HUMN 7023 Global Health, Migration and Development

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102576

Coordinator Melissa Phillips Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the intersection between global health, human migration and economic development. Students are introduced to international efforts to manage and support better health for all populations, particularly those under stress through civil conflict or epidemic. Through the lens of migration theories, the course will examine why and how people migrate, the dynamisms and complexities of migrants' settlement in their new environment, the socio-economic and political dimensions of forced migration and its consequences, and the relationship between voluntary migration and economic and development goals at regional, national and international level.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Studies in Human Society, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Assumed Knowledge

A broad and coherent knowledge, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts in one or more disciplines in Arts or Social Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and critically review conceptual frameworks for understanding migration processes and causes and effects of migration locally, regionally, and internationally.
  2. Explain the socio-political dimensions of different types of migration and the social and health burden associated with various types of migration.
  3. Articulate relevant policy responses to maximise the socio-economic impact of voluntary migration including the strengths and limitations of their application.
  4. Succinctly summarise international standards and guidelines as well as best practices governing the needs of forced migrants.
  5. Differentiate the roles of key UN agencies from those of international NGOs and the civil society in response to the needs of various types of migrants and in relation to advocacy.
  6. Develop competence in analysing the role of voluntary migration in the context of development assistance, poverty alleviation and skill transfer.
  7. Critically review the ethical dimensions associated with the militarisation of development aid and humanitarian response.

Subject Content

1. Globalisation and international migration

• Relationship between globalisation and migration
• International migration theories
• Patterns of international migration
• Key frameworks, conventions and dialogues to manage global migration and refugees
• International migration controversies

2. Understanding the distinction between internally displaced peoples, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants

• Overview of the social and health burden of IDPs: fleeing, returning and post conflict phases.
• Policy Response: soft vs. hard laws 

3. Responses to forced migration - complex humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises

• History and patterns of complex humanitarian emergencies
• Disaster epidemiology
• Setting priorities and decision making and programming
• International guidelines and standards
• Refugee governance and regional mechanisms and policy response

4. Forced Migration: Asylum seekers

• Who is an asylum seeker? How do they differ from an IDP or a refugee
• Detention practice and ethical dimensions
• UNHCR detention guidelines
• Social and health burden of asylum seekers in detention
• Alternatives to detention: the European perspective vs an Australian perspective
• Social and health policy response: role of NGOs in detention vs. political response.

5. Forced Migration: Climate Change and Displacement

• The challenge of predicting the scale of climate and environmentally induced migration
• Current trends, patterns and approaches to address the issue
• Explore interconnected effects of climate change, health, and migration including the types of health consequences linked to climate change that act as drivers of migration

6. Dimensions of voluntary migration - rural to urban migration; transnational migration

• Rural-urban migration and economic growth in low and middle income countries
• The socio-economic impact of rural-urban migration in developed countries
• The health consequences of rural-urban migration in Africa: Case studies and policy response to rural-urban migration: China, South Korea, and OECD countries

7. Policy dimensions, diasporas and addressing the development challenges related to migration

• The health burden of voluntary migrants


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Critical Review 1,000 words 25 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual
Presentation 10 minutes 25 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • N/A

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Parramatta City - Macquarie St


Subject Contact Melissa Phillips Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Parramatta City - Macquarie St


Subject Contact Melissa Phillips Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window