Oxford International Human Rights Law Summer School

Who should apply?

The course is suitable for human rights professionals as well as those hoping to embark on a career in this field. We welcome applications from practicing lawyers and judges, members of the armed forces, government officials, lawyers and other persons working for non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations that work in the field of international human rights. We also welcome applications from students with any of the following: an undergraduate degree (including in subjects other than law); those with at least two years of study towards an undergraduate degree in law; those with at least one year of study towards a graduate degree in law. The class includes a wide array of human rights professionals, law students at the George Washington University and students studying various subjects at a variety of universities.

Around 50 students attended the last programme and came from countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico,  Norway, Philippines, United Kingdom and United States.

Please note that admission to this programme is competitive and not everyone who meets the admission requirements can be offered a place.  Where there are more applicants than places available, applicants with the most relevant experience and qualifications, as well as those who we feel will gain most from the programme, are given priority.

English proficiency

If your first language is not English, you must supply evidence of your proficiency before a place can be offered. The University recognises only certain English tests. The accepted tests and minimum scores for this course are listed below.

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score of 7.0 plus a minimum of 6.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT, including the ‘Home Edition’: minimum overall score of 100 plus a minimum of 22 in Listening, 24 in Reading, 25 in Speaking, and 24 in Writing.
  • C1 Advanced (Previously known as the CAE): minimum overall score of 185 plus a minimum score of 176 in each component.
  • C2 Proficiency (Previously known as the CPE): minimum overall score of 185 plus a minimum score of 176 in each component.

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of the course.

The requirement to provide English proficiency scores may be waived, at the discretion of the Course Director, in cases where you have successfully completed, or are currently completing, a full-time degree-level course of a minimum of nine months at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment is entirely in English. Similarly, if you have used English as your main working language for a number of years the requirement may be waived. If you wish to apply for a waiver of the English language test requirement, you will need to upload a letter with your application outlining the reasons why you believe you should be exempted. The request will be considered by the Course Director at the same time as your application is assessed and, if successful, you will not be required to supply proficiency results as a condition of any offer made.

Further information:

Application procedure

North American applicants plus any student enrolled in a North American institution or professional working within North America, regardless of nationality, should apply through the George Washington University Law School with whom the programme is jointly run.

All other applicants should submit an online application through Oxford University according to the instructions below (a link to the application form will provided during the admissions period). Applications will be accepted from 1 February 2024.

Before you make an application:

  • ensure you meet the admissions requirements (see Who should apply? above);
  • make sure you have all the required supporting documents listed below;
  • ensure you are familiar with the terms and conditions of enrolment on the summer school, especially those relating to payment of fees and cancellations (see Fees & payment); and
  • read the information on Immigration and visas

As part of your application, you will be required to include a personal statement of up to 250 words outlining your reasons for wishing to attend the programme and what you believe your contribution will be. You will also need to upload the documents listed below so please have these ready before you start:

  • A curriculum vitae (CV) / resumé
  • In the case of non-native speakers of English, either a certificate of English Language proficiency showing that you meet the minimum requirements for this course or a request for a waiver of the requirements (if you meet the criteria for doing so - see English proficiency)

Application deadline

Applications will be accepted from 1 February 2024. Early application is advised as applications are reviewed on receipt and admissions will close when all places have been filled or by 12 noon UK time on 15 April 2024 (extended from 1 April), whichever comes first. Final chance to apply: closing date extended for one final week until until 12 noon on 26 April.  

Applications which are incomplete or where no application fee has been paid will not be considered.

Late applications may be accepted if places are left or become available. You may email to enquire about late applications unless this website states that the course is already full or is not accepting late applications. 

Outcome of your application

Once your application has been considered, we will email you to inform you of the outcome. This normally takes 2-3 weeks, provided your application was complete at the time of submission and the application fee has been paid.  If you are offered a place on the course, we will send you instructions for making payment online.



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