Global Opportunities

GEO3159 : Displacement and Migration

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In this course, you will develop a deepened understanding of how the social and political geographies of displacement and migration are i) produced ii) experienced and iii) governed at various scales. We will also examine how localities (such as Newcastle) are responding to the complex issues experienced by displaced people and migrant communities.

This course enables you to apply your geographical knowledge in a practical manner in order to contribute to local services and organisations which are assisting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in your own city.

Your main project will provide you with a unique opportunity to enhance local efforts of support and welcome. The practical skills developed in this course (namely, ability to work with humanitarian organizations; assess visual and textual documentation; and prepare relevant research in an accessible manner) will prepare you for future academic work, as well as employment in governmental and non-governmental sectors.

Outline Of Syllabus

What it’s all about?
Globally, there are currently over 200 million migrants on the move in the world, with more than 70 million refugees and other people who have been displaced from their homes due to violence, economic desperation, conflict and persecution. While certainly not a new problem, this level of displacement and forced and voluntary mobility is unprecedented and is increasingly framed as a ‘crisis.’

This module offers geographical approaches and tools to help you understand how the experiences of migrants and displaced people are driven by a complex, entangled and enduring set of crises. Vitally, we will also pay particular attention to how local agencies and individuals are responding to the issues.

In this module, you will learn from: lectures, course readings, and popular non-textual forms such as films, graphic novels, podcasts and music. You will also have the opportunity to hear from experts working in humanitarian organisations (such as UNHCR, Newcastle City of Sanctuary), and importantly, you will also learn from life experts – migrants and refugees - who have the most intimate knowledge of these issues.

This module is suitable for anyone interested and/or concerned about displacement and migration.

Course Format
This module is separated into three main sections:

In the first section, you will be introduced to key readings, theories and concepts relevant to the study of refugee and asylum geopolitics. In each class, we will reflect on the key questions assigned for that week. PLEASE come to class being prepared to discuss these questions! Following this, you will also have the chance to hear from invited guest lecturers each of whom provides expert knowledge about the challenges and possibilities of humanitarian responses from a variety of perspectives.

The second section of this module offers more “hands-on” learning through in-class workshops. In this section, you will have an opportunity to participate in an in-class workshop led by a local resettlement agency. During this section of the module you will also be given workshop time during scheduled lectures to prepare your final zine project. You will be taught the skills to develop your own zine (a zine is a short magazine that is self-published; for more information on the power of the zine as a tool for engaged research please read Dr Bagelman’s co-authored article on the value of this form of research Zines: Repurposing the Neoliberal University).

The third section of this module compliments key readings and lectures with a carefully selected set of migration and displacement-related films. Following films, a discussion linking themes with key readings will be held.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00PIP(with 4 x 1hour of these lectures in T1 as pre-recorded lecture material)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1126:00126:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops191:0019:00PIP sessions (these will be for storyboarding their final assessment and also film screening)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion101:0010:00Small writing and analysis tasks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery51:005:00PIP drop-in surgery
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is structured around a lecture series delivered in concert with workshops, curated films and group discussions, which will collectively enable students to engage with module themes in an intensive way with first-hand guidance from staff. The lectures will introduce key concepts and issues, whilst setting up the learning expectations to be explored and discussed in films screenings, workshops and assessments. We actively encourage and work with students to develop their reading, writing and communication skills in a constructive and supportive environment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1Mvisual practice-based assessment, 5 page proposal via powerpoint slides. Formative
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is assessed by two assessments in which students will examine issues relating to migration and displacement. The first assessment is a zine, a short magazine in which students will communicate ideas from the module for a non-academic audience. The second assessment is a 1500-word essay, which is set at the end of the module and requires students to reflect on the process of creating the zine and how its content relates to academic scholarship on displacement and migration. The non-assessed formative zine proposal allows students to experiment with ideas in groups and gain feedback before their main individually assessed work.

Reading Lists