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Immigration Pt 1: Fundamentals of UK Law (Senior Status)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Khadija Rahman
  • Assessment: a 4000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module presents an outline of the legal framework for the system of immigration law of the United Kingdom, and it assesses its development as a legal means of permitting the entry, stay and settlement of foreign and European nationals. It will provide an overview of the conflicts between executive aims and the need to accord due respect to foreign nationals claiming a basis to stay in the UK as family members of those who are either settled or British. The module also provides an overview of the position of foreign nationals who seek to come to the UK for work, business or study. In this context, we will also explore the impact of human rights as a means of challenging decisions to refuse leave, to remove overstayers and to deport foreign criminals. The module highlights the special position of EU nationals exercising Treaty rights in the UK in contrast to third country migrants seeking to stay under the primary and secondary immigration legislation.

The module will also provide an overview of the rights of asylum seekers in order to introduce the system of UK immigration control as a broad one which includes a separate scheme of international obligations to provide protection to foreign nationals claiming a fear of persecution.

Knowledge of the topics covered will enhance your employability both within the legal profession and, for example, in Citizens Advice Bureaux and Law Centres. This subject is also commonly practised by lawyers and is a popular subject on the Legal Practice Course.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Brief introduction to refugee definition under the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Protocol 
  • Overview of the system of immigration control, with a particular focus on the administrative removals of overstayers 
  • Family migration I (immigration rules for spouses, unmarried partners and fiancés prior to 9 July 2012)
  • Family migration II (immigration rules for parents and grandparents and children prior to 9 July 2012)
  • Family migration III: overview of the family migration rules (spouses, unmarried partners, fiancés, parents/grandparents/other dependent relatives, and children) since 9 July 2012
  • Overview of the point-based system: working and studying in the UK (Tiers 1, 2 and 4)
  • Challenging refusals: appeals process and judicial review
  • Deportation of foreign criminals
  • Free movement of EEA nationals
  • Family members of EEA nationals

Learning objectives

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

  • articulate and critically evaluate the principles and standards relating to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951), system of immigration control, as well as the primary legislation, secondary legislation, relating to immigration and asylum law as it pertains to the UK
  • identify and critically discuss cases from national courts that provide the foundation for how the Immigration Rules, legislation and EEA immigration law is interpreted and implemented in the United Kingdom
  • critically engage with jurisprudence and approaches of UK immigration case law generally
  • engage in comparative analysis in the treatment of European Union nationals, asylum seekers and non-EEA nationals in immigration law.