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 asylum seekers and 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 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies Department and the therapeutic provision of the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. Two modules are delivered on Monday afternoons and evenings at the Tavistock Clinic in London and four modules are delivered on Tuesdays at the University of Essex (Colchester campus). Whilst full-time students attend the course on both sites, part-time students attend modules at the Tavistock Clinic in London in year 1 and at Colchester in year 2. 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.
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.
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.
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
A 2:2 degree or equivalent.
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.
Successful completion of the course is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (carried out by your placement provider).
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.
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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.
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.
The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
Full time students attend weekly Refugee Care seminars on Mondays at the Tavistock, London (nearest tube station is Swiss Cottage) in terms 1 and 2 and part of term 3. They will also attend Tuesday seminars at the University of Essex Colchester campus in terms 1 and 2. For an idea of journey times and costs to these destinations please visit the National Rail website. More information about travel for students can be found here.
Full time students attend weekly Refugee Care seminars on Mondays at the Tavistock, London (nearest tube station is Swiss Cottage) in terms 1 and 2 and part of term 3. They will also attend Tuesday seminars at the University of Essex Colchester campus in terms 1 and 2. For an idea of journey times and costs to these destinations please visit the National Rail website. More information about travel for students can be found here.EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
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:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 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.
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.
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.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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