Skip to main content

Critical Race Studies: Understanding Asian and Black Experiences in Britain


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Tarek Qureshi
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (70%) and a 1500-word essay, review of an article or annotated bibliography

Module description

In this module we focus on 60 years of post-War history of the African, Caribbean and South Asian diaspora in Britain and explore the deep societal influence of Asian and Black cultures on local and national civic life. The module examines dimensions of racial discrimination and disadvantage in Britain and evaluates key policy areas to understand the prevalence of racism and challenges to racism.

We will investigate the ways in which social scientists from the interdisciplinary field of critical race studies, have explored and analysed how racial and ethnic identities are lived and experienced. Central to this inquiry is an examination of the theories and concepts that social scientists have utilised to think about the formation of ethnic/racial identities and racism.

Indicative module content

  • Changing ideas of race
  • Histories of migration to the UK
  • The 'race relations' paradigm
  • 'Race' and class
  • Gender and race
  • 'Old and new ethnicities' and super diversity
  • Anti-racist perspectives and race relations legislation
  • Racial violence: politics and policy
  • Urban unrest and policing
  • Multi-ethnic future and Britishness: race, religion and difference

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand how race is constructed and deconstructed over time and place
  • understand race as a social construct with material effects
  • synthesise contemporary research on race and ethnicity as experienced by Asian and Black communities in the UK
  • present clear evidence-based arguments on racial discrimination and disadvantage
  • critically assess contrasting theories and approaches to race and ethnicity
  • understand notions of resistance through anti-racist protests and campaigns.