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Human Rights

MPhil/PhD Programmes

The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national research hub in the humanities and offers a world-class research environment to our postgraduate students.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:

  • Human rights
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Ecocide
  • Genocide studies
  • The foreign and defence policies of Commonwealth countries
  • The politics, governance and development of South Asia
  • African politics, governance and development
  • Ethnicity: conflict and accommodation in plural societies
  • The Mediterranean and the colonial powers
  • Protection of refugees
  • Minority and Indigenous rights protection
  • Dynamics of armed conflict and forced displacement
  • Twentieth-century British and Commonwealth History
  • Globalisation, security and conflict
  • The Commonwealth as an international organisation
  • British Imperial history, including decolonization
  • European colonialism in comparative perspective
  • Post-colonial legacies in the Commonwealth and beyond
  • Non-governmental public actors, civil society and development
  • Local government and decentralisation
  • British and Commonwealth intelligence communities

Doctoral research supervision at the Institute of Modern Languages Research is available in topics including Exile Writing, Gender and Sexuality and Memory Studies, and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the area of human rights law.

PhD In Human Rights
Students pursue their academic interests in a friendly and supportive environment, enhanced by the outstanding libraries of the University of London.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies has been supervising interdisciplinary doctoral degrees for over half a century. The focus of research degrees has increasingly been on the social sciences, particularly on the subjects of human rights, globalization and development, politics, and Commonwealth history.  

Students pursue their academic interests in the friendly and supportive environment of the Institute; their research is enhanced by the outstanding libraries of the University of London, including the Institute’s own prestigious collection. 

The School of Advanced Study runs an extensive research training programme, open to all postgraduate students, as well as an active public engagement calendar. The School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines, as well as the range of studentships and bursaries available through our institutes. 

How to Apply 

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor.  

Visit the School of Advanced Study website to find out more about potential supervisors and subject areas, as well as details about available funding opportunities and more information about distance learning research degrees.