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.

In addition, proof of English language skills in line with level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required for admission. This generally requires the submission of a recognised language test like IELTS, TOEFL, UniCERT, Cambridge etc. Exceptions can be granted by the Admissions Committee to applicants who have completed a university degree with English as the sole language of instruction in an English-speaking country.

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

Applications for the programme need to be submitted online through the university’s online application platform Campo. You do not have to post anything, and documents sent by email or post will not be accepted. In order to apply, you need to create an account at the university’s IdM portal. Once you’ve done that, you can log on (top right corner, do NOT click on SSO-Login) and submit your application at Campo. This consists of an online application form to be filled out with information on your academic and professional experience as well as English language skills. You will be required to upload documentation on your previous university degree(s), your professional and voluntary experience, and your language skills. In addition, you have to upload a short application essay (appr. 1–3 pages) guided by the following questions:

  • What is the relevance of your professional and/or voluntary experience specifically to the field of human rights?
  • 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?

Assessment of Applications

Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee using a points-based system. You can receive up to 100 points, 50 each for your academic and professional background. The academic background is assessed based on the relevance of the subjects you studied and the grades you obtained. The professional experience is assessed on the basis of its relevance in the field of human rights. Applicants who receive at least 70 points are admitted, those receiving 50–74 points are invited to an interview (in person or via videocall), and those with less than 50 points are rejected. 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 (