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Unit information: Migration, asylum and human rights: EU and global policy perspectives. in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Migration, asylum and human rights: EU and global policy perspectives.
Unit code SPOLM0042
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Ann Singleton
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


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School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

The Unit covers the main elements of the development of asylum and migration policies in the UK and the EU in a global context of human mobility. The focus is on the consequences of policy implementation both within and beyond the borders of the EU, addressing the impacts on human rights and civil liberties of asylum seekers, recent migrants, EU citizens and non-EU citizens. The Unit will include an overview of the historical importance of migration in the development nation-states, international and regional political blocks and of the global economy. The emergence of immigration and asylum as key policy concerns for the EU will be examined in an international context. The Unit will include an examination of the consequences of Brexit for free movement and mobility. Analysis of policy development will include the securitisation of migration policy, policy transfer and the role of the EU in the world.

This Unit is designed to provide:

An up-to-date understanding of population movements in a global context and an overview of the historical development of asylum and migration policy and legislation in the European Union. It will include a thorough grounding in the role of EU institutions and the Member States in producing and implementing Justice and Home Affairs policies.

A comparative analysis of EU policies in the context of the global and regional activities of the UNHCR and current debates around proposed changes to the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention and the Dublin III Regulation.

An understanding of the processes of asylum and migration policy development in the United Kingdom and Ireland, in the context of the EU and of Brexit.

A comparative examination of the impact of asylum and migration policies on human rights and citizenship legislation at national, EU and global levels.

Your learning on this unit

On the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to understand:

1. The emergence of migration and asylum as key policy areas at national, European and global levels, specifically how policy in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, on migration and asylum, developed in the European Union before and since the entering into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999.

2. How to access sources of data on asylum and international migration and how to critically interpret statistical data on flows and stocks of migrants and asylum-seekers.

3. How UK policies on asylum and immigration have been influenced by and have influenced the development of European Union policies and legislation, including policy discussions about Brexit.

4. The consequences for human rights and civil liberties of communities and individuals, including unaccompanied minors and trafficked migrants, of the securitisation of asylum and migration policy formation.

5. Which international fora, in addition to the European Union, are key players in the debates around policy on asylum and migration and how their activities are likely to impact on national and EU level policy developments.

How you will learn

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involiving a combination of syncronic and asyncronic sessions, including online lectures, study groups and self-directed exercises

How you will be assessed

4,000 word written assignment which tests the learning outcomes of the unit. This assessment is associated with Intended Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOLM0042).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.