Oxford Masters in Human Rights Law Program

Masters in International Human Rights Law Program at Oxford University is focused on international human rights law issues. The program takes place over the course of 22 months, with two sessions occurring online (that are accessible by students from almost anywhere in the world), and two summer sessions that occur on the campus of New College, Oxford.

Oxford Masters in Human Rights Law Tuition

For a student starting the course in 2013-2014, tuition is set at £19,055 for “Home/EU students,” and £19,967 for “overseas students”. In addition, a £2600 “college fee” is assessed for the program. These fees do not include travel costs or reading materials costs, which are also payable by students.

In addition to university-wide scholarships, for which all students are considered, there are a number of special scholarships available. These include the Clarendon Fund (for exceptional students), the Las Casas Service Learning and Social Justice scholarships, the International Human Rights Law Scholarship, the Saïd Foundation Oxford Scholarships (for Middle Eastern students), the Commonwealth/Vice-Chancellor Oxford Scholarships for African Human Rights Advocates, and the Brunsfield Foundation Scholarships (for students from ASEAN countries).

Students should also explore alternative sources of funding, such as the possibility of obtaining aid from organizations and foundations in their home countries through contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the U.S. Information Agency, or Education USA.

In addition, a helpful directory to international educational funding sources, called “Study Abroad,” is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Oxford Masters in Human Rights Law Admission

The admission application deadline for the program, which commences each fall, will be posted on the school site, and occurs early in the year. In general, applications should be submitted well in advance of deadlines established by the school, however, as they may be considered on a rolling basis and program populations are limited.

Admissions are competitive, but the school is encouraging, stating that if you are in doubt about your chances, you should apply anyway, as many students mistakenly think Oxford is beyond their reach. The school also states that, while the degree is “designed primarily for early and mid-career lawyers with a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of human rights,” non-lawyers may still apply.

Students are required to demonstrate English language proficiency for admission. A student whose first language is English, and who is from a “majority English-speaking country” recognized by the U.K. Border Agency, is considered to have met this requirement. Others must obtain a certain minimum score on an English language proficiency test, as follows:

  • TOEFL (Internet-based): 110
  • IELTS: 7.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: B

Oxford Masters in Human Rights Law Curriculum

As stated above, courses in the program are focused on pursuit of basic justice at the local, national, and international levels around the world. Matters of international law, fundamental human needs, and large-scale abuses of human rights are the core topics. The program seeks to help students develop a variety of skills, including understanding, analyzing, researching, and promoting human rights in meaningful ways.

The program follows a specialized schedule:

  • Year 1: Fall-Summer (Online), Summer Residence (On-campus)
  • Year 2: Fall-Summer (Online), Summer Residence (On-campus)

Oxford Masters in Human Rights Law Technology

Portions of the program are taught using an online educational platform, with essay writing and group discussions occurring using the course website. Course materials are provided by post or online, and the school states that the program emphasizes, “close student/tutor contact, active student participation, and seminars with optional lectures.”

Online programs at certain schools can incorporate streaming or recorded classroom video, live video “office hours,” and other web-enabled features. It is unclear whether Oxford’s program includes these specific features, and students with questions about course experiences should contact the school.