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Queen Elizabeth House, home of ODID and the RSC © RSC
Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford

2023 dates

We are holding one in-person International Summer School in Oxford on 3-8 July 2023.  

We will also be holding an Online School in July. For more information, please see the Online School page. 


In response to growing demand, and to ensure that our widely acclaimed teaching is as accessible as is possible, the Refugee Studies Centre’s International School in Forced Migration will be held in person in Oxford in July, for the first time since 2019.

The Refugee Studies Centre always sets the highest academic and pedagogic standards in its research and teaching. Our International Schools offer a programme of study on forced migration that is theoretically rigorous, empirically informed, and inclusive.

All our participants, whether at the Online or the in-person Summer School, will be provided with a wealth of learning materials to engage with before their School starts, including pre-recorded lectures, exercises, and readings. During each School, participants will attend and participate in seminars, discussions, and debates. The School’s demanding academic content will be complemented by a range of social and networking opportunities.

 Download the International Schools flyer for 2023

About the School

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

Core to both the Online School and the in-person Summer School is 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 Schools are 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.

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 2019 School:

“I would recommend the summer school to other people and especially practitioners and policy makers. It helps to deepen understanding of the development and conceptualization of the global forced migration discourse, the legal regime governing the field, new emerging theories to question long held assumptions, challenges and best practices. It gives an opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge from researchers, policy makers, media, practitioners etc. in a warm environment.”

“A very enjoyable experience. The tutors were supportive and knowledgeable, the lectures interesting and varied. I would recommend this course to anyone with a professional and/or research interest in forced migration.”

“I really enjoyed the summer school - it was a privilege to attend and to meet and hear from so many accomplished and prominent practitioners and scholars. Our tutor was outstanding and all the lecturers, tutors, and support staff created a warm, inclusive and relaxed learning environment that maintained a strong intellectual focus. I particularly enjoyed the lectures - especially hearing from such a well-known and diverse group - the electives were excellent, and the small tutor group discussions were stimulating. I particularly enjoyed the elective on humanitarianism. The diversity of the teaching staff, guest lecturers and the participants was an immense strength of the course.”

“It was an excellent course. Breadth and depth of the subject matter met, and often exceeded, expectations. The tutors were knowledgeable, and enthusiastic, and they were effective in teaching a diverse group.”

International Summer School Tutors

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

The tutors for the in-person Summer School in July 2023 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)

Dr Maryanne Loughry (Boston College / Associate Director, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia)

Guest speakers

The 2023 Schools will feature an impressive range of speakers from academia and international organisations.

Speakers on our July International Summer School include:

Dates and deadlines

2023 July in-person Summer School

Closing date for applications: 30 April 2023 (participants are expected to make their own travel and visa arrangements so please take this into consideration when making your application).


The 2023 fee for the in-person Summer School is £2400.

This fee covers 7 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation in Oxford, access to our virtual leaning environment, Canvas, and extensive learning materials, including pre-recorded lectures and readings. It also covers all tuition, including seminars, discussions, and lectures, and a range of social activities including welcome and farewell dinners.

Evening and weekend meals are not included in the course fee. Participants will need to meet their own travel costs and arrange any UK and transfer entry requirements. Reading materials and assignments will be posted on the Schools’ online learning platform, so it is advised that participants bring their own devices to access these materials.

We offer fifteen fully funded places across the three International Schools 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.

Please also email a copy of your CV, a scan of your highest level qualification, English Language test score (if applicable) and photograph 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
Oxford, OX1 3TB, UK