For the first period of distance learning, students take a seven-month online course in the Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law using a virtual learning environment (VLE). This online course runs from September to May of the first year and comprises six units of online study each lasting four weeks. Each unit includes a reading period, tutor-guided online discussions and submission of a 2,000-word assignment.

The second period of distance learning takes place from September to April of the second year when students work independently on researching and writing a 12,000-word dissertation with one-to one support from an online supervisor.

Summer residential sessions in Oxford take place in July-August at the end of each academic year.  Students choose two electives from the selection available (please see course content) and attend three weeks of intensive small group seminars for their chosen classes. Following the classes, there is a week of independent revision and two examinations. In addition, the first summer session includes a week of dissertation-related exercises to prepare students for independent dissertation work. During the summer sessions, students also have an opportunity to attend lectures by some of the leading authorities and actors in the field of international human rights law.