Human rights centre

Working in the Human Rights Centre Clinic

A persons arm pushed up against riot shields with police behind them.

Gain experience in real world issues

Working within the Human Rights Centre Clinic is an option for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Participating in our stand-alone projects and our module-based projects and being part of the Clinic gives you a fantastic opportunity to work on real-world issues and for organisations working in the field of human rights. This experience gives you an insight into the world of human rights both from a practical and academic perspective. Through the Clinic, you will learn substantive human rights law, develop professional techniques and explore different models/theories for effective promotion of human rights.

The work you'll be involved in combines both hands-on practical experience in human rights and classroom study. You'll work in teams with the guidance of a supervisor to investigate and document human rights violations and/or strengthen human rights initiatives, through collaboration with the many partners with which the Clinic works. Our partners include governments, NGOs and international organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations.

If you're a student at Essex and you'd like to work in the Human Rights Centre Clinic, you can explore more information about our projects below, including details on how to apply.

Applications for 2022-23 are open, and will close on Monday 10 October at 5pm BST.

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Applying to work in the Human Rights Centre Clinic

Who can apply for module-based projects? 

The module-based projects are open to postgraduate students on the Human Rights Master’s programme (LLM/MA).

If you are selected to work on a module-based project then you will be automatically enrolled on the Human Rights Centre Clinic module. (This is an optional module - course code: HU902).

Browse our postgraduate human rights degrees

How to apply for module-based projects

Application deadline

If you want to join the module-based projects, please submit your application by Monday 10 October at 5pm to humanrightscentreclinic@essex.ac.uk.

What to include in your application

The application should include two attachments:

  • your CV (two pages maximum)
  • a 400-word statement explaining why you want to join the Clinic and what you expect to learn from it. The statement should include your preferred three module-based projects in order of preference. We would do our best to accommodate your choices

Interviews

Interviews will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 12 October (afternoon), Thursday 13 October (all day) and Friday 14 October (morning). You would be allocated a time slot for a short conversation with the HRC Clinic Director and one of the Co-Deputy Directors. We will communicate the decision on Monday 17 October, and we expect to have the teams in place that week itself.

Important:

  • students taking part in any of the six module-based projects will also need to enrol in HU902 (Spring Term and two sessions in Autumn Term)
  • the process described above applies to module-based projects only, not to the stand-alone project (Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit), which follows its own application process. Students on the stand-alone project do not need to take HU902
  • students are free to apply to module-based projects and to the stand-alone project at the same time, but note that the module-based projects will require approximately 8-10 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June on top of the coursework for all other modules. We recommend you do not overstretch your commitments

There are a limited number of places available on module-based projects. Accordingly, all students who wish to participate go through a selection process. If you are a postgraduate student and would like to participate in one of our module-based projects, please submit your application first. Should you be successful, you will automatically be registered for the optional module HU902.


Explore our module-based projects

Who can apply for stand-alone projects?

Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit (ADRC)

This exciting research project is open to postgraduate human rights students as part of the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902). The ADRC team will work under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Gillett, a United Nations Special Mandate holder, and an expert member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

How to apply for stand-alone projects

Application deadline

If you want to join the Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit in 2022-23, please submit your application by Monday 10 October 2022 at 5pm BST to matthew.gillett@essex.ac.uk, with the subject line of "Re: Arbitrary Detention Redress Clinic".

What to include in your application

The application should include three attachments: a) your CV (two pages maximum), including reference to any foreign language abilities; b) a statement (between 200 and 300 words) explaining why you want to take part in the ADRC and what you expect to learn; and c) a writing sample (max 5 pages - this can be an excerpt from a piece of university work or any other formal writing - it does not need to be written specifically for this project and can concern any topic or discipline. Additionally, it can be in English, French or Spanish).

Interviews

Interviews will take place via Zoom on Friday 14 October. You would be allocated a time slot for a short conversation with Dr. Matthew Gillett and one of the HRC Deputy Directors. We will communicate the decision during the week of Monday 17 October, and we expect to have the team in place late that week.

 
Important:

  • the ADRC is open to all postgraduate students at the University of Essex from any discipline (it is not restricted to law and human rights students)
  • students on the stand-alone project on arbitrary detention do not need to take HU902 (butif you still wish to take the module you're welcome to apply)
  • students are free to apply to module-based projects and to the stand-alone arbitrary detention project at the same time, but note that the stand-alone project will require 4-6 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June (and the module-based projects will require approximately 8-10 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June) on top of the coursework for all other modules. We recommend you do not overstretch your commitments

Thank you for your interest in this project, and we look forward to receiving your application.

The project

"An invaluable experience in discovering what it means to be in a truly diverse team with the conflicts and opportunity for learning that it can bring. I believe I came out of it a more rounded human rights advocate"
Elizabeth Mangenje LLM international human rights law: economics relations, 2017
 
 

Module-based projects for 2022-23