Within the beautiful surroundings of New College, Oxford, the International Human Rights Law Summer School is a four week program that aims to provide an intensive immersion in international human rights law and practice. Students will learn about key international and regional human rights laws and the enforcement of human rights by courts, quasi-judicial bodies, the UN and other inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental actors.

Taught by an internationally recognised faculty that combines both practical and academic experience, this program will teach you the practice and theory of international law. In addition, you’ll complete either an introductory or advanced human rights law subject and have the opportunity to specialise in your topic of interest during the afternoon seminars!

The program also includes key note honorary lectures, a careers panel and a number of social events.

Seminar options

The morning session is comprised of a plenary lecture, followed by a small seminar discussion group. Participants may choose one of the following morning seminar options:

    • The Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law
    • Human Rights Lawyering (advanced)*

*Subject to the approval of the Course Directors as this is an advanced course

The afternoon sessions are taught in small discussion groups. Participants may choose one of the following five electives:

  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Law and Practice
  • Gender, Sexuality and International Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights in the Marketplace
  • International Human Rights and Refugee Law
  • War, Peace and Human Rights.

Note: You will be asked to choose your seminar options on the application form. For the afternoon seminars we will ask you to number your choices 1 (first choice) and 2 (second choice). Oxford will always try to place you in your first choice but this may not be possible if a class is already oversubscribed. It may not be possible to confirm your class choices until after the payment deadline.

* Details of the 2018 program are still subject to final change *

Additional Course Information

Course Overview

This summer school offers participants the opportunity to follow an intensive program of university-level study in international human rights law within the beautiful surroundings of New College, Oxford. The program was established by the University of Oxford and George Washington University Law School in 1995 and around 1300 students and practitioners from all over the world have attended the summer school since that time.

Over four weeks, faculty, participants and invited guests create an international camp where key contemporary challenges to the protection of human rights and dignity are placed into focus. The residential nature of the course allows participants to immerse themselves in the topic and create lasting connections with faculty and peers. This intensive program explores the international and regional human rights law and enforcement machinery and a range of challenges to the protection of human rights. The program places a particularly strong focus on the enforcement of law in practice.

The program is taught by an internationally recognised faculty combining both academic and practical experience. The course offerings focus on the theory and practice of international human rights law and include an introductory course in the fundamentals of international human rights law, an advanced course in human rights advocacy and electives that address important contemporary issues in the field. The program also includes key note honorary lectures, a careers panel and a number of social events.

Applicants who are offered and accept a place on the program are required to pay the full fee by 7th May 2018. Please note that places cannot be held for applicants whose fees are not paid in full by this deadline, and under no circumstances will students be admitted to the program unless fees have been paid in full. The fees listed above are subject to change in the event of significant currency fluctuations.

Course Aims

The programme aims to provide an intensive immersion in international human rights law and practice. Students will learn about key international and regional human rights laws and the enforcement of human rights by courts, quasi-judicial bodies, the UN and other inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental actors.  The introductory morning session aims to provide a basic grounding in the field of international human rights law for students with no prior knowledge. The advanced morning seminars aim to build on students’ existing knowledge. The afternoon electives aim to provide students with an opportunity to specialise in a key sub area of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. More broadly, the programme is intended to prepare participants to contribute to the improvement of human rights conditions in their homelands and around the world.

Level and demands

This course is an intensive program of university-level study and potential applicants should therefore be confident that they are academically and linguistically prepared for such a program. Verification of your language ability may be required if you are a non-native English speaker.

University and Faculty

Oxford University

First recorded as far back as the 12th century, the University of Oxford is noted as the world’s second oldest university. The first studies which took place at the University were translations and interpretations of the work of Greek philosophers, which paved the way for much development of society as we know it.

The colleges of the university were backed by the Christian Church, which can be clearly seen when observing that the buildings located on university grounds consist of various chapels and churches. Notable alumni include State Counsellor of Burma Aung San Suu Kyi, and other politicians who have been educated in order to address the inequities of their home country, as well as the likes of activist Emma Watson, who can be seen to bring to light sexually based inequalities. In this way, studying at Oxford allows students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of former and current activists in the field of human rights and the development of society.

