. Skills in oral communication and debating and discussing socially and politically sensitive topics.


The syllabus will consider a range of topics including concepts of migration and encounter, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and humanitarianism). It will also explore contemporary experiences of migration (e.g. border issues, refuge/asylum, migrant activism and solidarity) and the challenges of living with difference (e.g. respect and competing values, emotional geographies of belonging and intolerance and the rise of the far-right).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session31.003.00
Private study hours166.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Reading in preparation for seminars (20 hrs)
- Wider reading around lecture material (75 hrs)
- Preparation of an assessed essay (35 hrs)
- Preparation of an assessed podcast documentary (35 hrs)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Weekly discussion in seminars to test understandings of key ideas and debates
- Drop-in sessions to support the preparation of the essay and podcast assessments.
- Written feedback given on an assessed essay to ensure an understanding of the theoretical foundations underpinning the module.
- Feedback/feed-forward session to provide best practice from the essay assignment.
- Written feedback given on the podcast assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
AssignmentPodcast - 2000 word equivalent per student50.00
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: 17/05/2024


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