Applications are now open for 2018 entry and will close late July 2018.
The LLM in Immigration Law will provide you with the opportunity to study legal responses to the global phenomenon of immigration at international, supranational and domestic levels and to understand the rationale and operation of the law in context.
This Master of Laws programme offers a comprehensive overview of the major legal and theoretical issues concerning immigration law and policy from a domestic, comparative, European and international perspective. Modules include international migration and refugee law, European migration law, comparative immigration law, cultural diversity and the law, and migration and security. This LLM is unique globally as it is taught by leading academics in the field and you will be exposed to insights from legal practitioners, international organisations and NGOs.
The East End of London is a historic site of migration and displays the interplay between migration and human rights, on the one hand, and migration and security, on the other hand, as well as the transnational nature of the phenomenon of human mobility across borders in a globalised world. The programme adds to the existing expertise offered by the School of Law in human rights, public law, legal theory, and public international law. Our academics are engaged in leading research into the areas covered within the programme.
This programme will:
- Allow you to gain the most up to date knowledge of developments in the area of international and comparative immigration and refugee law.
- Deliver knowledge and analysis of a range of concerns of relevance to professional communities involved in the field.
- Enable you to understand the formal legal dimensions of your subjects as well as the more contextual political, historical and socio-legal dimensions.
- Give you exposure to an array of experts who have research as well as policy led focus on the issues at stake.
- Allow you to attend a wide variety of careers events, such as our UNHCR Careers Session.
Why study your LLM in Immigration Law at Queen Mary?
The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally. The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.
- There is a very high rate of employment of our students within six months of graduation.
- We have dedicated law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms.
- We offer a range of exclusive internships, practical placements and volunteership options within the field of immigration law. Details of these are provided at our annual Migration and Asylum Law and Policy Meet and Greet.
- Many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
- We host a wide variety of events featuring specialists in the field of migration and asylum law, including our annual lecture, which in 2016 will be delivered by UN Special Rapporteur Francois Crepeau and was delivered by Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill in 2015.
- We offer a Critical Thinking and Writing in Law programme designed to improve your writing and research in law skills.
- You will have the chance to take part in our Postgraduate essay writing competition, which promotes and supports research and study in the field of immigration, asylum and refugee law by young academics at LLM and PhD levels.
- You can join our annual trip to Geneva and visit international institutions related to human rights and immigration law.
- You will be able to take part in networking and social events run by the Queen Mary Postgraduate Law Society and upon graduating join our extensive alumni network.
You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. The Graduate Centre at Mile End campus will also provide work areas and social spaces tailored specifically to the needs and working patterns of postgraduate students.
As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases.
In addition, Queen Mary provides free access to extensive online databases and collections including: Lexis, Nexis, Westlaw, Justis, Eur-lex, Hein-Online. Business Source Complete, Index to Legal Periodicals, International Court of Justice Reports. Kluwer Arbitration, Oxford Scholarship Online (Law), Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases, UK Statute law database and United Nations Treaty Collection.
In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.
The Master of Laws (LLM) is available to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.
Each of the LLM programmes follows a common format: you will take 135 credits worth of taught modules which may be assessed by essays or examinations (see module overviews for full assessment details and dates) and thereafter you work on a 15,000-word dissertation worth 45 credits (submitted mid August). You are required to balance your taught modules equally across the two teaching semesters – a full explanation of this process will be available during induction and before module selection.
What differs from programme to programme is the range of modules that you are required to choose from. If you wish to take an unrestricted range of modules and any approved dissertation topic you should apply for the Master of Laws.
Induction and choosing your modules
We run a comprehensive two-week induction period that includes an overview of the programme and advice on module selection as well as a range of other vital information sessions. You do not have to select your modules until you have had the opportunity to listen and learn about them in greater detail during induction. More detail of the induction programme will be made available online by early September each year.
LLM Year Planner
The LLM Year Planner gives you an idea of the structure of the programme and key periods for assessment and exams.
Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly.
The part-time LLM is essentially aimed at legal practitioners working full-time in the UK. You will attend the same modules and follow the same teaching timetable as full-time students. The part-time programme is, however, spread over two academic years. In year one, you will normally complete 90 credits of taught modules. In year two, you will normally take a further 45 credits of taught modules and submit the compulsory 15,000-word dissertation (45 credits). This can of course be changed if necessary, as the dissertation can actually be done in either year. However we would always advise part-time students to take 90 credits of taught modules in their first year if they are timetabled in a convenient slot.
