Immigration Law - LAWS6480

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
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 how EU law and human rights standards impact(ed) UK law governing immigration. In particular, the course covers: The Immigration Debate in the UK: Are Immigration restrictions justified?; The Evolution of Migration Law and Policy in Britain; an appreciation and understanding of the subjects to Immigration Control; the multiple sources of Immigration Law; the case of Long-term Residence Rights; the matter of Family Migration; an outline of Labour Migration; relevant aspects of EU Migration and Free Movement; case studies on Detention and Deportation; as well as an appreciation of the Appeals Process and Judicial Review. 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. This is complemented by a clinic element that offers some students the opportunity to gain fist-hand experience of applying immigration law through working the Kent Law Clinic.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130

Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by 100% coursework consisting of:
A 3,500-word essay (worth 100%)

Reassessment methods

All students who fail this module will be re-assessed via a reassessment instrument (i.e. coursework worth 100%).

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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