Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Forthcoming Dates

2-14 July 2017


Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB /
Wadham College, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PN

About the Summer School

The Summer School offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It aims to enable people working with refugees and other forced migrants to reflect critically on the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. Now in its 28th year, the two-week intensive course combines the very best of Oxford University’s academic excellence with a stimulating and participatory method of critical learning and reflection. 

Participants - who is the summer school for?

The Summer 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.  We are particularly keen to include those from a refugee background who work for refugee advocacy and community groups.

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

Testimonials from former participants

The Refugee Studies Centre’s Summer School provides a great opportunity for practitioners to take time out to reflect on some of the theoretical and operational challenges involved in responding to forced displacement. As an alumna almost 20 years ago, I’ve experienced first-hand the benefits of learning from the RSC’s world-class expertise on these issues. I have returned to the RSC Summer School to lecture several times, and have always been met by a fantastic atmosphere and engaging participants. Whether as an introduction to displacement or simply a refresher to seasoned professionals, this comes highly recommended!  Sara Pantuliano (Managing Director, Overseas Development Institute), Summer School 2000

The Summer School exceeded my expectations in every respect. Excellent speakers and academic input combined with opportunity to network with participants from across the globe made for both an enjoyable learning environment and a deeper understanding of the law and challenges around forced migration.  John Vine CBE QPM (Former Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration UK), Summer School 2013

Participants are the wealth of the Summer School. The diversity and expertise are just stunning. I have even met people who work in the same field back in my own country for the first time at the Summer School… you can tap into crisis, conflict contexts, refugees gathering perspectives from the field, the UN, law experts and policy makers with multiple insights, reflections and understandings.  Abed El-Ayi (UNDP), Summer School 2016

Tutors for 2017

Our course tutors are fundamental to the success of the Summer School, as highlighted by a participant in 2016:

“We are honoured by your selection of amazing tutors!! Each tutor has been more than generous in sharing his knowledge, his concerns, his lessons learned throughout his outstanding career. They treated us all equally and made sure we were all engaged in the discussion/activities.

We are pleased to announce that the course tutors for the 2017 Summer School will be:

Jeff Crisp (RSC Research Associate and Associate Fellow, Chatham House)

Michelle Foster (Professor and Associate Dean, Melbourne Law School)

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

Maryanne Loughry (Associate Director, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia)

Liesbeth Schockaert (Training, Research and Consultancies in Humanitarian Action)

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

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have:

  • substantial experience in working with, or on issues related to, refugees or other forced migrants;
  • a first degree as a minimum;
  • proficiency in the English language. As a guide, foreign-language English speakers should be able to obtain a score of 7.00 in ELTS/IELTS or 570 in TOEFL.*

*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.


The fee for 2017 is £3,050. Early-bird fee (apply and register by 31 March 2017): £2,950.


Please note, the Bursary application deadline for the Summer School was on Friday 10 February, and we are no longer able to accept bursary applications. If the details of this change we will update the website accordingly.

Asfari Foundation bursaries are available for Summer School candidates from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (or Syrians and Palestinians resident in the Arab world or Turkey) who work on refugee-related issues. Candidates wishing to be considered for bursary support must apply directly via the International Summer School office and not contact the donors. [Application deadine now passed.]

Refugee Studies Centre bursaries are available to exceptional candidates who are nationals of a developing country, are resident in a developing country, and whose work concerns refugees and/or forced migration. Developing countries are defined as those with low or medium levels of human development as classified by the UNDP – see  Those who have already submitted applications for the 2017 Summer School need not re-apply as eligible candidates will automatically be considered for these bursaries. [Application deadine now passed.]

Should additional funding become available details will be provided on this website.

How to apply

The application deadline was 28 April. Applications are now closed.


Closing date for bursary applications: 10 February 2017 (now passed).

Closing date for all other applications: 28 April 2017.*

* Apply and register payment by 31 March to qualify for the early-bird discount.

Official closing date for receipt of course fees: 12 May 2017.

As the Summer School is typically oversubscribed, we recommend that you apply early.


For all enquiries, please contact:

Susanna Power
Refugee Studies Centre
Oxford Department of International Development
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford OX1 3TB, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1865 281728