Asylum and Immigration Law

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Final Year
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

Important: module convenor approval required.

The module provides an in-depth introduction to asylum and immigration law in the United Kingdom (UK). It covers key concepts; the development of the field of law viewed in its historical and political context; immigration law and asylum law, particularly the refugee definition, status determination and procedural rights; questions of nationality and the system of immigration control and enforcement. It also considers how international law, EU law and human rights standards impact(ed) UK law governing asylum and immigration.

Drawing on a range of theoretical accounts, policy documents, case law and critical analysis of developments at the national, regional and 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 system.

By locating UK asylum and immigration law in the broader context of global developments, it allows students to appreciate the multiple standpoints and factors, including race, class and gender, that influence law and practice in the field. This is complemented by a clinic element that offers students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of applying their learning in the classroom.

The module is designed to combine theory and practice, but it is also aimed at developing an appreciation of the human dimension of immigration and asylum law, by learning and reflecting upon how migrants, asylum seekers and refugees experience the law. 

Immigration tribunal visits

To complement students’ theoretical knowledge, students will attend immigration tribunal hearings where they will gain an insight into the various aspects of the asylum process, immigration detention, the bail process, tribunal procedures and will witness the law being applied in real cases.

During tribunal visits, 4 students are expected to fill in a short questionnaire and will be encouraged to reflect critically on the role of the law in shaping migrants’ experiences, including the protection of their human rights. A specific rota for students' attendance at the tribunal is found on Moodle. Guidance on attendance at bail hearings will be provided in the first few weeks of the academic year.

Attendance at the tribunal visits will be an essential prerequisite for a sound understanding of theoretical and practical issues in immigration and asylum law and a key aspect of the clinical element assessment. 

Objectives and learning outcomes

The course content is designed to enable students, at the end of the module, to:  

  • demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the various legal concepts, rules, institutions and procedures in the field of asylum and immigration law;  
  • debate the role of law and legal institutions in respect of asylum and immigration;  
  • develop cogent arguments in the relevant field based on theoretical, practical and comparative sources; • identify and critically appraise the multiple factors, including doctrines and biases, that influence the development and application of asylum and immigration law;  
  • reflect critically on the role of the law in shaping the experiences of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, including the protection of their rights;  
  • competently apply this knowledge in practical settings. 


  • Weekly 2-hour seminar
  • Court visits

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 30% (3,000 words),  
  • Clinic brief: 20% (2,000 words)  
  • Unseen written examination: 50%

Suggested reading

  • Gina Clayton & Georgina Firth, Immigration and Asylum Law, 9th edition (Oxford University Press, 2021).  
  • Colin Yeo, Welcome to Britain: Fixing our Broken Immigration System (Biteback, 2022)  
  • Colin Yeo, Refugee Law, (Bristol University Press, 2022) 
  • Nadine El-Enany, Bordering Britain: Law, race and empire (Manchester University Press, 2020) 
  • Lucy Mayblin, Asylum after Empire, (Rowman & Littlefieldd, 2018) 
  • Fiorenza Picozza, The Coloniality of Asylum: Mobility, Autonomy and Solidarity in the Wake of Europe’s Refugee Crisis, ( Rowman and Littlefield 2021) 
  • Bridget Anderson, Us and them? The dangerous politics of immigration control (Oxford University Press, 2013)  
  • Mary Bosworth, Alpa Pamar and Yolanda Vazques, Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control (Oxford University Press, 2018)  


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.