2020 applicants

Human rights

Human rights have no borders or boundaries. They are the global language of the world.

Human rights
Studying human rights develops the skills and confidence to advocate for individual and community rights, social justice and social change.

Our approach is interdisciplinary, with the theory and practice of human rights embedded in our work. Join our thriving community of expert staff, students and graduates who have genuine global impact in the field.

Why study here?
  • Our lecturers are renowned experts in human rights and hold prestigious UN appointments.
  • Gain experience in the field through opportunities such as our Human Rights Clinic.
  • We have an active Human Rights Society which hosts a comprehensive programme of events.
Our courses are informed by our unique interdisciplinary perspective, which gives you a deep and critical knowledge of human rights and their practical application.

At Essex we are concerned with confronting and overcoming oppression and discrimination around the world. We enjoy a worldwide reputation for research, teaching and practice, and our pioneering staff have held prestigious positions within the UN and other international organisations.

Why study here?
  • Our education offers many valuable opportunities to apply your legal knowledge to the world beyond the classroom.
  • Join our Human Rights Clinic and develop your legal and transferrable skills to help you stand out from the crowd.
  • You join one of the largest and most effective human rights alumni networks in the world.

Digital Verification Unit

Essex Human Rights Centre launched a Digital Verification Unit in 2016 to strengthen the use of emerging technologies in human rights investigations and prosecutions. Students are recruited every year to work on the latest digital projects in human rights alongside our principal investigator, Dr Daragh Murray

Destroyed building in Raqqa, Syria
Digital Verification Unit students contribute to ground-breaking report by Amnesty International

Essex students have used social media content to help challenge official accounts of the bombing of the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Read more
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Chat with Rasheedat

Rasheedat studies MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights here at Essex. She is both from the UK and Nigeria and she enjoys podcasting, reading, volunteering and advocacy. Ask her anything about student life or her course!

Chat with Rasheedat
Our PhD programme draws upon the expertise of over 80 Human Rights Centre members from different academic disciplines.

Our research community encompasses internationally renowned scholars whose work ranges from research into the philosophical and normative bases of human rights, through to more practically-oriented interests in the legal, political and sociological application of human rights.

Expertise and supervision

We specialise in the application of theory to real human rights problems. Our research has a particular focus on the right health, civil and political rights; including the prohibition against torture and detention related issues, and the law of armed conflict and acute crises. To find out more about us read our biographies and then use our research finder to find a supervisor. 

Why study here?
  • Our Human Rights Centre has consistently produced cutting-edge academic and policy research.
  • You have the option of being supervised by Human Rights Centre members.
  • You can apply through us for one of over 375 fully-funded PhD studentships.

Human Rights Centre

Our Human Rights Centre is a community of students, alumni and academics that provides excellence in human rights theory and practice through interdisciplinary research and education. We were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2010 in recognition of our work in advancing global human rights.

Research clusters

We have extensive expertise across the following research clusters, amongst others. These clusters provide a focus for critical debate, research collaboration and teaching innovation. Postgraduate research students can get involved in the Law and Technology and Human Rights clusters.

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