Human rights centre

Working in the Human Rights Centre Clinic

A persons arm pushed up against riot shields with police behind them.

Gain experience in real world issues

Working within the Human Rights Centre Clinic is an option to both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Clinic work combines both hands-on practical experience in human rights and classroom study. Students work in teams, with the guidance of a supervisor, to investigate and document human rights violations and/or strengthen human rights initiatives. This is achieved in collaboration with the many partners with which the Clinic works, including governments, NGOs and international organisations.

The Clinic also runs an optional module that is available to postgraduate students on human rights programmes.

Apply to the Clinic

Why be a member of the Clinic?

Being part of the Clinic gives you a fantastic opportunity to work on real world issues and for organisations working in the field of human rights. This experience gives you an insight into the world of human rights both from a practical and academic perspective. Through the Clinic, you will learn substantive human rights law, develop professional techniques and explore different models/theories for effective promotion of human rights.

Who is eligible to enrol in the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902)? 

HU902 is an optional module for Postgraduate students on the Human Rights Master’s programme (LLM/MA). If you are selected to work on a module-based project then you will be will be automatically enrolled on the Human Rights Clinic module (Course Code: HU902).


Browse our postgraduate human rights degrees

How to apply for the Human Rights Centre Clinic's Module-Based projects

There are a limited number of places available on the HRC Clinic’s Module Based projects. Accordingly, all students who wish to participate go through a selection process. First, all applicants should use Enrol to register for HU902, after which they will be automatically waitlisted until the selection process is over.

Selection decisions are made on the basis of an applicant's cover letter and interview. The cover letter should be no more than 2 pages and should address:

This selection process is necessary to ensure (a) that students are placed on projects matching their interest to the greatest extent possible; and (b) that the Clinic is made up of a representative mix of students, with different backgrounds, levels of experience, and so on.

After consideration of the cover letters, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to a short interview with the Clinic Director. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process shortly thereafter. Selection is made on the basis of the Clinic’s learning objectives, and takes a number of different factors into account. Participation in the Clinic is not determined on the basis of existing professional experience.

The application process opens during Welcome Week and will close at 9am on 12 October 2020.

Once the process is open, your cover letter should be emailed to the Human Rights Centre Clinic for review by Dr. Patricia Palacios Zuloaga, Clinic Director. The subject matter of the email should read: ‘HRC Clinic Application - *name of applicant*’.


Learn more about our module-based projects

Who is eligible to enrol in the Human Rights Centre Clinic’s Stand-Alone projects? How do I apply?

Each Stand-Alone project has its own eligibility criteria and recruitment process.

Digital Verification Unit

All students studying at the University of Essex are invited to apply to the Digital Verification Unit.

To apply to the DVU please send a one-page email to Dr Daragh Murray: with 'DVU' in the subject line. This email should express the following:

  • what you are studying
  • why you would like to work with us
  • relevant experience or skills

In order to create a diverse group, we actively recruit students with different backgrounds, experiences, and skillsets, from professionals with years of human rights experience to people taking their first steps in this field. You will receive training throughout this project, so don’t worry if you don’t have any specific human rights skills or experience.

The application process opens during Welcome Week and will close at 4pm on 14 October 2020.


Learn more about the Digital Verification Unit


Death Penalty Mitigation Project

The Death Penalty Mitigation Project is open to Law, Human Rights and Sociology undergraduate students, Human Rights and Sociology postgraduate students and Law PhD. students. There are a limited number of places available so students will go through a selection process.

If you are a student and wish to apply, please attach your CV, and include a cover letter, no more than 2 pages. Your cover letter should be emailed to Dr Alexandra Cox:, and should address the following:

  • the degree programme you are registered on
  • the subjects you intend to take this year
  • why you want to participate in this project
  • your language skills
  • any other relevant experience, or further information, as appropriate.

The application process opens during Welcome Week and will close on 16 October 2020 at 10am.


Learn more about the Death Penalty Sentencing Mitigation Unit


"An invaluable experience in discovering what it means to be in a truly diverse team with the conflicts and opportunity for learning that it can bring. I believe I came out of it a more rounded human rights advocate"
Elizabeth Mangenje LLM international human rights law: economics relations, 2017