• University of Glasgow

Working Supportively With Refugees: Principles, Skills and Perspectives

Learn how the principles of psychological well-being, communication and interpretation can benefit your work with refugees

Working Supportively With Refugees: Principles, Skills and Perspectives
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $54Find out more

Explore interdisciplinary approaches to working with refugees

Refugees are a diverse group, speaking many languages and of varied religions and ethnicities. This course acknowledges that skills requirements are changing rapidly and offers training for those working in this area.

Combining principles of psychological well-being, intercultural communication, interpretation and conflict management, this course will help you to understand who refugees are and how you can support their integration in the receiving countries.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsJAMIE SPURWAY: There have been mass movements of refugees many times before. The World Wars saw tens of millions fleeing their homes. The partition of India and Pakistan, the independence of Bangladesh, the Rwandan genocide, and civil conflicts around the world have all created refugees and there are millions. They are a massively diverse group, speaking many languages, of age, religions, and ethnicities, men and women, young and old, rich and poor. In many ways, they may have nothing in common except the fact that they have had to leave their home, a decision that nobody takes lightly and one that impacts on every aspect of their lives.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsMany flee war, while others flee a risk of violence that is specific to them, their families, or the group they're perceived to belong to. Critical to understanding this group of people is a recognition that they are not unusual. Refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. In recent years, we've been inundated with images of refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in countries like Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea. There is a situation of humanitarian crisis in many of the countries that refugees currently flee to. DR.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsMARTA MOSKAL: In the current massive increase of refugees flows that have been perceived as a refugee crisis. Skill needs are changing rapidly, calling for updated training within a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, combining the principles of psychological well-being, intercultural communication, and interpretation, conflict and crisis management in the reality of and in the work with refugees. DR.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 secondsGIOVANNA FASSETTA: Cultural mediators hold a central role in addressing the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the context of the current humanitarian crisis in Europe. Cultural mediators are directly involved in the facilitation of relations between newcomers under civil society, working towards the mutual exchange of knowledge and towards establishing positive relations between individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnic origins. This course aims to address the needs of interpreters, NGO practitioners, volunteers, refugees, researchers, and students. It will develop a set of skills needed to respond to this humanitarian crisis, which will include group management, intercultural communication, conflict resolution, counselling, and negotiation. DR.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 secondsMARTA MOSKAL: The course is informed by a variety of resources developed by the Erasmus+ Reculm project consortium based in four European countries, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, and Spain. The course develops over three weeks. But attendance is flexible and self-paced. We look forward to working with you online.

What topics will you cover?

  • The basics about human migration, refugees and legal framework
  • Cultural diversity and interethnic relations
  • Socialisation, conflict resolution and social inclusion
  • Principles on psychological well-being and socio-emotional health in refugee cases. Strategies for the mediator to support the target group and their own self-care
  • Communication and interpreting in contexts of cultural mediation
  • The practice of cultural mediation in the reality of refugees

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the legal, social and cultural grounding for the refugee's integration in different European countries
  • Reflect critically on the process of intercultural communication and interpretation, in the reality of and in the work with refugees
  • Evaluate the idea of social integration, assessing ways in which cultural mediators could offer adequate support to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants
  • Demonstrate awareness of principles of psychological well-being and socio-emotional health of refugees
  • Assess strategies for mediators to support refugees and attend to their own self-care
  • Explore the skills needed to work with refugees including group management, intercultural communication, and conflict negotiation

Who is the course for?

The course is open to all and will be of particular interest to those working with refugees in any capacity. It is aimed particularly, but not exclusively, at interpreters, NGO practitioners, volunteers, refugees, researchers, and students. There are no prior requirements to join this course.

While the Educators themselves aren’t available to facilitate this run, we encourage you to engage with other learners and there are opportunities to do this throughout the course.

Who will you learn with?

Marta Moskal

I am a senior lecturer (associate professor) at the University of Glasgow, School of Education. I work in the area of human mobility, migration and intercultural education.

Giovanna Fassetta

I am a Lecturer in Intercultural Literacies and Languages in Education at the University of Glasgow.

Jamie Spurway

I am a diversity trainer and currently work with Glasgow University. I specialise in delivering courses about refugees, human trafficking, equality, gender and religious & cultural diversity.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established1451
  • LocationGlasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World rankingTop 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020


funded by
funded by

Learner reviews

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$259.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.