Ethnic Relations in Britain

Second year module

Lecturer: Shamila Ahmed

This module adds to the Introduction to Multiculturalism module by providing an economic and historical context to current debates, as well as an exploration of key contemporary issues.

It starts with an analysis of British imperialism, colonialism, the end of empire, and post-war reconstruction and race relations. It moves on to look at the politics of 'race' in the post-war era, with a focus on British ethnic minority settlement, community development, identity, racialisation, radicalisation, criminalisation and public policy. Contemporary issues that follow are political participation and representation; citizenship, civil society and community cohesion; ethnic minority media and ethnic minorities in the media; ethnic minorities and the criminal justice system; ethnic minority education issues (social class, ethnicity, religion and culture - with special reference to South Asians in education in Birmingham); ethnic minority entrepreneurialism (ethnicity, commodification, competition and development - with special reference to the 'Baltis' in Birmingham).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Have a wider understanding of the key sociological issues in British ethnic and racial studies; 
  • Have a more developed understanding/appreciation of topical debates and issues; 
  • Develop presentation, written and analytical skills.


  • 1 x 3000 word essay (50%)
  • 3 hour examination (50%)