Although not recommended, it is possible for part-time students, who are having difficulties in finding taught modules that fit in with their work timetable, to submit two 45 credit dissertations – one per year. This would then enable you to take only 45 credits of taught modules each year, one per semester.
Part-time students may also wish to consider the LLM Flexible Study programme.
Exclusive internships and work placements
We offer students within the specialism of immigration and refugee law and policy a range of opportunities to enrich their academic experience with practical placements and volunteership options to help them transition to a professional career in the field. To find out more about these, visit our webpage.
We host an annual lecture, with QMUL's Criminal Justice Centre, focusing on issues relating to migration and asylum policy and law. In 2015 this was delivered by Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, a leading authority in international refugee law. The 2016 Annual Lecture will be delivered by by UN Special Rapporteur Francois Crepeau.
Postgraduate Essay Competition
We hold an annual Postgraduate Essay Competition focusing on issues in immigration and asylum law, helping to promote research and study in this field by young academics in LLM and PhD programmes. For more information, and how to apply, see our webpage for 2016 competition.
Trip to Geneva
The student representatives of the LLM in Immigration Law have organise a trip to Geneva to visit the international institutions related to human rights and immigration law including the UN, UNHCR and International Red Cross Committee.
For more information:
Visit the School of Law website.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
If you can't find the information you are looking for on these pages, take a look at our LLM Frequently Asked Questions.
To specialise in this area, you must select 90 credits of modules from this list and do your compulsory dissertation in the field of Immigration Law (45 credits). The additional 45 credits of taught modules can be in this area or can be unrelated and therefore selected from the full list of LLM modules.
From the 2017/18 academic year, all LLM modules will be single semester taught 22.5 credits.
Note: Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year and semesters listed can be subject to change. Any modules not available in the forthcoming academic session will be marked as soon as this information is confirmed by teaching academics.
Certain combinations of modules may be restricted or required – see the individual module description for more details. These are also subject to change but will be confirmed prior to module selection.
- QLLM100 EU Immigration Law (Sem 1)
- QLLM170 Cultural Diversity and Law (Sem 1)
- QLLM172 Comparative Immigration and Nationality Law (Sem 2)
- QLLM174 Migration, Security and Human Rights (Sem 2)
- QLLM176 International Refugee Law (Sem 1)
- QLLM177 International Migration Law (Sem 2)
- QLLM193 Free Movement of Persons in the European Union (Sem 2)
- QLLM321 Ethics of Migration and Asylum (Sem 1)
The usual qualification for entry to the LLM programme is a degree in law, or a degree with a substantial law content, of at least 2.1 honours (or equivalent). Law graduates with 2.2 honours who also have other legal qualifications and/or substantial professional legal experience may also qualify.
Non-law graduates with a minimum second class honours degree, that have also obtained a Merit (or 60 per cent) in the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) recognised by the UK professional bodies, may also qualify. Non-law graduates may also be considered on the basis of exceptional professional experience (of at least five years) in a legal area or an area directly related to their programme of study.
In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of full application documents.
A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.
Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details of the English language entry requirements for postgraduate law programmes.
If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information you require, please contact the Admissions Office.
How to apply - one LLM programme only
You may only apply for one of the School of Law’s LLM London programmes at a time. This restriction does not include the LLM Law and Economics programme or the LLM in Paris programme, which you may still apply for. You are permitted to apply for a maximum of two Queen Mary taught postgraduate programmes, so you may still apply for a further non-LLM London programme should you wish.
If you apply for one of the LLM London programmes, then later decide you would prefer to attend a different LLM specialism, please contact the Admissions Office Law Team at firstname.lastname@example.org - prior to enrolment - to request a manual change of LLM programme. Do not submit a new application.
Learning and teaching
As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations and group exercises as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You will have a team of advisers to support you, including the LLM and Research Directors, your dissertation supervisor and tutors and your module convenors.
Where will my lectures and seminars be held?
Teaching is based at the School of Law's postgraduate centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields (nearest Underground station: Holborn). Depending on the courses you take, you may also have classes at the Mile End Campus (nearest Underground stations: Mile End and Stepney Green) or the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (nearest Underground stations: Russell Square, Euston and Euston Square) or Charterhouse Square (nearest underground station: Barbican).
