Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2091: Immigration in Western Societies

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics.


Six lectures provide a general discussion of major theoretical and empirical issues in the study of immigrants/ethnic minorities. We will discuss immigration in a comparative perspective, but the main focus will be on the UK.


- Brief history of immigration in the 20th century. 'Push' and 'pull' factors affecting immigration.

- Collecting data on ethnic minorities in Western countries.

- Ethnic minorities in the labour market. Discrimination.

- The second generation of immigrants in the educational system and labour market. ‘Segmented assimilation’.

- Ethnic minorities/immigrants in a comparative perspective: the UK, USA, continental Europe, Russia.

- Public attitudes to immigrants and immigration.


Five computer lab sessions introduce students to simple data analysis with statistical software, covering the following topics:


- Measurement and data sets. Variables and observations. Measurement scales.

- Distributions. Mean, median, variance. Frequency tables.

- Basic statistical graphs.

- Contingency tables.

- Correlation and causation.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities16.56 lectures of 1.5 hours; 5 lab sessions x 1.5 hour each
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1111 x 1 hour seminars
Guided independent study3311 x 3 hour course readings and assignments for seminars and lab sessions
Guided independent study89.5Independent reading and research for essays; writing essays

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).


Web based and electronic resources:


European Social Survey <http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org>

Programme for International Student Assessment <http://www.oecd.org/pisa/>

The Migration Observatory <http://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk>