Module Catalogue 2024/25

POL3117 : Politics of Immigration

POL3117 : Politics of Immigration

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Dimitris Skleparis
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 80 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The module aims to identify and explore how international immigration is governed, perceived, portrayed, and experienced. In particular, the module aims to enable students to:
• Gain an understanding of the key concepts, causes, and consequences of international immigration, as well as the historical, economic, political, and social factors that have shaped it;
• Reflect on the institutions, actors, and policies involved in governing international immigration;
• Critically evaluate the political dilemmas involved in addressing international immigration for a variety of actors, from political parties to citizens, and the media.
• Critically examine the individual, contextual, and structural factors that influence international immigrants’ experiences in host countries.

Outline Of Syllabus

International migration has been one of the signature phenomena in the last few decades, and one of the most debated topics in many developed and developing countries. This module examines international immigration from an IR and Political Science perspective by drawing on Western and non-Western examples. Part I of the module explores key concepts used to make sense of international immigration, as well as theories and empirical evaluations of the economic, social, political and cultural causes and consequences of the phenomenon. It also examines the main institutions and actors involved in the governance of international immigration, and the ways they govern it. Specifically, we will address: Who migrates where and why? What are the different types and implications of international immigration for states and people? Who is governing international immigration and in what ways? Part II offers theoretical and comparative empirical perspectives on some of the main factors that inform the ways states govern international immigration. We specifically focus on how politicians, political parties, governments, native citizens and the media respond to international immigrants and immigration: what is the role of party politics, public opinion and the media in policymaking? How does each one of these factors influence it? Finally, Part III moves to consider the experiences and voices of international immigrants themselves. It critically examines the effects of citizenship/legal status, class, gender, race, religion, and sense of identity and belonging on immigrants’ lives in host countries: What are the effects of individual migrant characteristics in how international immigrants are perceived, portrayed and governed in host societies?
Topics to be covered could include:
• Immigration concepts, motives and implications
• The governance of immigration:
o Institutions and Actors
o Politics of Openness vs. Politics of Closure
• States’ responses to immigration:
o the role of Party Politics
o the role of Public Opinion
o the role of Media
• Critical perspectives on immigration:
o Security and Insecurity
o Citizenship and Identity

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to:
• Demonstrate a thorough understanding of key concepts and debates on the causes and consequences of international immigration;
• Identify and critically assess the institutions, actors, and varying policy responses involved in governing international immigration;
• Evaluate the role of party politics, public opinion and the media in how states govern international immigration;
• Apply theoretically and conceptually informed insights to understand the factors that shape immigrants’ experiences, and processes of politicisation and securitisation in host countries.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to:
• Identify research questions relevant to contemporary international immigration issues;
• Assess the theoretical frameworks, methods and data utilised in international immigration research;
• Interpret, analyse and synthesise empirical evidence from a multiplicity of sources;
• Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments both orally and in writing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PIP Lectures
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities111:0011:00Quizzes; guided tasks.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PIP Seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Annotated/guided reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1134:00134:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk111:0011:00PiP Questions and Answers Session
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Student contact will primarily take place through a series of Lectures, Seminars, and Module Talks, supported by engagement through the module’s virtual learning environment. In-person Lectures will convey key themes and issues noted in learning outcomes, and Seminars will provide an in-person environment in which students and the module leader can discuss the readings and assignments. The in-person Module Talk sessions will give students the opportunity to clarify and delve deeper into key lecture themes by revisiting and/or completing new structured, guided learning activities. Structured, guided learning activities include quizzes, puzzles, guided tasks, and multiple-choice questions to allow students to check their understanding of the lectures and readings. They also include online videos with added comments, discussion boards, and annotated readings to encourage deeper reflection on the key issues and debates covered each week.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M80Policy Brief - 2,800 words
Written exercise2M20Paper Critique - 700 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study2MTitle and Introduction of Policy Brief - 500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 2,800-word case study report is aimed at developing academic and employability skills. The case study will be a policy brief. Policy briefs are short documents that refer to a public issue associated with governability. They are addressed to policy-makers who may know little or nothing about the topic, but need to have a general background quickly in order to make decisions. Policy briefs summarise a large amount of complex detail, so the reader can easily understand the heart of the issue, its background, the players (‘stakeholders’) involved and any implemented policies, as well as their repercussions. They are designed to facilitate the use of research or evidence in the public policy process.

The 700-word written exercise will be a critique of a mandatory seminar reading. A critique assignment is a piece of writing in which the student assesses the effectiveness of an academic source in achieving its stated aims and evaluates its value as a reliable resource.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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