Master of Science by Coursework in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Differences from 2017/18 to 2023/24

  • 1. The course shall be under the supervision of the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Teaching Committee of the Department of International Development. 

    12. Candidates must follow a course of instruction in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies for at least three terms full-time and will be expected to attend such lectures and seminars as their supervisor/courseCourse directorDirector shall recommend. 

  • 2. Candidates must present themselves for an oral examination if requested by the examiners.

  • 3. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination. EveryEach candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in threefour papers, a research design essay and a thesis. 

    Papers I-II

    4. Each candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in two essaycore papers as follows:

    • Paper I: International Legal and Ethical frameworksFrameworks

      International legal and ethical framework in relation to refugees and displaced persons. International and domestic application of individual and group rights to displaced persons and refugees. Activities and involvement of the relevant international organs, governments, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations relevant to forced migration. Concepts of migration and intervention and their justifications. Ethical issues raised by migration.

    • Paper II: Political and Anthropological frameworksFrameworks

      Theories5. Each core paper will be assessed by a written examination in early Trinity term. 

      Papers III-IV: Two elective courses

      6.  Each candidate will be required to choose two elective courses, with at least one from the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies pool, and the second from either the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies pool, the Migration Studies pool, or with the approval of the causesCourse Director, an elective from another degree programme offered by the Department of forcedInternational migration and humanitarian crisesDevelopment. Historical dimensions, political and social dynamics of forced migration. Social, political and cultural constructions of place and space. Impact of forced migration on gender relations and age structures. Coercion and conflict. Implications of forced migrants for conceptualising the modern state and the international order. Security and stability of states. States responses to refugee movements and immigration. Comparing political forms and their response to refugees. Cooperation and the refugee regime. The lived experiences of refugees and forced migrants through displacement, encampment, resettlement and asylum. The formation of refugee identity, notions of home and belonging. Interactions between forced migrants and aid agencies, governments and the UNHCR. The process of flight and displacement. The experience of encampment and its effects on social systems, memory and identity. Anthropology of humanitarian citizenship, integration and exile.

    • Paper III: Contemporary issues in the study of Forced Migration 

    • Environmental and development-induced displacement. Poverty and vulnerability. Impact of forced migrants on host populations and governments. Agency, coping mechanisms and survival strategies of affected populations. Nationalism, ethnicity and group identity. Consequences of resettlement programmes for livelihood and economic autonomy. Repatriation and local-level social reconstruction. Institutional responses to forced migrants. Refugees and regional politics. The history and politics of humanitarian aid.

    • Multidisciplinary Thesis

      Each studentCandidates will be requiredexpected to writefollow the mode of assessment for the owning programme of the elective. A list of electives including the timings and methods of assessment will be published by the Course Director at the start of Michaelmas Term.  

      Research Design Essay

      7. Each candidate will be required to submit a 3,000 word Research Design Essay no later than 12 noon on Friday of Week 7 of Hilary Term.

      Multidisciplinary thesis 

      8. Each candidate will be required to submit a thesis of not less than 10,000 and not more than 15,000 words on a topic relevant to forced migration. The purpose of this thesis is to ensure that the students have engaged in a multidisciplinary analysis of a single issue in forced migration to gain an awareness of the complex interrelations in the field.

      The topic of the thesis will require approvalapproved by the chairChair of examinersExaminers.   

      9. ThisThe thesis must be thesubmitted work of the candidate alone and aid from others must be limited to prior discussion as to the subject and advice on presentation. The thesis (three copies) must be typewritten and delivered to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, notno later than 12 noon on Thursday of Week Eight8 of Trinity Term. An electronic copy must also be submitted to the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Coordinator, again by the date and time specified above 

      10. TheAll thesisassessments must be presentedsubmitted inusing properthe scholarlyUniversity form,approved inonline double-spacingassessment andplatform. Technical information on onethe side only of quarto or A4 paper, each copy bound or held firmly in a stiff cover. The examiners shall retain a copy of all candidates’ theses that achieve a distinctionrequirements for depositonline submissions is provided in the SocialCourse Sciences LibraryHandbook.

    • Research Methods Group Essay

      Each student must display an understanding of research methods relevant to forced migration11. This will be in the form of a group essay of approximately, but no more than 5,000 words, based on directed field research conducted during a four-week period in Hilary Term. The essay will present findings and engage with topics which include: epistemology of social science; social science paradigms; ethics and values; quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods of data collection; the presentation of statistical information; research design; sampling theory; hypothesis testing; questionnaire design; participant observation; participatory learning and action; and evaluative research.

      The essay must be presented in a proper scholarly form and delivered to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, no later than Friday noon in Week Seven of Hilary Term.

      A candidate who fails the examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt. A candidate who has reached a satisfactory standard on any of the three components of the examination: (i) the thesis; (ii) the three written papers; (iii) the research methods group essay, will not be required to retake that part of the examination. Candidates may also be required to attend an oral examination, which may be on one orof more elements of the candidates writtenassessed examinations, thesis or group essaywork. Any candidate who fails a group assignment may be considered for a pass on the basis of an oral examination. 

  • 4.Candidates may be provided with selected international legal materials for use during some examinations, as published annually in the Course Handbook.