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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Refugees (Social Work)

Course type


Course Summary

Course overview

The central focus of this course is to introduce a therapeutic dimension and a psychosocial perspective to working with refugees and asylum seekers. It is the only postgraduate course to offer a combination of modules with this emphasis, making a clear distinction between being therapeutic in working with refugees and offering psychotherapy to them and it includes a placement within an organisation related to working with refugee people. It is the longest running course in this field and is delivered with our partner the University of Essex. Please note that teaching will take place at both the University in Colchester and the Tavistock Center in London.

Course outline

This course will help enhance your understanding and skills in working with refugee people using your own experience as context. You will examine the complexities of the refugee experience from a holistic perspective and using systemic, narrative, psychodynamic and liberation psychology approaches. You will consider therapeutic, clinical, theoretical, organisational, social and political viewpoints among others.

You will have the opportunity to explore the social, cultural and political contexts relevant to asylum seeking/refugee people and families using frameworks that are therapeutic and empowering and that will assist you in working directly with these groups.

You will learn through seminars and lectures, take on a placement in a relevant refugee institution/service and participate in a placement group which combines theory and practice. Supervision will provide you with an important forum to help you integrate different areas of work and develop a conceptual framework that will facilitate your direct work with asylum seeking / refugee people. You will also be expected to undertake a systematic observation of an organisation and complete a research dissertation.

Research in this field is woven into the fabric of the curriculum on this course. The written assignments are designed to deepen your knowledge of the complex issues discussed in the academic community, the work observed and your placement experiences. Emphasis is placed on interactive, reflective and co-operative learning styles.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you work with or want to work with asylum seeking/refugee people in a different capacity. You may be a voluntary worker, social worker, manager, mental health worker, teacher, psychologist, community worker, GP, public sector worker or psychotherapist.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

£8760 per annum for 2020/21 entry. There may be slight increase in the year 2021/22.

International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

£18,900 per annum for 2020/21 entry. There may be slight increase in the year 2021/22.

Entry requirements

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you have: a university degree (or equivalent) in any subject, 2:2 or above, a record of relevant work/experience or serious intent to work in relevant settings with refugees/asylum seekers.