Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS418 Administrative Law

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical andn technical knowledge in the field of Migration Law
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Admnistrative law problems
  • advanced research and writing skills.
This unit explains the constitutional underpinnings of Australian immigration law and the international context in which it operates. It enables students to understand and apply the provisions of the Migration Act 1958, the Migration Regulations 1994 and the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. The course emphasizes the importance of statutory interpretation and the interaction between legislation and subordinate legislation. It also includes a focus on current issues such as Australia's mandatory detention system. By the end of the course, students will be able to explain the processes surrounding visas, family migration, refugee applications and merits review of migration decisions.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - explain the principles of Australia’s migration laws (GA5) 

LO2 - locate the sources of legislative provisions and case law related to migration and apply the law to different fact scenarios (GA8) 

LO3 - critique the law relating to migration (GA4, GA5, GA6)  

LO4 - develop and communicate reasoned opinions about the meaning and effect of migration law on the lives of individuals and families to whom it relates (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 

  • Immigration law/policy: its subject matter and development 
  • The constitutional and international setting of Australian migration law
  • Institutions for decision-making in relation to migration
  • Migration Act and Regulations  
  • Visa cancellations
  • Family Migration
  • Character requirements for visas and citizenship 
  • Refugee and humanitarian program visas
  • Citizenship

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law using advanced research skills.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to practice advanced research skills. 


The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly mode or online mode. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

 The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, and to develop advanced research skills.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Online Quiz: This quiz will assess students’ knowledge of the basics of the Migration Law system and migration advice industry, the history of immigration in Australia. 




Assignment with three (3) problem solving scenarios and questions to assess the students’ understanding of visa requirements and procedures, their relation to the appropriate legislation and connect the law to real case scenarios. 


LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, 

Case Study: This assignment will show a case scenario of a visa refusal or cancellation for an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The students will have to write a submission to the Tribunal representing their client. This task is to assess the students’ legal writing ability, by identifying the issues of the case, connect them to the relevant legislation and present their arguments in a professional and convincing manner and to assess their understanding of the possible implications of a Tribunal outcome. 


LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Alan Freckelton, Administrative Decision-Making in Australian Migration Law, (ANU eText, 2015)

Eve Lester, Making Migration Law. The Foreigner, Sovereignty, and the case of Australia (Cambridge 2019

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