Search for courses or information

MA Refugee Studies

Course overview

Start date

September 2021

Subject area

Politics and International Development

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

Learning

On campus, dual delivery

Course summary

Our internationally recognised course will give you a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of global refugee movements, the processes which lie behind the search for protection and asylum and the diverse local, national and international responses to forced displacement.

You will gain interdisciplinary knowledge of the gendered, economic, political, legal, socio-cultural, and psychological processes related to forced migration.

You will also develop the skills to plan, organise and carry out independent research to inform professional practice and policy-making.

Learning about forced migration on this course is participatory, mutual and draws from real life experiences, including from our students, who come from diverse backgrounds and some are refugees themselves.

A master’s degree in Refugee Studies is a qualification that is internationally valued. Our students typically go on to pursue a wide range of exciting and challenging careers in community, non-governmental and governmental organisations. Those interested in pursuing postgraduate research degrees have been successful in gaining places and scholarships nationally and internationally.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more

A distinctive refugee-centred approach to learning about forced migration

We consider people who are forced to move to be social actors with agency and the course foregrounds their experiences and voices.

Our academic team have refugee-like or immigrant experiences, and extensive professional experience in the refugee field.

UEL is home to the Refugee Council Archive

The Refugee Council Archive is one of Britain’s largest collections of materials on refugees and forced migration. It is a treasure trove of information on displacement, flight and exile and on refugee community life.

Placement and professional engagement opportunities

We focus on employability and our programme includes an integrated internship in community, non-governmental or governmental organisations. This provides an opportunity for critical learning and reflexive approaches to practice.

Likewise, civic engagement projects carried out at UEL will offer you the opportunity to support and advocate on behalf of asylum seekers and refugee communities.

EnquireVisit

What we're researching

You will be taught by internationally recognised scholars who have published extensively in the fields of forced migration and refugee studies, peace and conflict studies, gender studies, migration, and development.

Our academic team are engaged in innovative research on the key issues of today’s globalised world such as: new ways of thinking about refugee rights to protection; digital diasporas and refugee voices; transit migrations and borders; gender power systems of conflict and gendered processes of building peace; the role of social capital in social inclusion. 

We are actively engaged in research that makes a positive social change in the geographic areas of our research and beyond. Our staff have regional expertise and contacts in Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Europe and Western Balkans.

Our research centres and groups regularly run research seminars and events, and we invite our postgraduate students to be actively involved in our vibrant research community.


Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Jane Greenstock

MA Refugee Studies

I found it to be an immensely interesting, well-taught and worthwhile Master's course. The knowledge I gained, through access to some excellent teachers and the Refugee Archive collection was exactly what I hoped to get out of the course, which concerns issues that are globally important. I appreciated the fact that the modules were all taught from a refugee-centred point of view and enabled students to understand research methods from different perspectives.

Fees and funding

£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme

Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,906 to taught and research masters students.  It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England

Eligibility

Whether you qualify depends on:
•    if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
•    your course
•    your age
•    your nationality or residency status

Full eligibility can be found here 

Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.

Apply for a 50 per cent discount on your tuition fees! You can get a 50 per cent discount on course fees through a UEL Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to full-time and part-time UK and EU students of taught postgraduate courses. *Exclusions apply.

Find out more about full eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Terms and conditions apply.

How we can help you

Did you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree?

If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier. Below is some of the funding available to support you in your studies:

Terms and conditions apply.

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees to UEL
•    Online payment facilities
•    By telephone
•    In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
•    Bank transfer
Full information on making payments can be found here
 
If you wish to discuss payments to the University, please contact our Income Team on 020 8223 2974 or you can email creditcontrol@uel.ac.uk

Below are some ideas on how to fund your postgraduate study:

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.

Email: study@uel.ac.uk

Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
UK
£9,300

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting a course in September 2021, will no longer be eligible for Home fees. However, such nationals benefitting from Settled Status or Citizens' Rights may become eligible for Home fees as and when the UK Government confirms any new fees regulations.  Further information can be found at UKCISA.

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme

Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,906 to taught and research masters students.  It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England

Eligibility

Whether you qualify depends on:
•    if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
•    your course
•    your age
•    your nationality or residency status

Full eligibility can be found here 

Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.

Apply for a 50 per cent discount on your tuition fees! You can get a 50 per cent discount on course fees through a UEL Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to full-time and part-time UK and EU students of taught postgraduate courses. *Exclusions apply.

Find out more about full eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Terms and conditions apply.

How we can help you

Did you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree?

If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier. Below is some of the funding available to support you in your studies:

Terms and conditions apply.

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees to UEL
•    Online payment facilities
•    By telephone
•    In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
•    Bank transfer
Full information on making payments can be found here
 
If you wish to discuss payments to the University, please contact our Income Team on 020 8223 2974 or you can email creditcontrol@uel.ac.uk

Below are some ideas on how to fund your postgraduate study:

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.

Email: study@uel.ac.uk

Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
UK
£1,550

Per 30 credit module

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting a course in September 2021, will no longer be eligible for Home fees. However, such nationals benefitting from Settled Status or Citizens' Rights may become eligible for Home fees as and when the UK Government confirms any new fees regulations.  Further information can be found at UKCISA.

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

As part of the Tier 4 student visa requirements, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) estimate that you will need £1,265* per month to cover your living costs. It includes expenses for accommodation, food and drink, travel within London, text books, entertainment, clothing, toiletries and laundry. Most Tier 4 students are required to show they have sufficient funds to cover the first nine months of the course before they start- a total of £11,385- in addition to the tuition fees. You can find more information about the specific requirements of the Tier 4 student visa here. The amount that you will spend can vary depending on your lifestyle. The UKCISA International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money.

