Masters programme in ‘Refugee Care’ that the University of Essex

Dear colleagues,

Just to let you know that applications are now open for the one-year Masters programme in ‘Refugee Care’ that the University of Essex has been offering in conjunction with the Tavistock Clinic in London (UK), for the last 12 years! This is a unique programme insofar it is the only course of studies in the world that enables students to work directly with refugees, as well as with other involuntarily dislocated persons, i.e. all those who have had to abandon their homes involuntarily, due to a variety of different types of upheavals. All other courses in this field are variations of Forced Migration or Refugee Studies programmes that focus on social policies and other academic perspectives, mostly without any direct access to involuntarily dislocated persons. Our course is based on a close inter-relationship between theory and practice that is achieved through an individualised scheme of focused essays, supervised placements and institutional observations. It is the only programme of its kind that arranges observations at an Asylum Tribunal where students have the opportunity to observe hearings and later discuss directly with the Asylum Judges the cases observed.

The programme offers an innovative, and yet proven, coherent and comprehensive approach that enables students to ‘work therapeutically’ with refugees (as opposed to offering them psychotherapy), that does not pathologise human suffering, that is based on human rights and that is culturally sensitive. Our approach, (that, essentially, is psychosocial) appreciates the wide range of responses to adversity that include not only human suffering and psychological traumatisation, but also the retaining of existing strengths (resilience) as well as the acquisition of new strengths as a direct result of the exposure to adversity (‘Adversity-Activated Development’). The approach is inter-disciplinary to address the multifaceted complexity of the refugee phenomenon.

Our students come from varied cultural, academic, professional and work backgrounds. Accordingly, the programme enables each student to follow an individually tailored programme to fit with her/his background, needs and professional direction.

This post-graduate course is the only programme that includes Jungian dimensions in this therapeutic work, and is directed by a Jungian analyst. Seminars take place both at the University of Essex as well as at the Tavistock Clinic. The course is taught by a team of world experts who are actively engaged in this field, and it is closely associated with the ‘Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees’, the ‘Human Rights Centre’, the ‘Transitional Justice Network’ and it is based at the ‘Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies’, all at our university.

Refugee care is not only topical but is expanding and developing rapidly, creating new employment initiatives and opportunities. Our graduates make an impact by applying the innovative approach that our course offers in a variety of contexts and disciplines. Many of our graduates go on to play a leading role in many spheres of this field, e.g. education, social and community work, human rights, emergency and humanitarian aid, national, international and non-governmental organisations.

Suitably qualified persons may move onto a PhD after they successfully complete the Masters programme and without needing to write a Masters dissertation.

More information can be found on the course website:

This video explains further some of the characteristics of our programme.

Please let me know if you require any further clarification.

I will be grateful if you could kindly circulate this information widely.

With my best wishes,

Renos K Papadopoulos, PhD.
Professor and Director:
Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees,

MA/PhD in Refugee Care,
University of Essex.
Honorary Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist:
The Tavistock Clinic, London.