Postgraduate Course

MA Refugee Care

MA Refugee Care

Overview

The details
Refugee Care
October 2019
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

This unique course brings together people from diverse walks of life and parts of the globe to explore how we can care for refugees more effectively. Through lively seminar discussion we unpack refugee experiences as multi-dimensional and complex, and explore psychosocial perspectives and different types of intervention and activism. We discuss how we may become more therapeutic in our work with refugees, beyond merely offering psychotherapy. Through our course, you gain skills in challenging negative and limiting stereotypes of refugees as traumatised, passive recipients of help. You also gain new insight into effective humanitarian work with refugees and have a special opportunity to visit an Asylum Tribunal and learn from judges about how the UK asylum system operates. This programme is closely associated with Centre for Trauma Asylum and Refugees.

Using an innovative twin-site programme, our course staff are made up from the multidisciplinary practitioner expertise of the department and the therapeutic provision of the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. You will also have guest speakers who are activists, academics and world experts in the field. You will learn our unique, innovative and proven approach enabling you to work directly with refugees, combining theory and practice. We offer valuable opportunities to gain first-hand experience in this field through supportive work placements in London, Colchester and beyond.

Students often come with a wealth of voluntary and professional experience in fields such as education, psychology, therapy, medicine, nursing, social work, human rights, law, politics, philosophy, art, literature and media studies. We also welcome people coming to the field of Refugee Care anew, with an interest in working directly with refugees, asylum seekers or other involuntarily dislocated groups of people, or conducting conceptual or empirical research in this area. Students may successfully combine study on our course with part-time work with charity sector organisations.

Topics include:

  • Psychosocial meanings of home and the implications of loss of home
  • Systemic and dynamic complexities of the refugee condition
  • Refugee needs and therapeutic responses to them
  • The therapeutic dimension of refugee care
  • Theory and scope of the psycho-social approach to refugee care
  • Psychodynamic and systemic approaches to refugee care
  • Theories of trauma, PTSD, resilience and adversity-activated development
  • Wider parameters in which the refugee condition is located and constructed
  • Organisational dimensions
  • Psychosocial perspectives to human rights interventions
  • Conceptualising research in this field
Why we're great.
  • We have a unique, innovative and proven approach in enabling students to work directly with refugees, combining theory and practice
  • Our course staff (at Essex, the Tavistock Centre, and external lecturers) are world experts
  • We include placements and institutional observations to support your classroom-learned theory
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

The course team, directed by the founder Professor Renos Papadopoulos, is further enhanced by other international experts from a variety of relevant fields. One of the strengths of this course is that the staff team are actively engaged in academic, research and field work within this area.

The course is located in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies and associated with the Department of Sociology, which consistently achieves top ten rankings in the UK's research assessments, most recently in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Being part of the UK’s leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by top world-class scholars and top professionals in their fields.

Specialist facilities

The course is closely associated with the internationally renowned Centre for Trauma Asylum and Refugees (CTAR) that is involved in many training, research and intervention projects in many parts of the world. The course also has strong links with the prestigious Human Rights Centre and the Transitional Justice Network of our university.

A unique feature of the course is the annual visit to an Asylum Tribunal where students attend hearings and have the opportunity of speaking with the judges about the specific cases observed as well as about their work and wider asylum issues.

Our Albert Sloman Library is well stocked with books, journals, electronic resources and major archives relevant to our work and, in addition, we have our own library of specialist books and journals.

Your future

The field of refugee work is not only topical but is expanding and developing rapidly, creating new employment initiatives and opportunities. This course is unique in equipping students to work directly in this field.

Accordingly, our graduates make an impact by applying the innovative approach that our course offers in a variety of contexts and disciplines. Many of our graduates go on to play a leading role in many spheres e.g. education, social and community work, human rights, emergency and humanitarian aid, national, international and non-governmental organisations.

"Having worked for many years with refugees in different contexts, I wasn’t expecting to be exposed to so many new ideas and perspectives. The MA Refugee Care is an amazing course which has allowed me to exchange views with people from all over the world. I would recommend it to anyone who is intending to work with refugees."

Arij Bou Reslan, MA Refugee Care

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A good 2:2 degree.

With your online application you must submit a personal statement; this should detail the reasons for wanting to study the course, including any relevant experience (work or voluntary) that may support your application.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Psychoanalysis of Groups and Organisations

What is the unconscious? And how does it influence the behaviour of groups? Explore how a psychoanalytic approach can illuminate the dynamics of groups and organisations. Understand the classic theories of Freud and Bion, then develop perspectives on how psychoanalytic ideas explain individual and group behaviour.

View Psychoanalysis of Groups and Organisations on our Module Directory

Context of the Refugee Experience

What are the relevant contexts of the refugee experience? How can academic disciplines help us understand the refugee experience in a deeper way? How can we grasp the multidimensional aspects of the refugee phenomena? Study the multidisciplinary nature of Refugee Care from a unique combination of both academic and professional perspectives.

View Context of the Refugee Experience on our Module Directory

Psychosocial Perspectives on Human Rights

What psychological complexities are involved when working with people whose human rights were violated? How do you, as a worker, interact with them? In what way do wider contexts impact on these interactions? Explore the psychosocial parameters of human rights violations. Engage with issues, debates and literature on psychosocial perspectives of human rights.

View Psychosocial Perspectives on Human Rights on our Module Directory

Dissertation - MA Refugee Care

What interests you? Do you want to deepen your knowledge, build relevant research skills and develop your future professional direction? Your dissertation lets you study a topic of your choosing, in depth, with supervision and guidance from our world-leading experts.

View Dissertation - MA Refugee Care on our Module Directory

Therapeutic Care for Refugees

How can we be 'therapeutic' in working with refugees, as opposed to 'offering psychotherapy' to them? What is the range of therapeutic dimensions in working with refugees? Learn from experienced practitioners who use a variety of different approaches in their work. Engage in class discussions with themes that are relevant to you.

View Therapeutic Care for Refugees on our Module Directory

Placement

How can you put theory into practice in working with refugees or other involuntarily dislocated persons? Placements in well established agencies, organisations and services are arranged to fit in with your background and future professional direction. You will be supervised by practitioners in the placement and in a group setting at the Tavistock Centre.

View Placement on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
  • You also have a personal tutor who advises you about your work on an individual basis

Assessment

  • For most modules, assessment is by coursework only, typically an essay of between 3,000-5,000 words

Dissertation

  • You develop a dissertation of 12,000 words, in which you define and research into an area of special interest to you
  • We provide you with advice and guidance on researching and writing your dissertation
  • Your dissertation is submitted mid-September in your final year of study

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,940

As part of your course, you’re required to undertake work-based observations and attend a conference. You may incur associated travel costs.

International fee

£17,040

As part of your course, you’re required to undertake work-based observations and attend a conference. You may incur associated travel costs.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2019 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, June 15, 2019
  • Saturday, September 21, 2019
  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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