Admission to the Master’s programme in Human Rights requires a university degree based on at least 3.5 years of full-time studies (equivalent to 210 ECTS credits) and at least one year of professional experience in the area of human rights, or one year of professional experience in another field in combination with practical experience in human rights work on a volunteer basis. If your university degree is based on less than 3.5 years of studies, you may be accepted on the basis of a special procedure determining additional qualifications.

The programme only starts in the winter term. The application deadline is 30 June each year. Applications are accepted at any time until the deadline. Decisions will be taken in March, May and July. To have your application reviewed in March or May, it has to reach us by the last working day of the previous month.

Please note that in some cases, processing visa applications may take several months. We therefore strongly advise applicants who require a student visa to apply early, preferably by the end of February.
As of September 2017, the proceedings at the embassies in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Tehran, Iran, seem to take up to one year. Applicants from these countries in particular are advised to inquire at the embassy about current time frames in advance and, if necessary, consider applying already one year before planning to commence the programme.

In addition, applicants who wish to apply for scholarships, in particular the Germany scholarship, are advised that they should also apply by the end of May at the latest as we cannot guarantee a decision before the deadline for the scholarship otherwise.

How to apply

We are currently working on a new application platform. Please check back regularly for instructions on applying for the intake of 2019. The application period will probably run from January to June 2019.


Please download and fill in this application form, add the following documents—preferably as pdf documents—and send them to our coordinator Ms Ines Kalam (; max. 5 MB).

1. Cover letter

The cover letter should explain specifically how your professional and/or voluntary experience relates to human rights (1-2 pages). The following questions may be used as guidelines:

  • Describe a specific instance of a human rights violation and explain why you think this constitutes a human rights violation.
  • What do you think is the biggest human rights issue in your country? Why?
  • What is the relevance of your professional and/or voluntary experience specifically to the field of human rights?

2. CV

3. Copies of certificates of university degrees or diplomas and official documents on course contents and grades (diploma supplement and transcript of records)

4. Proof of one year professional experience in the field of human rights or one year professional experience in another field and one year of voluntary work in the fields human rights (e.g. active membership in a human rights group etc.)

Employment contracts, letters from employer, etc. can be sent as proof of experience.

5. Proof of English language competence, comparable with C1 of GER (Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen/Common European Framework of Reference)

This has to be proven by submitting a recognised language test such as UNIcert, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC or Cambridge. The equivalent level will be assessed on the basis of the test provider’s respective outline.

Application Procedure

Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee which will assess the quality of your university degree on the basis of the subjects you studied and grades you obtained. The Committee will also review your professional experience on the basis of its relevance in the field of human rights. In some cases the Committee will also invite you to an interview (in person or via a videocall). Please note that the decision on acceptance or rejection will be based only on the merits of your application vis-a-vis the objective of the programme. The regulations for the procedure can be found in section 6 and appendices 3 and 4 of the official degree regulations (in English and German—please note that only the German version published on this web page is legally binding).

If your university degree(s) is/are equivalent to less than 210 ECTS credits, we need to subject your application to a special procedure in addition to the normal reviewing of the application. We will inform you about the details of this procedure after we received your application. It is therefore important that you include documentation regarding the years of officially prescribed full-time studies—these can differ from the years actually studies—or ECTS credits of your university degree.


If you have any further questions, please send an email to our coordinator, Ms Ines Kalam (