* Please note the Immigration Rules are subject to change and this figure is likely to be increased by UKVI year on year. Please therefore check our ISA page for more information at the time of preparing your visa application.

Deposits and paying by instalments

International students are required to pay a deposit prior to being issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Your remaining balance will be paid in five monthly instalments over your first term. The first of these instalments must be paid when completing your enrolment on arrival at UEL. Please follow the payment instructions here.

After the required payment has been made, you will be asked to complete the online International Student Reply Form to confirm your acceptance of our offer and of our terms of admittance and fees policy.

Our International team at UEL are available for advice and guidance on studying in London, fees, scholarships and visa requirements.

Email: international@uel.ac.uk

Tuition fees
International
£14,160

Per academic year

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting a course in September 2021, will no longer be eligible for Home fees. However, such nationals benefitting from Settled Status or Citizens' Rights may become eligible for Home fees as and when the UK Government confirms any new fees regulations.  Further information can be found at UKCISA.

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

Entry requirements

From
Degree
Minimum 2:2 Honours

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 

INTERNATIONAL

(Including European Union)

SEE YOUR COUNTRY

Applicant should be able to demonstrate a clear commitment to refugee related work and issues.  Experience of refugee related work at the time of application is welcomed.

Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course.

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Please note that some courses require applicants to meet the entry requirements outlined on the course page. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.
You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

 

  • Forced Migration in the Global Area (Mental Wealth) (core)
  • Research Methods for the Social Sciences (core)
  • Policy and Practice of Humanitarianism and Development (core)
  • Independent Applied Research Dissertation (core)
  • Introduction to Conflict, Displacement and Human Security (option)
  • International Human Rights (option)
  • War and Human Rights (option)
  • International Refugee Law (option)
  • Global Development Now (option)
  • Comparative Public Policy (option)
  • Global Environmental Politics (option)
  • International Organisation (option)

How you'll be assessed

We assess you by your coursework, which includes essays, reports, presentations, research proposal and your dissertation. All modules will be assessed and the final award takes account of all module marks.

Course specification

How you'll learn

One of the most rewarding elements of the course is that it attracts students from diverse origins and with widely differing experiences, including refugees from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Western and Eastern Europe.

In addition to lectures and seminars, you will benefit from access to workshops and conferences organised by the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, the Centre for Social Justice and Change, the Feminist Research Group and other university-wide groups.

This means you have the opportunity to link up with key researchers in the area and gain an insight into the latest thinking on critical issues.

You will also benefit from access to the Refugee Archive at the University of East London, which is one of the largest collections of materials on refugees and forced migration.

The archive contains materials on refugees in all parts of the world, with special emphasis on the UK. For more than 30 years it was housed at the Refugee Council – the lead organisation in Britain on refugee issues.

As an optional extra, you may also be involved in internships with local and international organisations and agencies working with refugees. 

Our academic staff are actively involved in some of the key international research and are therefore well connected with major bodies such as UNICEF as well as government departments and NGOs.

Who will teach on this course

Afaf Jabiri

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

What you'll learn

The core modules give you a wide-ranging introduction to forced migration and a detailed study of research methods. You will also have the opportunity to study specialist options on social, cultural, political, legal and psychosocial aspects of refugee studies and community development. 

A distinguishing feature of the course is its emphasis on the lived experience of refugees and of refugee communities. You will develop a full appreciation of refugee experiences, achievements and needs.

You will study refugees from the point of view of the law, politics and anthropology and you will analyse their experiences on a global and local scale.

The course looks at how NGOs and the United Nations work with refugees and also how some people have sought to criminalise them.

The course will equip you with advanced skills in interdisciplinary analysis and research.

You will learn from the first-hand experience of refugees and people who have worked with refugees.

Your studies will focus on two core modules: Introduction to Forced Migration and Research Methods, and two specialist option modules in the area of social, cultural, political, legal and psychosocial aspects of refugee studies and community development. This will prepare you to begin a dissertation during the summer term for submission in September.

Your future career

This course is suited to people who are working in areas concerned with human rights, legal representation of refugees, counselling, education, social and community issues and refugee welfare.

If you are already working in this area, the course will give you the confidence and experience to apply for more senior positions.

If you are aiming to enter the field for the first time, it will give you the skills to apply for roles with NGOs, government departments or other organisations working closely with refugees. 

Our course will also prepare you to undertake further research in the fields of forced migration and diasporic studies, legal studies and social policy.  You will benefit from working closely with experienced academics in the field. If you are interested to continue to PhD level, our course gives you the opportunity to apply for ESRC funding through the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership Programme

Dr Giorgia Doná is Professor of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies and her research focuses on forced migration and refugee movements, violence and society, child protection and psycho-social assistance, with a geographical focus on Central America and East Africa. She has undertaken consultancy work for UNICEF, governments and NGOs.

Dr Afaf Jabiri is Senior Lecturer in Refugee Studies and NGOs management. Her research focuses on forced migration and refugees in the Middle East, Palestinian refugees, gender and religion; and gender and development. She is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Centre for Human Rights’ Global Initiative on violence against women. She was the Regional Director of the Karama (Dignity) Network and the Director of the Jordanian Women’s Union Aid Centre and Shelter for Women’s Survivors of Violence. She has also worked as women’s protection officer at UNHCR and served as a policy and advocacy advisor for international and domestic NGOs and UN agencies.

Dr Maja Korac-Sanderson is Reader in Migration and Refugee Studies and is a co-founder of the Women in Conflict Zones Network (WICZNET), an international network of scholars, policymakers and grassroots women’s groups from around the world. Her research focuses on conflict, gender and displacement, as well as conflict, intervention and development.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

You may also be interested in

  • Why study at UEL?

  • Open Evenings

  • Accommodation

  • Applying to UEL

  • Your offer

Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.
 

Visit Country Pages
Global scholar students