Students Staff

Exploring justice, promoting human rights

Prof Sir Nigel Rodley

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley

The late Professor Sir Nigel Rodley KBE was a global figure within the field of human rights and one of the founding fathers of our Human Rights Centre. Now a year after his passing, read our official tribute to Sir Nigel..

The Human Rights Centre at Essex is the hub of human rights activity bringing together a vibrant community of students, 2000 alumni, more than 100 members from 11 disciplines, fellows and partners. At the heart of our work is the interface between the theory and practice of human rights.

Our excellence in research and excellence in education is defined by the application of theory to real human rights problems. Through our research and practice, we influence and set human rights agendas and make concrete differences at the international, regional and national level. Through our education, we produce the next generation of human rights leaders throughout the world.

We strategically identify enduring and emerging human rights challenges and play a leadership role in responding to these challenges through education, research and impact activities. We do this through close relationships with our alumni and extensive practitioner network to ensure that we are working on issues that are a priority and of direct relevance to beneficiaries such as victims of human rights violations, governments, NGOs and international organisations.

Beyond our expertise within disciplines, we play an intellectual and practical leadership role in defining what is meant by interdisciplinary research, impact and education in human rights and developing a distinctive interdisciplinary identity in human rights at Essex.

Through the School of Law and contributing departments, Essex offers a collaborative and transformational education in the theory and practice of human rights within disciplines and from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our education provides students with a deep and critical knowledge of human rights and their application in practice, providing them with unparalleled preparation for entry or return to human rights academia or practice.

Why Human Rights at Essex?

  • Vibrant and committed research community offering unparalleled range of human rights expertise across over 11 disciplines
  • Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2010 in recognition of our work in advancing global human rights
  • Excellence in human rights theory and practice through multi and interdisciplinary research and education

Study with us

Study with us

Studying human rights with us provides you with a first-class academic education. Our undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and innovative PhD, provide you with an in-depth and critical understanding of human rights and how they are applied in practice.

Summer school

Summer school

The Human Rights Centre runs a pioneering summer school on methods for human rights research. Discounts available for academic and not-for profit sectors as well as Essex research students, alumni and staff.

Digital verification unit


Our students have produced a new guide for the human rights community through their work on the Digital Verification Unit based in the University of Essex Human Rights Centre Clinic.