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Externalisation and Securitisation of Asylum and Migration

The project focuses on the worrying trend of outsourcing asylum responsibilities to third countries but also externalisation at the borders of wealthy countries. The student will work on such questions with a focus on UK law and policy and in particular on the UK-Rwanda partnership and in comparison with Australian externalisation initiatives.  A legal degree at a postgraduate level is desirable.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Ermioni Xanthopoulou - Ermioni is a Senior Lecturer in law and Director of Research for Brunel Law School . She is currently teaching EU, migration and refugee law. Her research focuses on (EU) criminal, migration, and asylum law, as well as human rights. Ermioni was granted the Athena Swan Research Award 2022-2023 to conduct her individual research project on externalising trends of asylum law.  Together with Dr. Nayyeri, they published evidence that the government's asylum policy was unlauful.  Ermioni also participated in ITFLOWS, a three-year long research project funded by European Commission's Horizon 2020, as a member of the BUL team assessing human rights challenges posed by technological tools predicting migration.  Moreober, she is the author of 'The European Arrest Warrant in a context of distrust: Is the Court taking rights seriously?'. European Law Journal, pp. 218 - 233. ISSN: 1351-5993 She is also the author of 'Fundamental Rights and Mutual Trust in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: A Role for Proportionality?' published with Hart Publishing in 2020 and of several other publications. Her article, 'Mutual Trust and Rights in EU Criminal and Asylum Law: Three Phases of Evolution and the Unchartered Territory beyond Blind Trust', was awarded the 2017 Common Market Law Review Prize for young academics. Ermioni conducted her doctoral research at King's College London (2012-2017) with a scholarship from the Centre of European Law.