QMUL Summer Schools

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International Migration Law

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Academic Lead: Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas

In an era of massive influx of migrants and refugees, this course will examine a series of key topics related to international immigration and refugee law, and the challenges posed from a legal perspective. It will provide you with a broad overview of the main legal instruments in place concerning asylum, migration, human smuggling and trafficking, such as the 1951 Refugee Convention (Geneva Convention) and 1967 Protocol or the 2000 Palermo Protocols attached to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Regional sub-systems, such as the EU legal framework will be explored by focusing on themes such as the legal migration, detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants, deportation and criminalisation of migration. In order to provide a holistic approach to the examined topics, selected national legislation and case law will be explored as well.

Teaching in the form of lectures and seminars, including group exercises, will be supplemented by field trips to institutions and NGOs (such as the AIRE Centre, Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, Amnesty International UK, the UNHCR etc) with a view to gaining valuable insights into the practical dimension of migration and refugee law.

Course aims

This course aims to raise your awareness of the global and current phenomena of mass influx of migrants and refugees and the challenges posed from a legal perspective. You will be equipped with the necessary tools to understand the evolving set of norms, mechanisms and procedures to deal with migration, including the avenues for legal migration, the fight against irregular migration and the determination of whether an individual qualifies as refugee. The course aims to provide you with a toolbox of legislation and case law that combines a multiplicity of legal sources ranging from international treaties to regional legal frameworks, with a focus on the EU, and national law and practices. At the end of the course, you will be able to understand the potential and limits of migration and refugee law and will be able to analyse and articulate legal arguments on global migration, making use of the relevant sources.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and field trips to institutions and NGOs such as the AIRE Centre, Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, Amnesty International UK and the UNHCR.

Learning outcomes

By attending this course, you are expected to develop:

  • a knowledge of the historical origins and development of refugee law up to its codification in the 1951 Refugee Convention (Geneva Convention) and 1967 Protocol
  • an understanding the role of key institutions such as the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), or the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
  • an understanding the principle of non-refoulement
  • an understanding of the definition of a refugee (inclusion, exclusion, cessation)
  • a knowledge of the key legal instruments at international and regional level regarding the fight against human trafficking and smuggling, with a focus on the 2000 Palermo Protocols
  • knowledge of the EU legal framework for granting international protection, admitting regular migrants and dealing with irregular.

You will develop/be able to:

  • debate critically and respectfully
  • draw from existing legislation and case law to deliver sound arguments orally and in writing
  • understand and express the value of a study abroad experience in developing an academic and professional career pathway
  • work collaboratively in group exercises
  • gain valuable insights into how law operates in practice
  • combine and differentiate legal sources and principles and understand the hierarchy of legal norms (international, regional, national level)
  • a capacity for analytical and critical thought
  • deeper understanding of the interaction between international, regional and national legal systems
  • improved skills in oral presentation
  • polish your independent legal research skills by seeking out relevant sources and research materials.


The QMUL Summer School costs: £1,499 per session, which includes tution and social programme. 

We offer a 10% discount to:

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current QMUL students 


On campus accommodation (bed and breakfast) will cost £899 per session.

Additional costs and course excursions

Please note that some courses have some additional fees not included in the Tuition and Social Programme Fee. These fees are for activities and field trips that may take place away from our campus. Please check details for your chosen course to confirm whether there are any additional costs.

Please note there is no deposit payment required for the QMUL Summer School.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the QMUL Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7 overall or higher
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 100 (L22; S25; R24; W27)
  • China UEE (University Entrance Exam) -  110
  • CET 4 – 550 or CET 6 – 490
  • PTE Academic 68
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 185 70- grade C (old marking system)
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at


How to apply

Applications now open!

In order to apply for the QMUL Summer School please fill out the application form

Check out our accommodation and fee discount deadlines.

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help.

Application deadline: 25 May 2018.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need to upload the following documents together with your online application:

  • your current academic transcript or your record of studies to date
  • evidence of your English Language proficiency, if your first language isn’t English
  • a written statement explaining why you'd like to attend the Summer School
  • a copy of your passport

What do I do next? 

  • check that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • work with your home university adviser to select the courses you want to study at QMUL and ensure they are approved/can transfer back to your own institution
  • gather your transcripts and your proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • apply online to QMUL

What happens then?

  • we make a decision on your application within 5 days of your application date and send you an offer letter
  • you accept our offer
  • apply for a visa (if you need it)
  • book your flights to London**
  • read all of our pre-departure emails carefully before you arrive
  • pack and get ready for your stay in London
  • arrive in London and move into your new home with us on campus
  • join the welcome programme and start your course
  • complete all your welcome programme/orientation tasks
  • enjoy your time at QMUL!

** Please don’t connect or enter the UK via Ireland, as there are visa restrictions.

Teaching dates
Session One: 25 June 2018–13 July 2018
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
In-class oral presentation (50%), 2,500-word essay (50%)

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