Human Rights Law Centre

Distance Learning Course - International Human Rights Law

This course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of international human rights standards and of the UN and regional systems that implement them. It has both theoretical and practical dimensions, with an emphasis upon current issues.


It is taught by leading human rights academics and practitioners in the international human rights systems. The academic director, Professor Emeritus David Harris, is a former Member of the European Committee of Social Rights and author of books on international, European and Inter-American human rights law.

The course is aimed at those for whom knowledge of the increasingly important subject of international human rights law is of value in their work, or who wish to embark upon a career in human rights. It is particularly intended for those who cannot find the time to take a full-time course, such as the 10-week course that the centre offers. Students can enroll and start the course at anytime and learn more about human rights while studying at their own pace. Once enrolled, they have a year to complete the four modules.

Course highlights

  • Modules focusing on key human rights themes or issues
  • Study Guide for each module
  • Interactive website for online course discussion
  • Essay topics and self-study questions, plus interaction with teachers
  • Summer School in Nottingham (optional, additional fee applies)
  • Certificate of completion

Teaching materials

Students access a Study Guide for each module for which they register. The Guide provides a programme of work for each of the eight units of the module. It has textbook material written for the module, plus the texts of treaties and other relevant source materials, as well as key academic articles and book chapters. It also includes further reading lists and case studies, as well as self-test questions. Through the course online platform Moodle, students can discuss the module online with teachers and with other students in the discussion forum.

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Applications, fees and dates

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

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Students take four modules, one at a time. Each lasts for eight weeks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to this section before contacting us directly.


Contact us

Human Rights Law Centre

School of Law
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8506