The aim of this degree programme is to equip students to work directly with refugees and asylum seekers. More specifically, it prepares students
- for work as competent, reflective and pro-active workers with refugees in a variety of different work settings (from advocacy to clinical) and remits (from managerial to directly therapeutic)
- to develop a systematic understanding of the complexities of the various interconnecting contexts involved in the refugee situation – from societal parameters to individual and family dynamics, as well as including the institutional dynamics of the refugee services, aid organisations and, importantly, of the personal dynamics of the refugee workers themselves
- to meet the challenges imposed by those wider societal parameters (e.g. changing legislation, political priorities, public opinion) that affect refugees directly or indirectly
- to conceptualise and formulate refugee related projects (for research and/or service purposes)
To address these aims, the degree programme introduces students to the theoretical, practical and experiential facets of conceptualising and working with refugees; it approaches the refugee condition from a spherical perspective whilst also providing a particular focus on the therapeutic considerations.
Supervision provides an important forum for helping to integrate different areas of work, and for developing conceptual frameworks which facilitate the direct work with refugees. Special emphasis in supervision is given to the experiential dimension, where students are encouraged to include their own personal responses and feelings and to reflect on the impact of their own position as refugee workers both on their clients as well as on themselves.
Research in this field is woven into the fabric of the curriculum, with written assignments designed to deepen and systematise the students’ knowledge of the material presented, the work observed and their placement experiences. Emphasis is placed upon reflective and co-operative learning styles.
Emphasis of this MA programme
The emphasis of this MA is on introducing a therapeutic dimension and a psychosocial perspective to the work with asylum seekers / refugees. The explicit intention is to make workers more effective therapeutically, in whatever role they have in working in this field (e.g. in management, education, law, social work, psychology, psychotherapy, community work). Therefore, the usefulness of this course is not limited to those who intend to work psychotherapeutically (in the strict sense of the word) with refugees. It is for this reason that the title refers to Care rather than to ‘psychotherapy’.
For more information, please visit http://www.essex.ac.uk/Centres/psycho/programmes/ma/MARefugee-1.htm