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Master of Science by Coursework in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

  • 1. Candidates will be expected to attend such lectures and seminars as their supervisor/course director shall recommend.

  • 2. Every candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in three written papers, an individual research design essay, and a thesis as follows:

    • Paper I: International Legal and Ethical frameworks

      International legal and ethical frameworks 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 frameworks

      Theories of the causes of forced migration and humanitarian crises. 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. Border enforcement, deportation, detention, and security. Post-colonial perspectives and criminological perspectives on forced migration.

    • Individual Research Design Essay

    • Each student must display an understanding of research methods relevant to forced migration. This will be in the form of an individual research design essay of approximately, but no more than 3,000 words. The essay will engage with topics which may include: epistemology of social science; social science paradigms; ethics and values; quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods of data collection.

      The essay must be presented in a proper scholarly form and uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform, no later than Friday noon in Week Seven of Hilary Term. Technical information on the requirements for online submissions will be provided by the Department.

      Multidisciplinary Thesis

      Each student will be required to write 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 approval by the chair of examiners. This thesis must be the 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 must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by noon on Thursday of Week Eight of Trinity Term. Technical information on the requirements for online submissions will be provided by the Department. The examiners, with permission, shall retain a copy of all candidates’ theses that achieve a distinction for deposit in the Social Sciences Library.

  • 3. Candidates may be required to attend an oral examination, which may relate to one or more elements of the candidate’s assessed work. 
  • 4. 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.