Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

2023 and 2024 dates

The International Online School will run three times in the 2023-2024 academic year, on 4-8 December 2023, 11-15 March 2024, and 17-21 July via Zoom and the virtual learning platform Canvas.

About the Online School

The RSC’s International Online School offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It enables practitioners and others to reflect critically on the forces and institutions that dominate the worlds of displaced people. The International Online School combines Oxford’s tradition of research excellence with stimulating, discussion-based teaching, learning, and reflection.

Core to the School are substantive modules on:

  • Conceptualising Forced Migration
  • The Moral Foundations of Refugeehood
  • International Law and Refugee Protection
  • The Politics of Humanitarianism

These are supplemented by optional modules on a range of topics. This year we will be offering options on:

  • The Psycho-social Support of Refugees
  • Trafficking and International Law
  • The Rise of Citizenship Stripping Across the West
  • Colonial Past, Refugee Present

All our modules are written and taught by experts in the field of forced migration studies.

Participants - who is the School for?

The International Online School is principally designed for policymakers and practitioners working on refugee protection and related issues, normally with several (usually at least five) years of work experience. Participants typically include staff of the main refugee, migration and humanitarian international organisations; staff from refugee, human rights and humanitarian NGOs; and government officials working on refugee protection and related issues. Those from refugee backgrounds who work for refugee advocacy and community groups are particularly welcome.

Participants may also include academics and postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers working directly on refugee and forced migration issues; practicing lawyers and advocates working in refugee and human rights law pertaining to forced migrants; journalists, commentators and activists working on refugee protection and the human rights of forced migrants.

What is distinct about the Online School is that it allows participants to participate from wherever they are in the world, with no need to travel.

A survey of participants on the 2021 Online Schools found that 100% believed the Schools had “deepened their knowledge” of forced migration. Participants describe the Schools as “life-changing” and “a huge inspiration” that featured lectures of the “highest quality” and were “exceptionally well-organized and efficiently run”.


From the March 2022 International Online School:

It was amazing to be in a virtual classroom with people from all over the world, all united in our efforts to deepen our understanding of working for and with refugees. I'm so happy to have had the exposure not only to the professors and tutors, but to my fellow students who are doing incredible work and expanded my own views on how to approach forced migration. – Terra Judge

I really enjoyed the dialogue with the other participants and their different perspectives, which really enriched my personal understanding of forced migration. This was possible only thanks to the lecturers who, like an orchestra conductor, were able to unite the participants' thoughts in a harmonious chorus without losing the uniqueness of each individual participant perspective. – Z. N.H.

Conceptualizing forced migration was an eye opener to the rest of the other modules which followed. All the modules were engaging and helpful. The readings brought out the breadth of knowledge and the discussions were fantastic. – Ricardo John Munyegera

The seminar discussions without a doubt. They were very inspiring and thought-provoking. They have left me with a renewed energy to apply my experience and work to the field of forced displacement. – Mina Rauschenbach

Online School Tutors

Our Online School is internationally respected and enjoyed so much by our participants because of the excellence and commitment of those who lecture and teach on it. The School’s academic tutors provide a focus for the week's study.

The tutors for the Online Schools include:

Professor Catherine Briddick (Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Warwick)

Professor Matthew Gibney (Elizabeth Colson Professor of Politics and Forced Migration, RSC, University of Oxford)

Professor Tom Scott-Smith (Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration, RSC, University of Oxford)


All Schools

Participants will be admitted on a rolling basis and admissions/bookings will close when maximum capacity has been reached.


December 2023 Online School: £620.

March 2024 Online School: £670.

July 2024 Online School: £670.

The fee for the International Online School covers access to our virtual leaning environment, Canvas and extensive learning materials, including pre-recorded lectures and readings. It also includes all tuition on the School, including access to live classes, discussions and lectures as well as the School’s extra-curricular events.

We offer a limited number of fully funded places to refugees and others with lived experience of forced displacement. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.


Apply by following this link and completing the online application form. Applications for bursary places can also be made via this link. For further information regarding applications, please see the Apply page here.

Please also email a copy of your CV, a scan of your highest level qualification, and English Language test score (if applicable) to

Entry requirements

Applicants should have:

  • substantial experience in working with, or on issues related to, refugees or other forced migrants;
  • a first degree;
  • proficiency in the English language. As a guide, foreign-language English speakers should be able to obtain a score of: TOEFL iBT: 88  /  TOEFL PBT: 570  /  IELTS: 6.5.*

* Please note that if your first language is not English, or if your first language is English but you are not a national of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), you must supply suitable evidence that you have reached the relevant higher or standard level before any offer of a place can be confirmed. The requirement to provide English language test scores may be waived in cases where you have successfully completed or are currently completing a degree-level or postgraduate course that is: full-time, at least nine months long, undertaken at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment throughout the course is entirely in English.


For all enquiries, please contact:

Refugee Studies Centre
Oxford Department of International Development
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road