Immigration Law - LAWS6480

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Richard Warren checkmark-circle


The module will provide an introduction to immigration law in the United Kingdom. It covers key concepts; the development of the field of law viewed in historical and political context; questions of nationality and the system of immigration control and enforcement. It also considers the relationship between human rights and UK immigration controls. In particular, the course covers: The Immigration Debate in the UK: Are Immigration restrictions justified?; The Evolution of Immigration Law and Policy in Britain; the multiple sources of Immigration Law; The Immigration Acts and the Framework of Immigration Control including an appreciation of the Appeals Process and Judicial Review; The Immigration Rules; relevant aspects of EU Free Movement and Residence Rights including the consequences of Brexit; an outline of Labour Migration; Family Migration and Article 8 ECHR; Deportation Law and Foreign National Offenders; Long-term Residence Rights and "Illegal" Migration. Drawing on a range of contextual accounts, policy documents, case law and critical analysis of developments at the national, regional and to a more limited extent the international level, the module enables students to acquire both sound knowledge of the law and critical awareness of the biases, gaps and challenges in the current immigration system.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150


Optional to the following courses: all undergraduate Law degrees

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework – essay (3500 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Anderson, B. Us & Them: The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control (OUP, 2013).
• Bosworth, M. Inside Immigration Detention (OUP, 2014).
• Clayton, G. Textbook on Immigration and Asylum Law, 7th ed. (OUP, 2016).
• De Guchteneire, P, Pecoud, and Cholewinski, R eds., Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers' Rights (CUP, 2009).
• Gibney, M The Ethics and Politics of Asylum (CUP, 2004).
• Macdonald, I Immigration Law and Practice in the United Kingdom 8th Edition. (Butterworths Law, 2010).
• Wray, H. Regulating Marriage Migration into the UK: A Stranger in the Home. (Routledge, 2011)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a detailed introductory knowledge and understanding of the national and international sources of UK Immigration law;
2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the history and theory of regulating key categories of migrant subjects in the UK;
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the regulation of migrant subjects to the UK;
4. Critically reflect on key aspects of the intersection of national law with the international regulation of migration;
5. Critically evaluate the key contemporary scholarly and policy debates in the area of UK immigration law.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Effectively apply knowledge to the analysis of complex issues;
2. Formulate and sustain a complex argument, supporting it with appropriate evidence;
3. Independently acquire knowledge and understanding in areas, both legal and non-legal;
4. Use the English Language in writing, in relation to legal matters and generally, with care, accuracy and effectiveness;
5. Read complex legal materials and summarise them accurately;
6. Correctly employ legal terminology and methods of citation and referencing for legal and other academic materials;
7. Conduct independent research, using both paper and electronic sources, to collect and synthesis information and inform a sustained argument;


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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