Students Staff

Preparing for a career in human rights

Graduate profiles

Ricky Gunawan

Our graduates acquire an exceptionally diverse range of skills during their time at Essex and have entered a wide variety of fields. Their stories demonstrate the versatility of a qualification in human rights.

Over the last 30 years, the Human Rights Centre has produced over 2000 graduates who now work as human rights professionals across the globe. We feed this experience into the courses and extra-curricular activities we offer to ensure you receive a comprehensive education in preparation for a successful career. With this in mind we offer a number of opportunities to develop your skills and gain invaluable professional experience.

Human Rights Centre Clinic

The Human Rights Centre Clinic is a focal point of the Human Rights Centre, bridging the gap between human rights practitioners in the field and academia, and delivering cutting edge human rights based research on behalf of partner organisations around the world. Students receive on-going training and professional development opportunities, and gain experience of working in a professional human rights environment.

Competitions, internships and careers events

  • European Human Rights Moot Court Competition

    The European Human Rights Moot Court Competition in English simulates the procedure of complaints to the European Court of Human Rights. Teams work on a fictional case, and argue their case in front of panels of experts, relying on the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols and following the procedures applied in the European Court of Human Rights. In 2013, 120 teams from 31 European countries took part, and the team from the Human Rights Centre came second in the event.

  • Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition

    The Jean-Pictet Competition is a week-long competition focused on international humanitarian law. Students from law, political science, military academies, and so on, take part, and the focus is on 'taking law out of the books' through the use of simulations and role plays, thereby allowing the jury to evaluate teams' practical and theoretical knowledge of international humanitarian law. The 2014 event took place in Portugal and the team from the University of Essex Human Rights Centre reached the finals.


    Students are also offered the opportunity to engage in simulated exercises addressing the response to humanitarian situations. Each year postgraduate students engage with the 16th Air Assault Brigade and the Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) to plan a response to a fictional scenario involving military intervention. This simulated exercise involves planning a response to famine, the mass movement of refugees, and security issues relating to insurgents.

  • Internships

    Internships provide you with an opportunity to engage directly with contemporary human rights issues, and to develop a more advanced understanding of human rights work, and specific human rights issues and situations. The Human Rights Centre has longstanding experience working with a diverse range of organisations around the globe, and provides advice and contacts to help you plan the next stage of your career.

  • Careers events

    We run a number of careers events every year, each designed to provide you with insight into a specific area of human rights related work. Events include:

    • working with international institutions
    • working for NGOs
    • working for government

    These events involve human rights professionals working in the relevant field, giving you an insider view of the career itself, as well as advice on the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed. When you graduate you can join the Essex Human Rights Alumni Association which connects you with our alumni around the world.


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Frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

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Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.