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The MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies is taught by leading experts in the field of forced migration, drawn from a range of disciplines including anthropology, geography, international law, politics and international relations and sociology.

Those teaching on the degree in recent years have included:

Alexander Betts, Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs

Catherine Briddick, Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Human Rights and Refugee Law

Dawn Chatty, Emerita Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration

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

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

[NB. Teaching staff are subject to change on an annual basis.]

Teaching takes place in small classes of anything from approximately 7 to 25 students, to encourage active participation and to enable students to learn from each other. Teaching styles vary and include lectures, workshops, seminars and student presentations. You will be expected to prepare for each class by reading a selection of recommended books, book chapters and articles.

Individual supervisors will support your academic development from the start; they are allocated on the basis of your research interests, how these mesh with those of the staff supervising on the course, and staff availability. You will work with your individual supervisor on your thesis throughout the degree, meeting roughly every two weeks in term time. In addition, you will have a college advisor whom you may consult on issues concerning your personal wellbeing.

The Course Director for 2023/24 is Catherine Briddick.


The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) is the world’s foremost multidisciplinary centre for refugee and forced migration studies. The RSC is part of the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), an international leader in teaching and research in development studies which ranked top in its subject area in the UK’s 2014 Research Assessment Exercise.

As a student on the course you will have access to a wide range of public seminars organised by the department, including the RSC Public Seminar Series. Beyond the immediate degree, Oxford offers a great variety of events, including seminars and lectures by distinguished academics and policy-makers in related fields. Other RSC resources include Forced Migration Review and the RSC Working Paper Series, to which students who are awarded a distinction for their thesis or group essay are invited to contribute.


The Social Sciences Library, the biggest free-standing social science library in the UK, is a short walk away and houses the Refugee Studies Centre collection, the world’s largest collection of material on the study of refugees and forced migration. These holdings form part of the rich resources of the historic Bodleian Library. As alumni of the University, students can sign up for lifetime access to key online journals.

IT support

The department provides hot-desking areas with desktops, scanning and printing, as well as wireless internet access. Technical support is available through the department, your college and the University’s IT Services, which also offers training courses. Course materials are available online via Weblearn, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Departmental facilities

Teaching takes place in the department’s seminar rooms, and there is a common room area where students from all the department's courses can gather.