Disclosure: Human Rights Careers may be compensated by course providers.

5 Ways To Obtain High Quality Human Rights Education For FREE

  1. Free Online Courses in Human Rights

Massive Open Online Course providers like Edx, Acumen+ or FutureLearn offer entirely free courses in human rights. These courses are often created by renowned universities or reputable NGOs in the human rights field. You will get in touch with professors, staff members, activists and other students from around the world. While these courses are often highly qualitative, they cannot compensate for the face to face experience of a real classroom while obtaining a Master degree but they might be an ideal choice for full time workers or students with a different major who want to gain expertise in human rights or focus on it in the future. Most of these courses are self-paced or can be completed with a weekly turnaround of 3-5 hours. Find out more about free online courses here.

  1. Study Programmes without any Tuition Fees

Scandinavian countries are world leaders in access to education. Finland, Sweden and Norway offer free human rights degrees for everyone. When you apply for any of these programmes make sure to show what added value you are bringing to the Master programme: What experience and what expertise makes you stand out? Study Programme Managers often choose their students based on many different attributes. To spark an exciting dialogue in the classroom recruiters aim to have a diverse group of students. Think of the unique ingredients you can contribute with your profile and put emphasis on them in your application.

  1. Human Rights Scholarships

Nowadays most Master programmes offer scholarships to support those students who could otherwise not afford it. If you are not applying for a scholarship for one specific Master try to find scholarships that are shaped around your profile. Some scholarships require outstanding records at school, others prefer leadership skills that you can proof with previous work experience and activist engagement, and others are established in support of specific (often vulnerable) groups or communities. Watch out what suits you best and keep in mind the lower the requirements for application, the higher will be the amount of applicants.

  1. Conduct your own projects

Have you ever considered that human rights indeed is something you can learn by doing? By forming your own activist group or joining an activist group in your area you can gradually improve your human rights skills. Activism does not only mean to organize a demonstration, it can be many things; writing a song, drawing a cartoon organizing a private gathering between likeminded people. On your journey you will learn things about human rights that you cannot be read in the bookshelves of your university.

  1. Summer Academies

Summer Academies are a great way to make good use of your summer holidays, discover a new place and boost your expertise in human rights. There are summer schools dealing with topics such as cinema and human rights, democratization and human rights or gender and human rights. They often offer one or two scholarships for applicants. Don’t be shy to ask if there are scholarships available, sometimes the scholarships are not publicly announced but still exist.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.