There are a number of  funding opportunities offered by the University for students taking the Master’s in International Human Rights Law. Some scholarships are University-wide (i.e. they are open to students on multiple courses including the IHRL Master’s), some are linked to a specific college, and some are only for the IHRL Master’s course.  All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and most have additional eligibility criteria which are usually based on nationality or country of residence. We regret that departmental scholarships / studentships offered by the Law Faculty are not open to students applying for the IHRL Master’s.

How to apply

Many of the University’s scholarships do not have a separate application process and candidates will automatically be considered if they meet the eligibility critieria for the scholarship and they submit a course application by the second application deadline of 23 January (candidates applying in the third application deadline will not be considered for any scholarships). Other scholarships may require you to tick a box on the application form or to complete a separate/additional application; please check the ‘how to apply’ section for each scholarship to check the application procedure.


University scholarship schemes open to IHRL Master’s applicants

All applicants will be considered for the Clarendon Fund, a scholarship scheme which offers around 140 full scholarships every year to academically excellent graduate students at the University of Oxford. Since this scheme is open to all graduate applicants of any nationality it is very competitive though a number of our students have secured Clarendon schoalrships in the past. Clarendon awards are announced in April each year.

To find out what other scholarships you may be eligible for, you should visit the University’s Fees and Funding website which includes a tool to search for funding based on your chosen course and your nationality/country of residence (the search works best if you enter ‘international human rights law’ in the course keywords field). Listed below are the schemes which may appear in your search if you are eligible:


  • Oxford Kobe Scholarships: offers two full scholarships every year to graduate students at the University of Oxford who are nationals of Japan. Successful applicants will be notified of the result in May 2015.
  • Saïd Foundation Oxford Scholarships: offers two scholarships every year to graduate students from the Middle East (the scholarships are open to Jordanians, Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians resident in the Saïd Foundation’s target countries – please refer to the Foundation’s website). Successful applicants will be notified of the result in May 2015.  Please note that this scholarship requires a separate application to the Said Foundation in addition to the course application.
  • Brunsfield Oxford ASEAN Human Rights Scholarship: The Brunsfield Foundation in Kuala Lumpur have generously agreed to fund each year one full scholarship for a candidate from an ASEAN country to study on the MSt in International Human Rights Law. The first scholarship has already been awarded. The second is available for the course starting in September 2015. Successful applicants will be notified of the result by 31 March 2015. Full details, including eligibility criteria, are available in this Scholarship Guidance Note.
  • Santander Human Rights Scholarships: Banco Santander S.A are generously providing three one-off awards of £10,000 each, to be allocated towards tuition fees for students admitted to the MSt in International Human Rights Law, starting September 2015. Preference will be given to candidates who are ordinarily resident in one of the countries within the Santander Network (see guidance note). Applicants will be selected on the basis of academic merit and evidence of commitment to the furtherance of human rights. Successful applicants will be notified of the result by 31 March 2015. Full details about this scheme, including eligibility criteria, are available in this Santander Guidance Note.
  • International Human Rights Law Scholarship Fund: The Department for Continuing Education has a small scholarship fund which varies from year to year to support students applying for the MSt in International Human Rights Law. These funds are used by the Admissions Committee to assist one or more outstanding human rights advocates to attend the course based on the applicant’s academic record and evidence of commitment to the furtherance of human rights. The awards are likely to be partial scholarships in the region of £500 – £5000 depending on the funds available in any given year.In order to be considered you must submit an application for the course by the January admissions deadline (those who apply in the March round will not be considered). By applying for a place you wll automatically be considered for a Scholarship if you meet the eligibility requirements. Decisions will be made after the January admissions round and successful applicants will be informed of the outcome by 31 March 2015. If you have not heard from us by this date, then your application for an award from this fund has been unsuccessful. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we regret that we are unable to contact unsuccessful applicants individually or provide feedback on applications.

Student Loans

International students are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Education or Education Department in their own country for information on national aid schemes. In some countries, students are able to apply for a student loan from the Department of Education. For US students the course is eligible for a private loan but not a federal loan and applications should be submitted via the US Loans office at the University.


Other sources of funding

Other funding, beyond scholarships and loans, may be available to assist you with your study and living costs. Please see the ‘other funding’ section of the University’s Fees and Funding website for further information.


Future scholarship schemes

Commonwealth Scholarships

Since 2012, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the United Kingdom has generously provided funding to enable 5-10 human rights advocates from certain developing African and South Asian Commonwealth countries to undertake the Master’s in International Human Rights Law.

We are hopeful that the Commonwealth Commission will continue to provide scholarships for this course but we will not know the outcome of our latest funding application until February 2015. Should the application be successful, we will be able to offer scholarships for the course starting September 2016, for which admissions will open in September 2015 Unfortunately there will be no Commonwealth Scholarships for the course starting September 2015.

For further information, please visit the Commonwealth Scholarships page of our website.


Further advice on scholarships and funding

If you have questions (that are not already answered on the website) about any of the schemes listed on the funding search tool  or you have general questions about funding, you can contact the Fees and Funding team at the University who provide information and advice to prospective and current students as well as managing many of the scholarship schemes. They also provide advice on fee status, fee liability, hardship applications and US loan applications. Although the information on their web pages is aimed primarily at full-time students they are very happy to provide individual advice for applicants to part-time programmes.