Human rights has evolved into a distinct academic discipline with theoretical and practical importance, drawing inspiration from several fields of study such as philosophy, law, public administration, law enforcement, national security, public policy formulation and implementation etc. Learning human rights also has become important for those involved in careers in law, public administration, the military, development work and members of the civil society.

The course is intended to give the participants an introduction to both international human rights norms and standards and domestic implementation of human rights and fundamental rights standards. The diploma can also serve as a stepping stone for further studies in Human Rights, including post-graduate studies courses provided by the University of Colombo.


Call for applications: February 2024

  • The target audience for the Diploma in Human Rights consists of Armed Forces, State actors, Members of the civil society, students and members of the public; and is not restricted to any particular group of persons.
  • School leavers who have not had the opportunity to enter into the conventional or open universities will be encouraged to apply. This programme will give them an opportunity to gain a university Diploma and will provide them the opportunity to continue their education while working.

This course is designed based on the credit value system of Sri Lanka Qualification Framework Level 3 (SLQF 3).

Credits and Duration – Students must complete 30 credits within the period of one year (01).

Medium of InstructionEnglish

Assessment – Assessment will consist of Continuous Assessment submitted online and semester-end examinations.

Academic Resource Pool – The resource pool comprised of lecturers from the Faculty of Law and academics and practitioners who are experts in the fields of human rights.

This Course generally will provide the candidate with a basic understanding of concepts of human rights, evolution of human rights, related international and domestic legal framework and practical application of human rights.

The core units of the course will consist of the following:

    1. Introduction to Human Rights
    2. Human Rights Protecting Mechanisms
    3. Human Rights and Society
    4. Group Rights
    5. Human Rights in times of Armed Conflicts
    6. Contemporary Developments in Human Rights
    7. Challenges to Human Rights

a ) General Certificate of Education (A/L) or an equivalent qualification,;


b) A foundation course equivalent to SLQF level 2;


c) Completion of NVQF level 4 or accredited work experience in a related field or accredited prior learning followed by a corresponding Programme of mini-mum 30 credits as determined by the academic authorities of University of Colombo.


d) a Credit Pass for English at the G.C.E. (O/L) or equivalent English Language competency and satisfactory performance at the selection interview.

Application Fee: Rs. 500/-

Course Fee: 

  • Local Students: Rs. 75,000/-
  • International Students: Rs. 150,000/-
  • To disseminate Human Rights knowledge more widely and provide access to Human Rights education to a wider group of persons through a well-structured course of studies in the university environment.
  • To deliver Human Rights education using a combination of different methods of teaching, such as conventional, distance and online, which provide access to a variety of persons across the country and even abroad.
  • To give an opportunity for persons currently working or hoping to work in the field of Human Rights to have a better understanding of the subject for and providing improved services to the public.
  • To facilitate access to higher education and the personal development of the learners and promote lifelong learning.
  • The eventual objective of this course of study is to have a positive influence on the values, attitudes and perceptions of the students with regards to Human Rights.

Applications can be downloaded from the downloads section of this page. Completed Applications and certificates should be submitted along with the paying voucher of the non refundable application fee of Rs. 500/-.

Payment of the application fee can be done through the following options.

Option 1

Pay to any branch of the People’s Bank, in favour of ‘University of Colombo – Main Collection Account’ to the Account number 335028300004.

Please note that you cannot make direct transfers through online banking to the account number given above and can only make the transaction through the web portal mentioned in the option 2.

Option 2

Through the university payment portal. Click here to make an online payment : 

Use the following details;

Fee Type : Course Fee-CSHR

Account reference Number: 335028300004

Duly Completed Applications along with relevant copies of certificates and documents should be submitted by registered post to:

The Director,
Centre for the Study of Human Rights,
Faculty of Law, University of Colombo,
No.94, Cumaratunga Munidasa Mawatha, Colombo 03.