MSc in Refugee Studies

London South Bank University

Program Description

MSc in Refugee Studies

London South Bank University

This master will develop your critical engagement with the theories and practices of forced migration and development studies. In-depth knowledge of both disciplines is critical to understand and explain the causes and consequences of forced migration.

Taught by internationally recognized members of staff with a range of innovative research experiences, the course is interdisciplinary. It requires the use of theoretical and methodological insights, knowledge and perspectives of different disciplines. This provides opportunities for in-depth understanding and explanation of the problem of Forced Migration and its interface with other social science disciplines, such as development studies, law, sociology, anthropology, political science, and psychology.

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Starting in both in September and January, this programme aims to develop your critical engagement with the theories and practices of forced migration and development studies. In-depth knowledge of both disciplines is critical to understanding and explaining the causes and consequences of forced migration, analysing, critiquing and evaluating host governments’, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNCHR) and NGOs’ policies on protection, assistance, reception and settlement strategies, as well as the short and long-term responses of intergovernmental organisations, such as the World Bank and others.

Throughout the course, you’ll also engage in volunteering. Students have volunteered in different organizations, including the UK Refugee Council, British Red Cross, UNHCR, Chance UK, Naz Project London and Eaves in South London. These organizations provide support, advice, and advocacy to asylum-seekers, including women who’ve experienced violence, such as trafficking, prostitution, domestic and sexual violence.

MSc Refugee Studies is led by Professor Gaim Kibreab, an internationally recognized expert on forced migration, resettlement, repatriation and development, conflict, environment, water resources governance, post-conflict reconstruction, gender and development, livelihoods, governance and civil society.

Key course information - ordered by mode

Mode Duration Start Date Location
Part-time 2 years January Southwark Campus
Full-time 16 months January Southwark Campus
Full-time 1 year September Southwark Campus
Part-time 2 years September Southwark Campus


  • International Refugee Law
  • Asylum policy in the EU and the Member States
  • Forced Migration and Human Rights
  • Forced Migration and Development
  • Contemporary Issues in Development
  • Research methods for development
  • Dissertation (triple module)


The aims and outcomes of this course are designed to develop your knowledge and skills that are relevant to working with forced migrants, including asylum-seekers, refugees, IDPs, oustees and other categories of forced migrants and also for working in refugee-producing and hosting countries worldwide, inter-governmental organisations, such as the UNHCR, non-governmental organisations, immigration lawyers, lobbying and advocacy groups. The Home Office and immigration authorities in the EU and member states are potential employers of our graduates.

Previous students have entered careers in many fields working for international organizations such as the United Nations and its constituent organizations. Through our pool of visiting lecturers and practitioners, the MSc Refugee Studies networks with activists, academics, and practitioners. These networks provide students with an opportunity not only to learn about job opportunities but also establish contacts that may prove to be useful in search of employment opportunities. Students’ employability is enhanced by developing their transferable and problem-solving analytical and evaluative skills. Some graduates of the MSc Refugee Studies have established their own NGOs and are serving asylum-seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons in their countries of origin.

We are the University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.


The MSc Refugee Studies has a strong voluntary work scheme. You're encouraged to undertake voluntary work in a variety of non-governmental organizations engaged in varieties of activities to provide support to asylum-seekers, refugees, unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable migrant communities. Recent positions have been with the Refugee Council, Red Cross and other agencies offering support to refugees and asylum-seekers.

Our students have taken up work placements at the following organizations:

  • Chance UK, a unique early intervention mentoring organization who provide adult volunteer mentors to work with children aged 5-11 years at risk of developing anti-social behavior in later life)
  • Kairos in Soho (a pan-London LGBT Community Development Organisation)
  • Naz Project London (a sexual health organization that works to mobilize Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in relation to HIV and other sexual health concerns)
  • Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (RAID)
  • Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) one of the UK's largest charities and voluntary organizations who aim to give older people the opportunity and choice to get more out of life
  • British Refugee Council
  • British Red Cross

Teaching and learning

Study hours

Year 1 class contact time is typically 16 hours per week plus individual tutorial time and independent study. This accumulates to typically two days and two evenings a week.


All modules apart from the dissertation are assessed by 5,000-word pieces of coursework.

Entry requirements

Those holding a first degree (minimum of 2:2/Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division) in any discipline such as lawyers who want to specialize in Refugee Law.

Those with or without degrees who work or want to work with refugee oriented NGOs, community-based organizations, and government departments.

We welcome equivalent qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.5, Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Students without standard qualifications for this course should produce evidence they are suitable for study at this level e.g. Work experience in NGOs, United Nations Agencies, government departments involved in processing applications for asylum, assistance of asylum seekers and refugees and their families, in law or other firms that work with refugees and asylum seekers or organisations that provide advice to asylum seekers. Such applicants will also be interviewed and asked to submit an essay to test written and oral communication skills along with their knowledge and understanding of the problem of forced migration.

All modules are subject to change by the university and may differ from the modules you are offered during your studies.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 8, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Jan. 2019
Sept. 2019
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
7,500 GBP
Full-time UK/EU fee: £7500; International fee: £13125. Year 1 Part-time UK/EU fee: £3333.33; International fee: £5833.33
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date : Jan. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Start date : Sept. 2019
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Jan. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
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Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
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End date Request Info