Advanced Diploma in Immigration and Asylum Law

Page last updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2024


This Advanced Diploma will enable you to navigate immigration–and–asylum law questions. It provides valuable insights into current and emerging issues facing the State’s application–processing regimes. The course will cover recent pressures on the State’s international–protection and immigration systems. 

Since the mid–1990s Ireland has experienced a ‘sea change’ in the social and policy landscapes in this sector. This has arisen in the context of significant inward migration to this country and an unprecedented inflow of international–protection applications, both from individuals and family groups from all over the world.

A substantial national jurisprudence in the area of asylum and immigration law has developed. This case law deals with the meaning, domestic effect, and application of primary and secondary legislation, statements of policy, the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, and EU law. In addition, there is a large and growing corpus of European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice case law in this important and fast–moving area of law.


This unique Advanced Diploma will provide participants with an overview of the main components of immigration and asylum law in Ireland including a practical knowledge of the State’s application processing regimes in this area. It will also address key legal issues regarding the processing of individual immigration, asylum, and visa applications.

On completion of the Advanced Diploma, participants should be better able to:

  1. have a critical understanding of the theories, concepts, principles, and policies underpinning the Irish immigration and international–protection systems;
  2. examine the legal framework underpinning the Irish immigration and international–protection systems;
  3. prepare robust, fair decisions on behalf of public bodies, including under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended), the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the Immigration Act 2003 (as amended), the Immigration Act 2004 (as amended), the Passports Act 2008 (as amended), and the International Protection Act 2015 (as amended);
  4. assist applicants in applying for visas, residency, or naturalisation in an NGO setting;
  5. identify potential legal challenges to immigration, asylum, or citizenship decisions that would warrant engaging a solicitor.


The course will appeal to public sector and NGO employees, legal practitioners, academic and government researchers, activists, social workers, industry, policymakers and regulators.

Having a diverse group of professionals studying this course together allows participants to learn from each other, especially during tutorials and Q&A sessions.

“It was very well delivered, and the course notes are excellent. The depth of teaching in this course was helpful – a great course for someone who is pursuing a career in this field. The course tutor David Leonard did a wonderful job in navigating the classes each week. I have learned so much from doing the course. Highly recommend it.”

2023 Graduate


The designer and lead lecturer of the course is barrister David Leonard BL.

David specialises in public law, administrative, regulatory, constitutional law, judicial review, and European law. He is a co–author of the third edition of ‘Constitutional Law of Ireland’ by Bloomsbury Professional, a leading textbook on Irish constitutional law.


This course takes place largely in an online format, live via Zoom, with recordings of lectures available after class is over. A small number of lectures will be recorded live and students will have the choice to attend these in–person at King’s Inns. Interactive elements such as class discussions / tutorials will not be recorded and will be cast live only.

The course takes place over approx. 20 weeks from October to March, with lectures on Wednesdays from 8.30 am to no later than 10 am. It concludes with an evening live round–table interactive discussion.

Course Start Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2024

Classes are recorded using eLearning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live via Zoom, most of the sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time.

All class notes are available to read through our Virtual Learning Environment. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our library and legal resource databases.

King’s Inns is built on networking and engagement. Over the year, we invite students to attend and participate in various social events, fireside chats and talks. Events take place either online or in–person. All of this contributes to the learning experience that is King’s Inns.

Course Content

  • Course overview and introduction (live session, not recorded)
  • Introduction to immigration law in Ireland
  • Entry into the State
  • Permission to remain in the State
  • Lecture from the European Migration Network (EMN)
  • The impact on the constitution on Irish immigration law
  • Human rights law 1 + 2
  • The law on international protection 1 + 2
  • Judicial review in asylum and immigration matters
  • Deportation and repatriation
  • EU law
  • Irish nationality law, including procedures under Passports Act 2008 (as amended)
  • Working, conducting business and studying in Ireland
  • Immigration law, families and children
  • Detention, and criminal and other sanctions
  • Social protection for third country nationals
  • Trafficking, people smuggling and immigration fraud
  • Lecture from the human trafficking investigation and coordination unit
  • Round–up of the course and guidance on assessment technique
  • Round–table discussion on immigration law (live session, not recorded)

Please note the course content is subject to change in accordance with new developments in this area. 

Previous Speakers

  • David Leonard BL
  • Aoife Carroll BL
  • Speaker from INIS, Department of Justice
  • ERSI Anne Sheridan, EMN Ireland
  • Conor Power SC
  • The Hon. Justice Siobhán Stack
  • Michael Lynn SC
  • Patricia Brazil BL
  • Colm O’Dwyer SC
  • Mark de Blacam SC
  • Sara Moorhead SC
  • David Conlan Smyth SC
  • John Stanley BL, Office of the Attorney General
  • Michael Lynn SC
  • The Hon. Ms Justice Emily Farrell
  • Derek Shortall SC
  • Colin Smith BL

Assessment and Accreditation 

This is a professional development course and it is accredited independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns. The skills and competence gained in studying at King’s Inns are transferable, portable and recognised internationally. It is a valuable qualification delivered by distinguished lawyers, members of the judiciary, legal and other practitioners specialising in legal education.

To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete one assessment.

Note: The timetable and assessment information are subject to change in 2024. Details will be confirmed and updated soon. 

Course Fee

  • Course fee: €2,550. 
  • You should view the fee structure, payment terms, and other charges here >

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. You must receive your discount code before applying. View more information here >

Admission Requirements 

There are no admission requirements for this course. A place on the highly sought–after course is not secured until the tuition fee is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.

How do I Apply?

Application Deadline: Midnight (Irish time) on Wednesday, September 18, 2024

  • In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘register and apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application.
  • The application process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.
  • Payment can be made through the Application Portal using your credit or debit card (please make sure your bank allows you to process the full payment in one go), or 
  • If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a valid PO number in advance of making the application, the name and email address for the person responsible for payment in your organisation. 
  • The invoice will issue directly to the person whose details you enter. The participant will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the Application Portal. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their employer has paid in full within the timeframe required in order to secure a place. King’s Inns cannot contact your employer for payment, we can only liaise with the applicant.
  • An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.
  • Subscribing members: You must apply your discount code upon application. It cannot be applied after the application is made. 

Apply here

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Immigration and Asylum Law Graduate 2023

“I enrolled on this course as I was an information officer with Citizen’s Information, and my Centre was dealing with many asylum seekers from various parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Syria. I wanted to choose a course that would strengthen my academic knowledge of immigration and asylum law and be of practical use. The course with King’s Inns did this for me, and my ability to give clients information, guidance, and advocacy has greatly improved thanks to this well–structured and excellently taught course.”

Class of 2022–2023

Immigration and Asylum Law Graduate 2022

“I would recommend this course to anyone looking to develop and deepen their knowledge of immigration, international protection and citizenship law. The lectures explained the substantive law in these areas with great clarity and detail.”

Class of 2021–2022