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 for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Participating in our stand-alone projects and our module-based projects, and 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.

The work you'll be involved in combines both hands-on practical experience in human rights and classroom study. You'll work in teams with the guidance of a supervisor to investigate and document human rights violations and/or strengthen human rights initiatives, through collaboration with the many partners with which the Clinic works. Our partners include governments, NGOs and international organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations.

If you're a student at Essex and you'd like to work in the Human Rights Centre Clinic, you can explore more information about our projects below, and details on how to apply for our projects.

Applications for all 2022-2023 projects will open in the Autumn Term.

Students’ work supports prisoners facing Death Row

What should courts consider when deciding whether to impose a death sentence? Essex students undertook vital work, piecing together the complex life stories of prisoners facing Death Row.

Read the article

Applying to work in the Human Rights Centre Clinic

Who can apply for module-based projects? 

The module-based projects are open to 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 automatically enrolled on the Human Rights Centre Clinic module. (This is an optional module - course code: HU902).

Browse our postgraduate human rights degrees

How to apply for module-based projects

There are a limited number of places available on module-based projects. Accordingly, all students who wish to participate go through a selection process. If you are a postgraduate student and would like to participate in one of our module-based projects, please submit your application first. Should you be successful, you will automatically be registered for the optional module HU902.

If you want to join the module-based projects of the Human Rights Centre Clinic in 2022-23, applications will open in the Autumn Term.
The application should include two attachments:

  • your CV (two pages maximum)
  • a 400-word statement explaining why you want to join the Clinic and what you expect to learn from it. The statement should include your preferred three module-based projects in order of preference. We would do our best to accommodate your choices

Key information

  • Students taking part in any of the six module-based projects will also need to enrol in HU902 (Spring Term and three sessions in Autumn term).
  • The process described above applies to module-based projects only, not to the stand-alone project (Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit), which follows its own application process. Students on the stand-alone project do not need to enrol on HU902.
  • Students are free to apply to module-based projects and to stand-alone projects at the same time, but note that the module-based projects will require approximately 8-10 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June on top of the coursework for all other modules. We recommend you don’t overstretch your commitments.


Learn more about our module-based projects

Who can apply for stand-alone projects?

Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit

  • This exciting research project is open to postgraduate human rights students as part of the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902).

How do I apply for stand-alone projects?

Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit

Applications will open in October 2022. You will be asked to describe your motivation to join the ADRU, as well as any relevant experience and/or skills (particularly in legal and human rights drafting).

"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

Module-based projects for 2022-23