UCL Module Catalogue


Migration and Health (BASC0011)

Key information

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Teaching department
Arts and Sciences BASc
Credit value

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


This module has historically been popular. If you try to register on this module, we would advise exploring additional options, just in case. 

The aim of this course is to analyse the interplay between global migration and health, whereby the latter encompasses physical, mental and social well-being. Patterns of migratory movement have an impact on individual physical and psychological health as well as on public health. The ability of migrants to integrate into a host society is based on combined mental, physical and social well-being. However, the structural inequalities experienced by migrants can have a significant impact on their overall health. Migrant health thus goes beyond the traditional management of diseases among mobile populations and is linked to the broader social determinants of health and unequal distribution of such determinant

Indicative Topics

The module will cover the following topics, which may be subject to variation depending on developments in academic research and the interests of the class:

• The relevance of migration and health

• Sociological and economic theories of migration

• Communicable diseases, sexual and mental health of migrants

• Health inequality and social determinants of health

• Access to health services and migration 

• International migration of health workers

By the end of the module, you should develop:

1. Knowledge of the key theories and approaches to the study of migration;

2. Understanding of the relationship between migration and the physical, mental and social well-being of mi-grants;

3. Understanding of the economic factors in the relationship between migration and health;

4. The ability to distil information, present ideas and defend a theoretical position.

Teaching Delivery

The module is taught with a mix of lecture and small group tutorial. Lectures are interactive wherever possible and tutorials requires reading and discussion of two articles which are assigned each week.

Recommended Reading

Here are some of the  core readings for the module. These can be found in the UCL Library:

Gushulak, BD., Weekers, J. and MacPherson, DW. (2010) ‘Migrants and emerging public health issues in a globalized world: threats, risks and challenges: an evidence-based framework’, Emerging Health Threats Journal, vol. 2, no 10

Zimmerman C., Kiss L. and Hossain M. (2011) ‘Migration and health: A framework for 21st century policy-making’, PLoS Medicine, vol. 8, no. 5

Brettell, C. and Hollifield, J. (2008) ‘Introduction: migration theory – talking across disciplines’ in their Migration Theory – Talking Across Disciplines. London: Routledge

Castles, S. and Miller, M.J. (2008) Chapter 1: Theories of Migration. The Age of Migration. International Population Movements in the Modern World. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Ager, A. and Strang, A. (2008) ‘Understanding integration: a conceptual framework’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 21, no. 2, 166-191

Berry, J.W. (1997) ‘Immigration, Acculturation and Adaptation’, Applied Psychology, vol. 46, no. 1, 5-68

Carballo, M. and Mboup, M. (2005) International migration and health. Report by the Global Commission on International Migration

Zimmerman, C., Kiss, L., Hossain, M. (2011) ‘Migration and Health: A Framework for 21st Century Policy-Making’ PLoS Med 8(5): e1001034. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001034 http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001034&type=printable

Fenton, K.A. et al. (2005) ‘Ethnic variations in sexual behaviour in Great Britain and risk of sexually transmitted infections: a probability survey’, The Lancet, vol. 365, 1246-1255

Burns, F. and Fenton, K.A. (2006) ‘Access to HIV care among migrant Africans in Britain. What are the issues?’ Psychology, Health & Medicine, vol. 11, 117-125

Hickling F., Gibson R., and Hutchinson G. (2013); Current research on transcultural psychiatry in the Anglophone Caribbean: Epistemological, public policy, and epidemiological challenges; Transcultural Psychiatry, 50(6): 858-875.

Summerfield D. (1999); A critique of seven assumptions behind psychological trauma programmes in war affected areas; Social Science Medicine 48: 1449–1462.

Davies, A., Basten, A. & Frattini, C. (2006) Migration: A Social Determinant of the Health of Migrants. International Organization for Migration. Background Paper.

McDonald, J.T. and Kennedy, S. (2004) ‘Insights into the ‘healthy immigrant effect’: health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada’, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 59, no.8, 1613-1627.

Rechel, B., Mladovsky, P., Ingleby, D., Mackenbach, J.P. & McKee, M (2013) ‘Migration and health in an increasingly diverse Europe’, The Lancet, vol. 381, no. 9873, 1235-1245

Stan, S. (2015) “Transnational healthcare practices of Romanian migrants in Ireland: Inequalities of access and the privatisation of healthcare services in Europe”, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 124, no.1, 346-355.

For further information on this module, please contact:

Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 1     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 5)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
100% Written report
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Dr Chiara Amini
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.