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IR3065 Refugees and International Relations

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 9
Planned timetable:1.00 pm Mon

While discourses of globalisation posit a "post-national" or "borderless" world and the withering of the nation-state, this is arguably not a condition that the 1 in every 140 people globally who are displaced would recognise. Refugees and other forced migrants raise important questions for dominant understandings of the state, security, sovereignty, citizenship, humanitarianism, intervention, and international regimes, among many others, in International Relations. This module introduces some of the complex issues surrounding refugees and forced migration in global politics today. While oriented toward the role that refugees and the refugee problem play in international relations, the module is inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing on historical, legal, sociological, anthropological, and philosophical works and debates. The primary goal of the module is for students to gain critical awareness of the role and nature of the refugee problem - as a legal, political and moral problem - in global politics. Students will gain an understanding of the history of the refugee problem, the practical functions and workings of the UN refugee system, the asylum process in the EU, and of emerging issues in refugee research.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR2005 and IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 office consultative hours (x 12 weeks), 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr N Saunders
Module teaching staff:Dr N Saunders