As part of Murdoch School of Law’s global reach, you are given the opportunity to undertake our Human Rights Law program in Geneva, Switzerland.

Synonymous with many of the world’s leading international organisations such as the United Nations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Red Cross/Red Crescent, the International Labour Organisation, the International Commission of Jurists and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, it is often regarded as the world’s Human Rights capital and a perfect student exchange location to further your Human Rights Law knowledge.

About the program

The program offers up to three units directly relevant to Human Rights in the 21st century. Run by experts in the field, students are exposed to Australia’s obligations, international obligations and organisations associated with Human Rights, and the complexities surrounding it. For students interested in pursuing a career in the international legal and diplomatic sectors, the program location provides exposure to networking and opportunities available in Geneva.

The program is open for application to all Australian law students who are in good standing at university and have satisfied unit pre-requisites. To be considered for the program, the students must as have completed as a pre-requisite:

  • Australian Administrative Law; and
  • Australian Constitutional Law.

The following three units are scheduled to be offered in the International Human Rights Law Program:

The units are Murdoch University School of Law units, taught intensively in English. Each unit will be taught in intensive mode over four days a week for three weeks and will be worth 3 credit points. There may also be additional sessions with international jurists.

Students may enrol in one, two or three units, for a maximum of 9 credit points. Students who successfully complete this Program's units may receive credits towards their LLB, JD or LLM degree at their respective Australian universities. All grades awarded are Murdoch University grades.

Please note that results will not be available until after Board of Examiners approves those results at the end of semester 2.


Murdoch University considers a 9 point unit load to be full time study. Each of the Geneva units are 3 credit points. Students are expected to be doing 50 hours of learning for each point of load. Students engaged in a full load are expected to be doing around 40 hours a week of learning related activity if they wish to get the most out of their units.

The program face to face teaching and other activities will occur over four days a week for three weeks, in Geneva accompanied by site visits.

Unit examinations will be held in the last week of teaching in Geneva and any further assessments will be due later in second semester. Please direct any queries you have in relation to assessment to your unit coordinator.

Resources and materials

Students will be provided with materials electronically prior to the commencement of studies in Geneva and will be expected to have done some prior reading. The School of Law will provide unit guides to students and most reading materials to participants on LMS. Cross-Institutional students will be given access to LMS once they are enrolled at Murdoch.

The John Knox Centre does have internet access which will be made available to students. It should be noted that the internet service on site is often unreliable due to high volumes of students, interns and other professionals residing at the Centre. Content provided for the program should be made accessible prior to arrival at the Centre.

There will also be an opportunity to utilise the United Nations library and databases for program-unit research purposes for the length of the course.

Murdoch University School of Law’s International Human Rights Law Program will offer participating students the opportunity to engage with experts working in the Human Rights field. This includes interacting with officials, diplomats and international jurists as part of this unique teaching experience and attending a number of other functions and activities which vary from year to year.

The International Human Rights Law Program anticipates that the following events will take place:

  • Petite Verrée d’Accueil/Welcoming Reception: An inaugural drinks and nibbles in the first week to enable students to meet and make plans together, as well as to familiarise themselves with the facilities and staff the Centre international réformé John Knox.
  • The first day takes students into the heart of the United Nations where they tour the building and have unprecedented access to the Human Rights Council to observe it in action.
  • Australians working in Geneva function, this allows students to network with many people from all levels of the Human Rights framework.
  • Site visit to the United Nations, NGO and other agencies and other international organisations.

Situated where the Rhône River leaves Lac Léman and capital of the canton with the same name, Geneva is in the centre of Western Europe.

Being a key city for the development of Human Rights, Geneva is truly global. With over 40% of its inhabitants from different parts of the world, the city itself is a host to some 200 international organizations, including of course the United Nations European headquarters, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

The Centre international réformé John Knox provides accommodation and lecture facilities to participants of the Murdoch School of Law International Human Rights Program in peaceful surroundings. The John Knox Centre is a mere 10-20 minutes walk from the WHO, ILO, UN, Red Cross amongst other international institutions, and the city centre – but more importantly, it is only a five minute bus ride away from France!

Students will be sharing living facilities in pairs for the duration of the program, or they can elect to take a single room at an increased cost. All students are given the opportunity to choose their roommates and the School of Law will attempt to accommodate the wishes of students to the best of their ability.

The following fees and costs are estimates only.

  • Accommodation & Activity Fees - $2,000 (for twin share) and $3,000 (for a single room)
    The accommodation is in a shared double room with shower and WC also includes breakfast Monday - Saturday, and lunch on teaching days as well as entry fees to organizations. Students may also wish to purchase further meals at the cafeteria. The fee for processing, materials, activities, computer access and accommodation at the Centre will be advised.
  • Flights to Geneva - Approx. $2,500
    Students will need to organise their own flights to Switzerland. The above is an estimate range for flights from Perth to Geneva.
  • Living Expenses - Approx. $150 – $200 per week
    Geneva is an international diplomatic city and costs are higher than in Perth. While breakfast every day and lunch on teaching days will be included in the price of accommodation, other meals must be paid for by students. Meals in town can be on the expensive side, and students should budget for at least $150–200 a week for food.

Murdoch students, as well as cross institutional enrolled students, have travel and medical insurance coverage for the duration of the program - that is the three week teaching period, plus an additional two days for private travel.

If students intend on travelling outside the program dates, they will be required to purchase additional travel insurance. All travel dates will need to be logged in the travel registry prior to departure. Further information regarding insurance coverage will be provided at the programme information session and e-mailed to all students.

OS-HELP loans

Students may also be eligible under the OS-HELP loan scheme for financial assistance since they are undertaking some of their course of study overseas. To be eligible students must complete all three units in the program and enrol in one unit in Semester 2 to meet full-time load requirements. Students must have completed a minimum of 24 credit points of law to apply for OS-HELP. Please be aware that if you have a GPA of lower than 2.0, you may not be successful in obtaining a loan from OS-HELP.

Students who withdraw from units upon receipt of government funding may face penalties.

See OS-HELP and overseas study for more information.

All Murdoch students are covered under the Murdoch corporate travel policy when they are travelling on Murdoch business. You will be covered for your studies in Geneva plus travel days and an additional two days of cover for private travel. If you travel before and after Geneva, outside these dates, you will need to purchase additional cover for those dates. All trips will need to be entered in the travel registry prior to travel. Murdoch Insurance team will go through the insurance cover and procedures at an information session which will be arranged close to departure date for all students travelling to Geneva.

Cross-institutional students: If you are unable to attend this session, the information will be emailed to you. You will be covered by the Murdoch policy however you will need to advise us whether your home university also provides insurance cover, as this can cause problems if there is dual cover.

How to apply

Applicants will only be considered if they have fulfilled pre-requisites and submitted all relevant forms along with their applications. Due to the limited number of spots available in the program, applications will be reviewed in order of receipt.

To apply please complete the application form by clicking here.


For further information and enquiries, contact:

Anna Copeland
Phone: +618 9360 2980