Prospective students are invited to join our online Live Facebook Q&A session with RLI Director Dr David James Cantor on 27 June 12-1pm (BST) to find out more about the programme and ask any questions you might have.


This MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies has quickly become one of the largest programmes on forced migration in the world, and unique in being the only programme of its type to be offered by distance learning. It enables students to acquire a rigorous legal, practical and theoretical understanding of refugee protection and forced migration, whilst developing expertise through a choice of elective modules. It is designed and run by the academic staff and wide network of experts at the Refugee Law Initiative and delivered through the renowned University of London International Programmes which has over 54,000 students in every corner of the globe studying on more than 180 different courses.

Students hone self-reliance in using and critiquing law, policy and practice in the field, and learn how to gather, organise and deploy evidence to form balanced judgements and develop policy recommendations. They complete methodological training in researching refugees and have the opportunity to develop practical field skills in advocacy, campaigning and fund-raising.

Core modules are:

  • Protecting Human Rights, Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law
  • An Introduction to Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
  • Dissertation, including Researching Refugees taught component

The cutting-edge elective modules include:

  • Securing Refugee Protection in Practice
  • Asylum Law in Europe: Towards Regional Harmonisation of International Protection
  • Asylum and Refugees in Africa and Latin America: Refugee Protection in the Global South
  • Advanced International Refugee Law
  • Internal Displacement in Law and Policy: War and Beyond
  • Statelessness, Nationality and the Protection of Stateless Persons
  • Gender, Sexual Identity and Age in the Refugee Context
  • Displacement, Healthcare and Humanitarian Action

Each module of the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies is developed and run by specialists in the field.

Who is it for?

This programme is designed for those who wish to develop their careers in a range of professional contexts in the refugee, human rights or humanitarian fields. This includes those currently working for, or wishing to work for, international agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Red Cross movement, as well as governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations.

Available Scholarships

The University of London has established two prestigious scholarships for the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies to support outstanding students who might not otherwise be able to gain access to the MA in Refugee Protection. As such, we particularly welcome applications from candidates who are nationals of and residing in low- and middle-income countries.

The first award is named the Guy S. Goodwin-Gill Scholarship to celebrate the achievements of the renowned refugee law expert Professor Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, a close friend and supporter of the Refugee Law Initiative at the University’s School of Advanced Study since its inception. The second award is named the Sadako Ogata Scholarship to celebrate the achievements of Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1991-2000), and an inspiring role model for practitioners and students of refugee protection worldwide.

Click for further details of the scholarships, including how to apply and deadlines.

The Refugee Law Initiative is pleased to be partnering with Commonwealth Scholarships to offer five full scholarships for the October 2018 intake to our MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies (studied part-time and by distance learning). Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those unable to study in the UK for financial and other reasons.

These scholarships are available only to applicants from: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Applicants will be required to submit an application to the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship scheme through the application portal by 31 May 2018.
Applicants must already have been offered a place on our MA  Programme,so we recommend that applications for the MA programme reach us by 10 May 2018.

Full details available here.


Distance Learning

The MA is unique in that it is the first ever postgraduate course on refugees to be offered by distance-learning. Students study this online programme part-time, from the comfort of a home computer and access the course content through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

  • The distance-learning format has various benefits.
  • Students can flexibly combine postgraduate study with ongoing professional and personal commitments. No requirement to travel to London or even be online at set times.
  • Students are able to connect with an engaged and experienced cohort of fellow students all across the world, including students currently working in different capacities in the field
  • Students are taught by tutors who are leading experts and/or subject specialists currently working in academic and practitioner institutions across the globe
  • Students have maximum flexibility in choosing to enter the programme in one of two annual in-takes (October and March)


To find out more or to apply, please visit