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Study with us

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate courses

Our world-renowned Centre offers one of the only dedicated undergraduate human rights courses in the UK. You will gain a comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding of human rights and their practical application.

Our human rights community

By studying human rights at Essex you become part of a vibrant and committed human rights community, composed of over 2000 alumni, current students, members, fellows, and partners. The Human Rights Centre acts a hub for this community, facilitating interaction at the University, online, and through networks we've established across the world.

Our human rights programmes attract students from all over the world, with many postgraduates arriving with substantial experience of human rights practice.

Human rights education at Essex

We offer a collaborative and transformational education in the theory and practice of human rights, informed by our unique interdisciplinary perspective. Our courses give you a deep and critical knowledge of human rights and their practical application, and provide an unparalleled preparation for entering into or returning to human rights practice or further study. Our expert teachers come from 11 contributing departments at the University, who are not only prominent scholars in human rights but who also actively engage in the practice of human rights.

Human rights in practice

We offer a range of opportunities for working with projects associated with our Centre that focus on human rights in practice. These include:

You can also join our Human Rights Centre Clinic, which concentrates on developing practical skills related to human rights or contribute to our Human Rights Centre Blog.

What our students say

If you would like to find out more about what some of our alumni are up to please look at our graduate profiles.


Listen to human rights students reveal how they are inspired to improve the lives of people around the world in our latest podcast series:

Events and activities

Throughout the year we run an exciting series of events and activities that inform your study and research, while providing a forum for debate and the development of your broader understanding of human rights. Events include our annual trips, speaker series, the marking of the steps on Human Rights Day, as well as lunchtime talks, film screenings, and Human Rights Centre socials.

Career preparation

We run a range of careers events to give you an insight into specific areas of human rights work. Subjects include, working with international institutions, working for NGOs, and working for government. These events draw on the expertise of guest human rights professionals to give an insider view of what human rights practice involves, as well as advice on the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the field and beyond.

You can also join the Essex Human Rights Alumni Association on graduation, which connects you with our alumni around the world.

Masters courses

MA courses

We have some of the longest running Masters courses in Europe, offering a first-class education in the intellectual foundations of human rights and its application within a complex global environment.

PhD study

PhD courses

Our PhD programme draws upon the expertise of over 80 Human Rights Centre members from a multitude of different academic disciplines and areas of human rights interest.

Research clusters

Research projects

Our ground-breaking research clusters address issues from children and armed conflict, freedom of expression, and indigenous peoples to trafficking and prisoners' rights. Our clusters reflect our world-class reputation for human rights research and practice.

About our Centre

HRC staff group photo

Find out more about our Human Rights Centre and hear some of our most notable human rights practitioners and researchers explore what makes the Centre a world-leading institution, relied upon for its expertise by international organisations including the UN.