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5 Funded PhDs in Human Rights 2019-2020

PhD Security, Conflict and Human Rights – University of Bath – Bath, UK

The University of Bath offers a PhD in Security, Conflict and Human rights. This program is designed for interdisciplinary research to improve policy and political action. Students can work through several different research centers and can focus on one of the five research themes: Children, young people, families; Lifelong health and wellbeing; Work, welfare, and poverty; Global transformations and poverty; Governance and policy design.

Students wishing to participate in this program should have a first degree in a related social science topic or a degree in an unrelated subject with substantial relevant work experience. The program highly recommends obtaining a Master of Research degree before attending the PhD program. Students can choose to apply for just the PhD (3 years) or the MRes and PhD combined (4 years total).

Tuition for this program is £4,400/year for EU students and £15,900 for overseas students. Several full-tuition funding options are available, including the University Research Studentship Award (URSA), funding through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership, as well as other opportunities for students with specific backgrounds and academic experiences.

International Joint PhD Programme in Human Rights, Society, and Multi-level Governance – Multiple universities – Multiple locations

This PhD in Human Rights, Society, and Multi-level Governance is offered as a joint program coordinated by the University of Padova in partnership with Western Sydney University in Australia, Zagreb University Faculty of Law in Croatia, Panteion University – Athens in Greece, and the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. This is an interdisciplinary program that includes teaching, research, and training in the field of human rights. In addition to conducting research and taking courses, students also undertake internships at their home university and at another partner university.

Interested students should have completed their master’s degree and must submit a research proposal upon applying for the program. Once admitted, students will work with the Doctorate’s Academic Board to choose their research topic area.

Students can find more information about this 3-year program and the application on the University of Padova’s website. Students can apply for full-tuition funding through their home university. For instance, the University of Padova offers full funding for all PhD students, with the exception of fees. Students who cannot afford the fees can apply for financial assistance or lowered fee amounts.

PhD Human Rights – University of London – London, UK

The University of London School of Advanced Study has a PhD in Human Rights. Within the realm of human rights, students can choose a variety of subjects to research. Students work with faculty to develop a research topic that best fits their interests and research goals under the umbrella of human rights. See the SAS PhD website for a faculty list, including their research specialties and interests.

Students can apply to pursue their PhD through full-time (3 years) or part-time (6 years) study. You can also submit an application to complete your PhD via distance learning. In order to apply for the PhD program, students must submit a research proposal. The site provides guidelines for writing and submitting a research proposal.

At the full-time pace, this program costs £6,010 per year for EU students and £15,200 for overseas students. EU students are eligible to apply for full-tuition funding through the Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded London Arts & Humanities Partnership program. The SAS Hardship Grant is also available to all students but may not be a full award. Other various awards are available for students based on country of origin, field of study, and more.

PhD Human Rights – University of Essex – Colchester, UK

The University of Essex has a PhD in Human Rights. Students can choose to work under a number of professors and can work through one of several research centers to conduct their research, including the Human Rights Centre. The university’s website also has a list of ongoing research projects and case studies for PhD students to get involved in.

Students can order a prospectus pack or attend an Open Day at the university to learn more about the programs and opportunities offered through the PhD program. Some students can choose to obtain their PhD at a part-time pace. In order to apply, students must have high academic qualifications or significant work experience, have necessary research skills, and adequate English to apply.

For full-time students, tuition is £4,630 per year for EU students and £14,720 for overseas students. The University of Essex offers fully-funded studentships in addition to the dozens of scholarships available for students to apply for.

PhD Human Rights and Global Politics: Legal, Philosophical and Economic Challenges – Sant’Anna Univesrity – Pisa, Italy

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies offers a PhD in Human Rights and Global Politics: Legal, Philosophical and Economic Challenges. The degree is designed to equip students with advanced research skills and to help them gain professional experience with a number of private and public sector organizations on the local, national, and international levels. In particular, students will study human rights and global politics with focuses on the specific areas of agriculture, food and agri-environmental law; public international law; political economy; and political philosophy.

Interested candidates must submit a research proposal addressing one of the above focus areas. The university highly suggests reviewing the profiles of current students and faculty to prepare your research proposal. Students are awarded their degree after 3 years of full-time research and successful completion of a dissertation.

Calls for this program are currently open, and students admitted will receive a fully-funded studentship to complete their PhD studies. External awards and scholarships may also be available for eligible students.

About the author

Allison Reefer

Allison Reefer is a young professional living in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with a refugee resettlement agency to help refugees and immigrants in the city, and she volunteers with a local shelter for human trafficking victims. She obtained her Master in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Writing from Geneva College, focusing most of her academic work on human trafficking and migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In her free time, she loves to write, read, sing and play bass guitar, practice Russian, and explore her city.