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MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Enquiries about the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies should be addressed to the MSc Course Co-ordinator, rsc-msc@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies is an interdisciplinary degree taught by leading experts in the field of forced migration, drawn from a range of disciplines including anthropology, geography, international law, politics and international relations, and sociology.

An intellectually demanding route to understanding forced migration in contexts of conflict, repression, natural disasters, environmental change and development policy-making, the degree aims to help students understand the complex and varied nature of forced migration and refugee populations; their centrality to global, regional and national processes of political, social and economic change; as well as the needs and aspirations of forcibly displaced people themselves. It places forced migration in an historical, global and human perspective, encouraging informed reflection on international and national responses to both cross-border and internal displacement.

The degree is offered by the Refugee Studies Centre, an integral part of ODID and the world’s foremost multidisciplinary centre for refugee and forced migration studies, helping to create and shape the agenda of current critical debates through research, teaching and dissemination.

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies enables students to explore forced migration through a thesis; a group research essay; and a range of required courses including:

  • Introduction to the Study of Forced Migration
  • International Refugee and Human Rights Law I and II
  • Asylum and the Modern State
  • Research Methods I and II

Students also choose two optional courses from a list which changes from year to year. Courses offered in previous years have included:

  • Conflict and Forced Mobility in Eastern Africa
  • Dispossession and Displacement in the Modern Middle East
  • Gender and Generation
  • The History and Politics of Humanitarian Aid
  • International Relations and Forced Migration
  • Movement and Morality
  • The Politics of Durable Solutions
  • Refugee Camps and Containment
  • UNHCR and World Politics

Students may also select from the options offered by the MSc in Migration Studies.

Students benefit from small group teaching, which encourages active participation and enables students to learn from each other. Each student is assigned an individual supervisor at the start of the course, who guides and supports their intellectual development through regular term-time meetings.

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies lasts for ten months and normally admits around 25 students a year, with an average of four applications for every place.

The course is assessed by two examinations; the thesis, which should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words long; and the research methods group essay of about 5,000 words based on fieldwork conducted during a four-week period.

A student wishing to read for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies has to be admitted first by the Department and then by a College. At least a high upper second class honours degree in a social science is required. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first class degree or its equivalent (such as a 3.8 GPA in the USA). It is also possible for students who have not specialised in a social science to read for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Relevant experience in forced migration is desirable but not required.

Please refer to the course page on the University website for full information on selection criteria, application deadlines and English language requirements. Also see our How to Apply page. It is essential for applicants to apply early and respect the deadlines.

Students of the MSc have gone on to doctoral degrees, law school, and work relevant to human rights, refugees, and migration. Graduates of the degree are now employed in organisations such as the UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration, UNDP, Save the Children, ECRE, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Brookings and MacArthur foundations, as well as national governments and universities around the world.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

Introduction

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies is an interdisciplinary degree taught by leading experts in the field of forced migration, drawn from a range of disciplines including anthropology, geography, international law, politics and international relations, and sociology.

An intellectually demanding route to understanding forced migration in contexts of conflict, repression, natural disasters, environmental change and development policy-making, the degree aims to help students understand the complex and varied nature of forced migration and refugee populations; their centrality to global, regional and national processes of political, social and economic change; as well as the needs and aspirations of forcibly displaced people themselves. It places forced migration in an historical, global and human perspective, encouraging informed reflection on international and national responses to both cross-border and internal displacement.

The degree is offered by the Refugee Studies Centre, an integral part of ODID and the world’s foremost multidisciplinary centre for refugee and forced migration studies, helping to create and shape the agenda of current critical debates through research, teaching and dissemination.

Structure

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies enables students to explore forced migration through a thesis; a group research essay; and a range of required courses including:

  • Introduction to the Study of Forced Migration
  • International Refugee and Human Rights Law I and II
  • Asylum and the Modern State
  • Research Methods I and II

Students also choose two optional courses from a list which changes from year to year. Courses offered in previous years have included:

  • Conflict and Forced Mobility in Eastern Africa
  • Dispossession and Displacement in the Modern Middle East
  • Gender and Generation
  • The History and Politics of Humanitarian Aid
  • International Relations and Forced Migration
  • Movement and Morality
  • The Politics of Durable Solutions
  • Refugee Camps and Containment
  • UNHCR and World Politics

Students may also select from the options offered by the MSc in Migration Studies.

Students benefit from small group teaching, which encourages active participation and enables students to learn from each other. Each student is assigned an individual supervisor at the start of the course, who guides and supports their intellectual development through regular term-time meetings.

The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies lasts for ten months and normally admits around 25 students a year, with an average of four applications for every place.

The course is assessed by two examinations; the thesis, which should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words long; and the research methods group essay of about 5,000 words based on fieldwork conducted during a four-week period.

Entry Requirements

A student wishing to read for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies has to be admitted first by the Department and then by a College. At least a high upper second class honours degree in a social science is required. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first class degree or its equivalent (such as a 3.8 GPA in the USA). It is also possible for students who have not specialised in a social science to read for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Relevant experience in forced migration is desirable but not required.

Please refer to the course page on the University website for full information on selection criteria, application deadlines and English language requirements. Also see our How to Apply page. It is essential for applicants to apply early and respect the deadlines.

Careers

Students of the MSc have gone on to doctoral degrees, law school, and work relevant to human rights, refugees, and migration. Graduates of the degree are now employed in organisations such as the UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration, UNDP, Save the Children, ECRE, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Brookings and MacArthur foundations, as well as national governments and universities around the world.

For further information on the kinds of careers our students pursue, see the ODID Graduates page.

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Photo: J Veroff, MPhil 2007-09

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