The mucosal administration of vaccines is an area currently receiving a high level of interest due to potential advantages offered by this technique. These advantages include the ability to administer vaccines without need for needles, thus improving patient compliance with vaccination schedules, and the capacity to induce immune responses capable of preventing infections at the site of acquisition. Despite these advantages a number of limitations exist which currently inhibit our ability to successfully develop new mucosal vaccines. As such, much research is currently focused on developing new adjuvants and delivery systems to overcome these difficulties. However, despite high levels of interest in this area, relatively few mucosal vaccine candidates have successfully progressed to human clinical trials. In the review that follows, we aim to provide the reader with an overview of the immune system with respect to induction of mucosal immune responses. Furthermore, the review provides an overview of a number of microbial (bacterial toxins, CpG DNA, cytokines / chemokines, live vectors, and virus like particles) and synthetic (microspheres, liposomes, and lipopeptides) strategies that have been investigated as adjuvants or delivery systems for mucosal vaccine development, with a focus on the delivery of vaccines via the oral route.