The Sociology of Migrations: The Context of Spain and the European Union

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Sociology of Migrations: The Context of Spain and the European Union

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The Sociology of Migrations: The context of Spain and the European Union



    No previous knowledge is required.


    Migration and the consequences of migration has and still is one of the most important social phenomena’s in the world. Consequently, it is central for policy makers at all levels including intergovernmental institutions such as the European Union. The phenomena are furthermore affecting a broad range of social institutions, social processes, and our way of life. In other words, migration in all its forms has far reaching demographic, cultural, and political implications. This course aim at introducing its students to migration, its problems and opportunities. After the course the:

    • Students will be able to critically analyze contemporary debates around immigration, immigration policy, border controls, refugees and integration in Europe and further afield;
    • Students will develop an understanding of historical processes of migration and patterns of migration;
    • Students will learn to understand the mechanisms behind migration processes; why people migrate. They will also become acquainted with different theoretical approaches that explain these mechanisms;
    • Students will be able to identify and differentiate between the major theories of migration utilized in current debates;
    • Students will be able to apply concepts from sociological theories of migration to experiences of migration and integration



    The course focus both on past and present migration.  It analyses migration from different but related angles such as; demographic, social, political, and economic, with emphasis on the main scientific and political debates. The following broad content outline will be covered:

    • History of migration.
    • Demography and migration.
    • Migration theory – i.e. explaining migration phenomena.
    • Migration policy EU regulation and national policy approaches, with emphasis on the Spanish case.
    • Ethnicity, Integration and Segregation in Spain and in the EU.
    • Attitudes on migration
    • Forced migration (i.e., migration due to natural disasters and war)



    Active participation is required, and class attendance is mandatory. The course will be based on lectures, exercises and active learning modules. The lectures introduce the different topics covered in the course, providing the student with the necessary background to give meaning and content to individual and group exercises. In the active learning modules, the students will be given the possibility to conduct more in-depth studies of migration phenomena’s and the problems related to them. Students, and groups of students, have to present their work to the rest of the class, with a view to train their capacity to synthesis complex information and presentation skills.


    The student work will consist on three tasks:
    1) Active Participation. Readings, class discussion and short exercises (10%).
    2) Presentation and essay (40%).
    3) Final exam (50%).

    Class attendance is mandatory. Unjustified absence in more than three instances will result in failure of the course.

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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