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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Scheduled
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

Introduction to Australian Migration Law will equip students with the skills to navigate and interpret complex Migration legislation. This unit contributes to the overall course objectives by providing students with a brief history of Migration law in Australia as well as the background knowledge and understanding of the relationship between Migration legislation, case law and policy. Students will undertake studies that focus on the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and other relevant legislation using Legendcom. In addition, the course will introduce students to administrative legal skills that include file notes, taking instructions and legal writing which in turn will enable students to understand and communicate complex legal issues with clients and stakeholders. Completion of this unit will enable students to develop legal reasoning skills in analysing, interpreting and applying Migration Law in their professional practice.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Locate, navigate and interpret Migration legislation and identify the role of policy
LO2Demonstrate understanding of the Australian visa system, the roles of Courts and Tribunals in Migration Law and articulate the principles of statutory interpretation
LO3In the context of Australian Migration law, critically evaluate the history of immigration, sovereignty and multiculturalism and their effects on the Australian legal system and development of the Department of Home Affairs
LO4Research, formulate and implement appropriate strategies for providing effective advice to clients


Topics will include: 


  • Foundation of Australia’s Legal System 
  • History of Migration Law in Australia 
  • Decision making in Australia’s migration system 
  • Structure and role of Department of Home Affairs 
  • Sovereignty 
  • Multiculturalism 
  • Developments and Trends in Migration 
  • Australian legal system – primary functions; separation of powers 
  • Courts Tribunals – jurisdiction, hierarchy and role 
  • Analyse and interpret legislation and policy and respective roles played by both in migration law context 
  • Recent trends in law and policy 
  • Australian citizenship 
  • Statutory interpretation 
  • Legal research 
  • Legal citation 
  • Oral and written communication skills 
  • Administrative legal skills – taking file notes; taking instructions from clients 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This is the foundation unit in the Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law and Practice. It is the prescribed qualification for initial registration with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) as per s289A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).   


Our strategy is to introduce students to migration law theory and to develop within them, research skills and knowledge that will carry them through this unit, into subsequent units and then into their practice. For this reason, it is a pre-requisite subject for those students who do not have a background in legal practice. 


This subject will be delivered in online mode to provide accessibility and flexibility to our post graduate students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising Canvas.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

This graduate course is the prescribed qualification for registration with OMARA to provide migration advice. On completion of all units, students who wish to apply for registration will also sit an independent entry examination regulated by OMARA. 


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed. Occupational Competency Standards have been produced by the Department of Home Affairs and have guided our assessment as the underpinning knowledge and skills required by a migration law practitioner. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment task 1: Reflective journal and engagement in designated online activities. This assessment involves participation in weekly discussion forum activities & submission of a reflection on learning during the unit.  

Format - minimum 500 words and maximum 750 words. 

Purpose - This task contributes specifically to the development of students’ understanding of unit material and assesses Learning Outcomes 1-4.  

Assessment criteria - Specific assessment Rubric will be provided 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment task 2: Research Assignment and applied problem solving. This assessment requires students to demonstrate their ability to identify and interpret relevant Migration legislation, basic aspects of the visa system and migration policy. 

Format - 1,500 words  

Purpose - Assessment to assist students to contextualise their learning and use theoretical knowledge in a practical and real-life situation. Students are asked to use critical thinking and reasoning to suggest a solution to a factual problem. This task requires students to critically analyse an element of Australian Migration Law and provide conclusions informed by legislation and policy and assesses learning outcomes 1-3.  

Assessment criteria - Specific assessment Rubric will be provided 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment task 3: Client Interviews. Students demonstrate oral communication skills in a simulated client scenario. 

Format - 30 minute online interview using Adobe Connect 

Purpose - Mock interview with a client conducted within an Adobe online classroom. Students apply oral communication skills to advise and gain necessary information within a practical client scenario. 

Assessment criteria - Specific assessment Rubric will be provided 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references


Legendcom http://  

Australian Guide to Legal Citations, Third Edition 

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) 

Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (Cth) 

Migration Act 1958 (Cth) 

Migration Regulations 1994 

Department of Home Affairs Procedural Instructions and Policy Strengthening Multiculturalism - 

Treaty Making and Australia:  Globalisation Versus Sovereignty Australian, Australian National University Centre for International and Public Law, edited by Alston, Philp et al 

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