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2024 and 2025 dates

The International Online School will run three times in the 2024-2025 academic year, on 9-13 December 2024, 17-21 March 2025, and 23-27 June 2025 via Zoom and the virtual learning platform Canvas.

Download the course flyer.

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. In academic year 2023-2024 we are offering options on:

  • The Psycho-social Support of Refugees
  • Refugee History, Human Rights and Occupied Palestinian Territory
  • 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. Option modules may change. 

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 December 2023 International Online School:

  • “The course is well paced, hugely informative, challenging and inspirational.”
  •  “Thank you, it was a brilliant week. It has helped guide me in how I shape the next part of my career.”
  • “Perfect place for practitioners to take some time and space to actually think critically about the work we are doing and how we want to continue moving forward.”
  • “Thought-provoking concepts and questions, supportive and intelligent instructors, and the chance to learn from practitioners' experiences from all over the world. It exceeded my expectations.”
  • “It is well tailored to working professionals who seek to deepen their knowledge, challenge set rules on forced migration and debate how to make the solutions better.”
  • “It’s a great programme for those who want to deepen their knowledge on current issues affecting forcibly displaced people in the world.”
  • "I absolutely loved the professors and faculty members that facilitated each and every session. From the assigned readings to facilitating small groups to making our opinions/thoughts feel valued --- so appreciated it and I think it built for a great tone/environment that made sharing and learning feel easy and fun.”

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 (Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Human Rights and Refugee Law)

Professor Matthew Gibney (Elizabeth Colson Professor of Politics and Forced Migration)

Professor Tom Scott-Smith (Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration)


All Schools

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


December 2024 Online School: £670.

March 2025 Online School: £670.

June 2025 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.


December 2024

To make a standard application for the December 2024 school, please click here. 

To make a bursary application (David Burton Award) at the December 2024 school, please click here.

Applications for the March 2025 and June 2025 school will open soon. 

 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