Migration, Settlement and Belonging SOCIO4108

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

 Migration has a profound impact on the social, cultural, political, and economic aspects of places and relationships, whether at the local, national, or global level. Although the migration of people to new places to establish lives and communities is not a recent phenomenon, it remains a highly contentious political issue and how we live with or reject difference is the subject of continued political, public and media interest. In this course, we'll be exploring a range of questions about migration, settlement and belonging. The course offers an exploration of established and emerging theoretical and conceptual frameworks derived from sociology and related fields that can help us understand migration as a process and experience. We will analyse empirical material that prioritises the perspectives of migrants alongside work that offers political and policy viewpoints. We will address a number of critical questions such as how migrants develop a sense of identity and belonging across geopolitical and cultural boundaries, the relationship between racialised and ethnicised differences and citizenship, the various forms of citizenship that exist and how these may be practiced, the factors that contribute to what we might understand by the 'integration' of particular migrant populations and the explicit segregation of others, the settlement demands and imperatives constructed and imposed by the state, and the significance of racism to how migration is framed politically and experienced in the everyday context. Moreover, through course content and assessment, we will examine how these debates influence migrants' sense of home and belonging, and how differences are attributed, experienced, and negotiated in everyday life within cities and neighbourhoods across the United Kingdom.


Please note, this course is linked to Contemporary Migration in Global Perspective, which runs in alternate years. You do not need to have taken Contemporary Migration to take this course, but if you enjoyed that 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

This course aims to enable students to understand processes and experiences of settlement, 'integration', sameness and difference by examining key debates and theories about migration, settlement and belonging and locating these in a wider political and policy context that shapes media and public narratives about how the migrant experience is studied and understood.

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.