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Refugee and Forced Migration Studies MSc

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    9 months

Course summary

About the course

This nine-month master’s degree places forced migration in an academic framework, preparing you for doctoral study or for work relevant to human rights, refugees, and migration. It offers an intellectually demanding, interdisciplinary route to understanding forced migration in contexts of conflict, repression, natural disasters, environmental change and development.

Course objectives

The course offers students an understanding of the complex and varied nature of forced migration and refugee populations, of their centrality to global, regional and national processes of political, social and economic change, and of the needs and aspirations of forcibly displaced people themselves. It also helps students develop a broad understanding of academic research related to forced migration and refugees, as well as critical thinking and sound evaluative tools.

You will gain the ability to plan, organise and carry out research into aspects of forced migration and refugee studies as well as the skills necessary to convey theoretical knowledge of forced migration to a variety of different audiences.

Teaching and learning

Teaching takes place in small classes, usually from 5 to 25 students, including regular one-to-one supervisions. This emphasis on small group teaching helps encourage active participation, enabling students to learn from each other as well as from department’s teaching staff, who are all leading experts in the field of forced migration, drawn from a range of disciplines typically including anthropology, geography, international law, history and politics, international relations, sociology and development studies. Teaching styles vary, including lectures, workshops, individual and group tutorials, seminars and student presentations. You will be expected to prepare for class by reading a selection of recommended books, book chapters and articles and by preparing formative essays and presentations. There will be around two hours of formal teaching each weekday during term time, with informal group work and self-directed study expected to take up an additional six hours each day.


On-course assessment, which will not count towards your degree, takes the form of regular presentations and short essays. The degree is formally assessed by a piece of research methods coursework at the end of the second term, three written examinations on the core and options courses at the start of the third term, and a 10,000- to 15,000-word thesis at the end of the third term.

Graduate destinations

Graduates of the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies have gone on to doctoral degrees, law school, and work relevant to human rights, refugees, and migration. Graduates of the course are now employed in organisations such as the UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration, UNDP, Save the Children, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Brookings and MacArthur Foundations, as well as national governments and universities around the world.

The course offers support for careers development to current students, including informal careers advice sessions and information about employment prospects.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 29,160overall cost

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 34

    3rd out of 72

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    192 97%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    78 78%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    190 90%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    80 80%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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