BA Modern History with Economics

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Manchester's Migration Story: Race, Ethnicity and Belonging in the Industrial Metropolis

Course unit fact file
Unit code HIST10272
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Students in the Manchester's Migration Story do the hands-on work of history with a focus on recovering the untold stories of the generations of multi-ethnic migrants who came to and shaped the city. As the world’s first industrial metropolis, Manchester’s growth was fuelled by the global trade in manufactured textiles underpinned by racial slavery and colonial expansion. During the C19th, Manchester was home to a growing number of Irish migrants, Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and West African seafarers. In the wake of WWII, they would be joined by ‘New Commonwealth’ migrants from the Caribbean, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Telling Manchester’s history requires engagement with this rich tapestry of cultures and experiences. Students will perform original, self-directed research drawing upon digitised collections, regional archives and heritage sector institutions and translate their findings into a variety of accessible public history artefacts, including blog posts, contributions to collection guides, and written reflections on students-as-partners in pedagogical approaches to curriculum design.


This course aims to:

  • Introduce students to the history of Manchester’s multi-ethnic migrant communities;
  • Engage students as partners in the process of embedding racial equality and diversity in course design;
  • Facilitate independent study by developing key skills in terms of locating, analysing and synthesise both primary and secondary source material related to important themes introduced in the course;
  • Foster students’ engagement with local heritage institutions and community groups, introducing social responsibility into their intellectual agenda as historians.


Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • A broad comprehension of the history of Manchester’s multi-ethnic migrant communities;
  • An appreciation of how and why themes in British history remain underexplored or underdeveloped, via exploration of inequalities in UK History and archive sectors;
  • An understanding of how historians can work effectively to redress these ‘active silences’ by locating, analysing and synthesising primary and secondary accounts;
  • An in-depth understanding of the significance of a particular community, event, process, figure, or organisation in the history of Manchester’s migrant communities.


Intellectual skills

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Locate, analyse and synthesise primary and secondary accounts from digital and/or physical repositories in order to contribute to historical knowledge;
  • Plan, conduct and present an independently-undertaken research project;
  • Critically reflect upon the process of original research and its presentation to wider audiences.

Practical skills

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Use archives and heritage institutions to conduct historical research;
  • Present research findings visually and accessibly to academic and non-academic stakeholders;
  • Work constructively in project planning and completion, independently and within groups.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course, students will...

  • Have improved their written and oral communication skills;
  • Be more confident in finding their own voices as historians;
  • Critically examine societal values as well as their own personal norms, attitudes, and cultural identities;
  • Demonstrate an ethic of social responsibility and commitment to life-long learning on matters pertaining to democracy, equality, and justice.


Employability skills

By the end of this course, students will have improved... - Ability to work constructively in groups; - Time management skills; - Ability to find creative solutions to problems; - Written and oral communication skills; - Their ability to articulate their employability and transferrable skills. The skills acquired in this course will prepare students for careers in law, social work, journalism, politics, civil service, and human and community development due to the focus on democracy, equality, and social justice.

Assessment methods

Group Project Proposal30%
Final Learning Resource (eg. educationalist guide, lesson plan, or up to 10 minute podcast) and a 15 minute group presentation70%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written (assessment 1)

Formative and summative

Oral (on project progress)


Oral and written (assessment 2)

Formative and summative


Recommended reading

  • Our Migration Story: The Making of Britain, website created by the Runnymede Trust.
  • Jennifer Craig-Norton, Christhard Hoffman and Tony Kushner, Migrant Britain: Histories and Historiographies (Routledge, 2018)
  • Peter Gatrell, The Unsettling of Europe: The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present (Penguin, 2019)
  • Nadine El-Enany, (B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire (MUP, 2020)
  • Colin Holmes, John Bull’s Island: Immigrants and British Society, 1871-1971 (Routledge, 1988)
  • Panikos Panayi, An Immigration History of Britain: Multicultural Racism since 1800 (Routledge, 2014)
  • Satnam Virdee, Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider (Red Globe Press, 2014)
  • David Olusoga, Black and British (MacMillan, 2016)
  • Kennetta Hammond Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship, and the Politics of Race (OUP, 2015)
  • Sadiah Qureshi, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire, and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Chicago University Press, 2011).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kerry Pimblott Unit coordinator
Eloise Moss Unit coordinator

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