Despite its name, New College, founded in 1379, is one of the oldest of the Oxford colleges. Located near the centre of Oxford, New College is one of the largest, most famous and architecturally beautiful colleges. It features spectacular gardens, excellent facilities, a grand musical tradition and a charming blend of old and modern buildings.

Site Visits and Cultural Activities

With Oxford Royale Academy, you might have the opportunity to take in the sights with an in-depth guide to the history of the city and the university, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about Oxford life. You might also like to take a night-time tour with the award-winning Bill Spectre, who dresses as a Victorian undertaker to tell students the terrifying stories of Oxford’s ghosts.

Throughout the summer school, a variety of optional social events and excursions will be offered such as after-dinner talks, weekend excursions to fascinating historical and literary sites and peer-led workshop sessions. These activities will give you a great opportunity to really get into the vibe of this incredible student town.

(Please note that most of these activities incur additional costs, which are payable upon arrival in Oxford).

Tour Oxford


Students will be accommodated in New College, Oxford. Founded by William of Wykeham in 1379, it is one of the largest, best known and most beautiful of the Oxford colleges*. The college is located in the centre of Oxford, close to the St Cross Law Faculty Building, where classes are held and in which the Bodleian Law Library is located.

Students are accommodated in single study bedrooms at New College. Many of the bedrooms have ensuite (private) bathrooms but such a room can only be guaranteed if the supplementary ensuite bathroom fee is paid.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided every day in New College.

Student Blogs

Hear the experiences of other students on this program

“So what has this week been like? Well after arriving by coach on Sunday and after dragging my luggage up four flights of stairs, settling into New College has been a flurry of getting to know and learn the 80 odd names of my fellow peers. A trip to the pub after a welcome dinner on the first night was a great chance to sit and chat with the many interesting individuals who are here, although it wasn’t long until the Australian students convinced everyone to play beach volleyball in the “makeshift beach”, which was situated outside. Of course we all didn’t stay out too late, being excited for our first class the next day…late is such a subjective term when you are still operating on a completely different time zone!” – Bethany Lewis, READ MORE

Destination Information


Oxford, England

First settled in Saxon times, Oxford, located 92 km from England’s capital, is internationally known as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and the English-speaking world. The city retains features reminiscent of the period in which it was founded, with many examples of Saxon architecture found throughout its streets and university buildings. Oxford has a diverse economic base and its industries include education, motor manufacturing, publishing and numerous science-based and information technology businesses. Majority of the iconic landmarks which define the city and attract numerous tourists yearly are associated with the universities of the city, including the University of Oxford Botanical Garden, Museum of Natural History and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin among many others.

Here are some reasons why Oxford is a fantastic place to have your English experience:

  • Home to over 150,000 people, a large amount of which consist of students across the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.
  • Oxford University is currently ranked as number one university in the world.
  • As a university city, Oxford University’s buildings and faculties can be located all across the city centre, allowing the chance to travel around and still be on campus grounds.
  • The university is in charge of a variety of museums, including the Museum of Natural History, Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of the History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museum.
  • Oxford possesses a culture rooted in theatre and the arts, home to numerous theatres, including Oxford Playhouse, O’Reilly Theatre and New Theatre (formerly known as the Apollo).

Arrival Information

We recommend that you book your flight to Heathrow Airport in London.

If travelling directly to Oxford from Heathrow (as opposed to spending some time in London first), you can take a National Express bus directly from the airport to the centre of Oxford. Travel time is approximately 1-1.5 hours (depending on traffic) and costs about $30 one way.

More information is available from the Oxford Bus Company website: www.oxfordbus.co.uk


Credit and Funding Basics


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

We’ve included for your convenience below the initial stages of the application process.

1. Apply online
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results
3. We’ll review your results and application and if you are eligible, will invite you to an initial consultation by phone with an advisor.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation with an advisor.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 15 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. Once you return any necessary documents (which we’ll advise you of in the consultation), we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, we’ll send you your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
7. Your acceptance pack will contain the course syllabus, steps on applying for credit and funding, and an invoice for the program down payment. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your down payment.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

Students who wish to apply after the official application closing date (2nd April) are required to email info@aimoverseas.com.au or call us directly on (02) 9975 7792. Please note, that late applications are subject to a $100 late fee (inclusive of the $55 phone consultation fee). For more information, please refer to the AIM Overseas Late Application Fee Document.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.