Taught course

Refugee Care

University of Essex · Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies

Entry requirements

Good first degree (first, upper second class or 2.2) or an equivalent professional qualification, plus a sample of written work demonstrating academic ability. Applicants without such qualification, but who can otherwise demonstrate relevant experience and academic ability will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

Do you or are you looking to work with refugees, asylum seekers or other displaced groups of people? How can you care for these people more effectively? How can therapeutic dimensions of care and psychosocial perspectives help to understand the multi-dimensional complexities of the refugee experience?

Our MA Refugee Care combines expertise from both our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies and the Tavistock Centre to bring an innovative twin-site Masters (two modules are taught at the Tavistock Centre in London and two modules at our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies in Colchester) in the study of refugee care.

The central focus of this course is to introduce a therapeutic dimension and a psychosocial perspective to working with this group of people and is the only postgraduate course to offer a combination of modules with this emphasis, making a clear distinction between offering psychotherapy and being therapeutic in working with refugees.

There is a good mix of practical and experiential elements, such as placements and institutional observations, to support a sound theoretical framework to understand the complexities of the refugee experience, such as family and societal factors, interactions with various services, institutions and organisations, and the inter-personal dynamics involved between refugees and their workers.

Our course is offered one year full-time, two years part-time or modular (up to five years), and teaching is for 25 weeks (over two and a half terms from October to mid-May). It is also possible to apply for a doctoral programme in refugee care, completing this MA first (without the dissertation) and then continuing to work on your PhD thesis (for an additional two years full-time or four years part-time).

We prepare you for competent, reflective and pro-active work with refugees in a variety of settings (for example education, human rights, social work, community development, psychology) and remits (for example managerial, clinical, advisory). You will graduate secure in the knowledge that you have been taught by leading academics in the field of refugee care and gained valuable practical experience from your course.

Our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading centres for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our research and teaching is deeply grounded in knowledge deriving from clinical practice, to which our highest standards of academic thinking are then applied.

We enjoy an outstanding reputation for research and have consistently achieved the highest rating in the UK's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), most recently in December 2008. Being located within the UK's leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation50 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719