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The University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) is pleased to announce the launch of applications for RSC Pathways, a three-month online course in Refugee Studies that is available free of charge to individuals who have been affected by forced displacement. The course teaches the interdisciplinary foundations of Refugee Studies, preparing learners for advanced academic, research, and professional opportunities. 

RSC Pathways is an online course inspired by the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Over three months, learners will be introduced to the main disciplines and themes in this field. Learners will be part of a global cohort that receives instruction from RSC lecturers, and they will receive direct mentorship from RLRH colleagues who facilitate deep engagement with course material. RSC Pathways is designed to support students who want to progress to graduate studies (i.e. master's or doctoral degrees) or pursue advanced careers in research and humanitarian policy-making and practice. RLRH will provide learners with 1:1 support to help them identify and apply to graduate programmes – at Oxford and elsewhere – that are a good fit and that present a high likelihood of providing full scholarship for tuition and living costs. Learners will receive a certificate from the RSC upon completion.

Download the course flyer

Onward pathways upon completing the course

Many graduates of RSC Pathways have applied to continue their studies at the University of Oxford and other universities. A majority of offer-holders received full scholarships, enabling them to take up their studies. Other learners have pursued professional and research placements with organisations in humanitarian research and practice, including with RLRH, RSC researchers, Forced Migration Review, the Danish Refugee Council, PILnet, Rewriting Jurisprudence, UNITAR’s Global Platform for Action, the East African Centre for Migration and Forced Displacement, and more.


The online course has eight required modules with additional optional modules that learners can complete alongside a cohort of classmates within three months. Detailed information about the modules can be found on the application form. Learners must be able to commit 12–14 hours per week, beginning 1 May until 31 July.

Eligibility criteria

In order to join this course, applicants must:

  1. Have lived experience of forced displacement (e.g. identifying as a current or 'former' refugee, asylum seeker, IDP, stateless person, or another category);
  2. Have completed a bachelor’s degree, or be in the final academic year of their study. Those with degrees in fields related to Social Sciences and Humanities are encouraged to apply (e.g. in International Relations, Politics, International Development, History, etc.). If you do not have a BA but possess comparable academic, research, or professional experience, you are also welcome to apply;
  3. Convey interest in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and humanitarian issues;
  4. Be able to commit 12–14 hours a week, for a period of 3 months.

Information sessions

Prospective applicants are invited to attend an information session where they can learn more about the online course from RLRH staff, and to ask any questions. Please choose one session and register via the link provided below:

Information sessions are scheduled at various times to enable people in different time zones to attend. If you are not able to join for a live session, please send an email to request a recording:

Application and deadlines

To apply for RSC Pathways, fill out the application form before 5pm GMT on Monday 27th March. All applications submitted on time will be considered. All applicants will receive a notification on the decision of their application.

If you have any additional comments or questions you can contact us via email:

We aim to create an inclusive learning environment that is rich in diversity. We strongly encourage applications from individuals in social groups that are under-represented in this space, including, but not limited to LGBTQI+, gender non-conforming, women, and disabled candidates.