Asylum and Refugee Law - LAWS6470

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Thanos Zartaloudis checkmark-circle


This module engages with the matter of asylum and refugeehood in both a national and international context. The module offers a thorough introduction to the sources of asylum and refugee law (UK and international) and a critical consideration of the relevant jurisprudence. The module employs at times interdisciplinary material to aid understanding and reflection and engages with the historical and socio-cultural evolution of the government and regulation of asylum and refugee subjects. In addition, the module devotes time to key contemporary problems in asylum and refugee law and current developments and debates in the field.


Contact hours

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


This is an optional module for all social sciences undergraduate Law degrees

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
The module will be assessed by 100% coursework consisting of:


A 3,500 word essay (worth 100%)

OR: when available, and at the discretion and approval of the Module Convenor, a select number of students will have the opportunity to undertake international asylum and refugee law clinical work on an assessed basis. When this clinical option is undertaken, it will take the place of the assessed essay outlined above.

When available, this clinical option requires the submission of:

(i) A research note of 3000 words (worth 100%). The reduced word count acknowledges the extra level of independent research that students under this option will need to undertake.

Reassessment methods

All students who fail this module, including those who have undertaken Clinical Work, will be re-assessed reassessment instrument (coursework, worth 100%).

Indicative reading

• Clayton, G, Textbook on Immigration and Asylum Law (OUP, 2016, 7th edition).
• Goodwin-Gill, Guy S., Jane McAdam, The refugee in international law (OUP, 2007).
• Hathaway, J. (et al), The Law of Refugee Status (CUP, 2014).
• Juss, Satvinder S., The Ashgate research companion to migration law, theory and policy (Ashgate, 2013).
• Stevens, Dallal, UK asylum law and policy: historical and contemporary perspectives, (Sweet and Maxwell, 2004).
• Zolberg, Aristide R. (et al), Escape from violence: conflict and the refugee crisis in the developing world (OUP, 1989).

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 knowledge and understanding of the national and international sources of asylum and refugee law;
2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the framework as well as the complexity of the laws and principles of asylum and refugeehood;
3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the history, theory and practice of regulating asylum and refugee subjects;
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key contemporary aspects of the international regulation of asylum and refugee protection;
5. Critically evaluate the main scholarly (and in part interdisciplinary) debates in the areas of asylum and refugee law studies.

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 and non-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 synthesise information from a variety of sources
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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