Summer Schools

Human Rights

Essex Human Rights Summer School

The Human Rights Centre presents its five day summer school in Human Rights Research Methods from 6 - 10 July 2020. 


Below is a snapshot of our 2019 summer school. 

“It is remarkable to have the opportunity to hear from practitioners how different research methods can make an impact in their work and real people’s lives.”
Ana Maria Essex human rights summer school participant, 2019

For enquiries relating to our 2020 event and to register your interest for next year, please contact 

Applications for our 2020 summer school will open soon!

Human Rights Centre on social media:


This Research Methods summer school provides the core methods and skills needed to carry out human rights research whether for academic scholarship, bids for large research projects or reports for NGOs, governments and international organisations.

Participants will learn how to design research projects and carry them out both in a headquarters environment or while working in the field. They will learn about the range of tools and methodologies for human rights research (whether academic or practical) and when, why and how to employ particular research methods in specific research contexts.

The summer school not only focuses on documenting human rights violations using qualitative and quantitative research methods but it also addresses questions of how to measure the impact and effectiveness of policies and practices based on human rights.

Three books in a stack on a desk
"These are exactly the types of skills needed by researchers in NGOs and in the UN and other international organisations. Knowing the Human Rights Centre, I am confident that it will deliver a summer school that is not only strong in academic content but very relevant and applicable to practical contexts."
Ian Martin former secretary General of amnesty international and head of un human rights missions and peace operations in Rwanda, east timor, Nepal and libya

Teaching programme

The summer school will be taught by a combination of Essex and external human rights academics and practitioners. All sessions will focus on research design, methodology and impact and will examine relevant examples and case-studies.

The programme also includes dedicated sessions on particular projects to develop the themes of research design, methodology and impact in greater depth.

As an interactive summer school, it will afford participants many opportunities to apply the theory they have learned, including through dedicated sessions in which participants will be given a problem ahead of the session and asked to prepare the research questions, methodology and impact strategy.

Participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on existing research plans in one-on-one clinics throughout the school. Particular topics that will be covered in the sessions include: Interviewing survivors of Human Rights violations, the use of focus groups and the role of databases, amongst many others.

Further information regarding the teaching faculty, learning outcomes and what sessions will be explored will be available in our summer school leaflet, downloadable in the Spring. 

Teaching team

The summer school will be taught by a combination of Essex and external human rights academics and practitioners. The team includes: 

  • Abbas Faiz, Independent Consultant, Former researcher at Amnesty International
  • Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Human Rights Centre & School of Law, University of Essex. UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion or Belief (2016-19)
  • Barbora Cernusakova, PhD Candidate, University of Manchester & Researcher at Amnesty International
  • Dr Carla Ferstman, Senior Lecturer, School of Law & Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, Former Director of REDRESS.
  • Dr Carmel Williams, Independent Consultant, formerly Senior Research Officer at Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project.
  • Professor Clara Sandoval, Human Rights Centre, Director, Essex Transitional Justice Network, School of Law, University of Essex.
  • Dr Cosette Creamer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota
  • Dr Dominik Duell, Lecturer, Department of Government, University of Essex
  • Professor Francoise Hampson, Emeritus Professor, School of Law & Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
  • Professor Geoff Gilbert, School of Law & Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
  • Judith Bueno de Mesquita, School of Law & Deputy Director, Human Rights Centre Clinic.
  • Professor Lorna MacGregor, School of Law, Director Human Rights Centre & Co-Director, Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project. Member, Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Nazila Ghanea, Associate Professor, Oxford University
  • Dr Richard Carver, Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes
  • Dr Roisin Ryan-Flood, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Essex
  • Sam Dubberley, Amnesty International and Member of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, University of Essex


It is an ideal course for postgraduate students, academics, lawyers and human rights professionals working in NGOs, government and international organisations.

Fees and application details

Applications for 2019 have now closed. To register your interest for 2020, please contact 

The fees for the 2019 summer school are as follows:

  • University of Essex students, staff and alumni: £820
  • External participants: £950
  • An early bird discount of 10% will be available until: Sunday 19 May 2019

    Also included within the course fee is tea and coffee, lunch refreshments during breaks on each day of the course, and a welcome dinner on the first evening.

    Paying by Proficio

    If you are paying for your course fee using University of Essex Proficio funds, you will need to use the University of Essex Proficio platform.

    Paying by invoice

    If you specifically require payment via an invoice, please email us: 

    After payment

    Once you've paid, we will send you our enrolment guidance pack with instructions on how to finalise your place and book optional discounted accommodation. 

    Please note that accommodation is not included in this fee. Please see below for more information.


    Colchester Campus accommodation for our Summer School will need to be booked separately at a fee of £55 per night, bed and breakfast.

    Instructions on how to book accommodation will be provided once your place on the summer school is confirmed.

    "Human Rights Methodology is something that's been very much unattended to...this summer school closes a gap."
    Professor Margaret Satterthwaite Professor of Clinical Law, New York University. 
    Get in touch
    Get in touch
    Catherine Gentry Executive Officer - Events and Communications
    Essex Law School
    Telephone: 01206 872567