The sample LLM teaching timetable will give you some idea of the different locations used for teaching. This is a sample only and venues and times/days can change from year to year. The LLM teaching timetable is given to students during the induction period (after enrolment).
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
You will be assessed by a mixture of formal examinations and coursework in the six taught modules, followed by more self-directed work on your 15,000-word dissertation.
You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000-words.
Teachers contributing to this programme include:
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Full time £13,400
Tuition fees for International students
Full time £19,500
There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.
These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.
School of Law scholarships
The School of Law offers a range of scholarships for Law Masters programmes each year. Full details are made available on the law funding page from October – November each year.
Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships
We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.
Read more about funding a masters
Alternative sources of funding
Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.
Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country.
Detailed information about postgraduate funding options is available in our Postgraduate Funding Guide (pdf).
Read more about funding a masters.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Postgraduate Funding (pdf)
- Planning your budget and cutting costs (pdf)
- Part-time and vacation work (pdf)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717
LLM in Human Rights Law 2015-16
I studied the LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London with a focus on immigration and refugee law. I have attended most classes and events offered by the immigration law specialism, which I highly recommend. Not only did I get the chance to listen to amazing guest speakers and visiting professors during my time at QMUL, but I also received a lot of support from the immigration law specialism with my future career development.
At present, I am working at Kingsley Napley LLP in London - one of the leading Immigration Law firms in the UK. The internship was facilitated by the immigration law specialism which led to a subsequent placement within the firm. I am also interning for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
The best memories during my studies are definitely related to the LLM in Immigration Law and I would especially like to thank Professor Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax for her on-going support and commitment to encouraging students to develop their academic and professional skills.
Chiara Boeynaems, Belgium
LLM in European Law 2013-14
Chiara is following LLM module 'Comparative Immigration and Nationality Law':
"This module mainly focuses on the comparison of immigration and nationality law of specific countries, and on the more general approaches of the West versus East and North versus South. The course covers law in a multifaceted dimension, including the historical and sociological layers. Moreover, students are given the opportunity to co-decide on some of the topics to be discussed in class."
Yuka Takagi, Japan
LLM Immigration Law, Department of Law Scholarship Winner 2014-15
After graduating from law school, I worked as a public lawyer in Tokyo at a public law office where I dealt with numerous and diverse legal cases, including those of refugees. One of them was a female student from an African country who had sympathized and took part in a student movement against the government of her country. Her movement was opposed by the government, and, despite not having broken any laws, she received a long-term prison sentence. She requested asylum in Japan but the Japanese government refused to recognize them as refugees. Through these cases I learned about the numerous problems refugees face and their need for help from foreign countries, especially developed ones. However, it is those countries that are most prone to having overly narrow definitions of what constitutes a “refugee”. The above mentioned woman is facing a lengthy and costly legal battle which she is unlikely to win. This is what motivated me to want to learn about international refugee law and legal cases so that I may help those who cannot safely return to their home country or secure protected refugee status.
I decided to learn about the problems refugees face at Queen Mary University of London, because Queen Mary’s Law school is not only highly rated, but it has also commenced the new and unique LLM course in Immigration Law in 2014. Since starting my course I am sure that I have made a great decision. The lecturers give us not only in depth and up-to-date lectures but also constructive advice if we are finding a topic or legal issue particularly challenging. The students have diverse backgrounds and interests and it is stimulating to learn with them. I am fully satisfied with my course and look forward to learning more during the rest of my time here.
- Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax awarded the Odysseus Network Young Researcher Prize 2016
14 December 2016
- Red Cross EU Office commisions study by Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax
11 February 2016
- LLM in Immigration Law Student Representatives organise trip to Geneva
27 January 2016
- LLM in Immigration Law offers internship opportunities for specialism students
8 January 2016
- LLM in Immigration Law holds migration and asylum law and policy meet and greet
13 November 2015
- Postgraduate Essay Competition in Migration Law 2016 Second Edition
1 October 2015
- Professor Elspeth Guild: What does mass surveillance do to Human Rights? on openDemocracy
29 May 2014
- Professor Mitsilegas at Harvard Roundtable on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism
13 March 2014