Second Round Deadline:

30 March 2020

Extended Deadline:

12 May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Requirements

What are the ECTS credits?

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is widely used by universities as a tool to measure the weight of the academic performance at the graduate and post-graduate level. According to this system, one year of university studies generally corresponds to 60 ECTS, while a Bachelor Degree (BA) corresponds to 180 ECTS or equivalent. In order to apply for the ARMA applicants should have a minimum of or equivalent to 240 ECTS or equivalent. More details available at:

How can I obtain the specification of relevant ECTS credits for my diploma, certificate, etc.?

To obtain such specification the applicant should refer to the institution (university or other educational authority), which issued the relevant diploma or which organises the courses the applicant is attending. If the diploma/degree-granting institution is not in a position to specify the ECTS credits related to the course in question, it should provide indications of an alternative credit system (and how to convert it into the ECTS system) or summarise key information on the relevant course (duration, workload, supervision, individual research/preparation) so that the EMA Executive Committee has sufficient information to make a comparative assessment for ECTS evaluation.

Can I transfer from my current university to EMA and finish my degree there? Is there a way to calculate the credits I have already obtained in my university into the EMA curriculum and let me skip some parts of the programme?

Due to the interdisciplinarity and uniqueness of our Master’s programme, which takes place in Venice for the first semester and in one of our 41 European partner universities for the second semester, it is not possible to transfer from any other university and to recognise previous credits to skip parts of the course.

To how many ECTS credits does the EMA degree correspond?

The European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) corresponds to 60 ECTS credits.

I have a bachelor's degree plus a one-year master's degree, a summer course, etc. Is that enough to satisfy the EMA entry requirements?

Applicants are required to hold a university degree of a high standard in a field relevant to human rights, including disciplines in Law, Social Sciences and Humanities and must have a minimum of 180 ECTS (bachelor’s/general degree). Applications can be considered if the applicant has obtained a degree corresponding to:

  • 180 ECTS credits (generally a 3-year course) or
  • 240 ECTS credits (generally a 4-year course) or
  • A combination of a degree of 180 ECTS and relevant proven additional experience or studies (such as 1-year MA or summer courses).

Can I complete the degree entry requirements of the EMA programme after the application deadline?

Applicants completing the degree entry requirements after the application deadline have to provide a current transcript at the time of application. Admittance to the programme is conditional upon official documentation of completion of the degree before 31 August 2020.

I have a degree in another discipline than law/social sciences/humanities. Can I still apply for EMA?

If you have a university degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS, you are eligible to apply for EMA. We also consider applications with degrees in a field not immediately relevant to human rights. Given the interdisciplinary character of human rights (and of EMA) and the multitude of activities which one can conduct in the field, it is up to you to demonstrate the relevance of your prior learning and how you would like to take advantage of your background. We encourage you to apply and state your ideas about the relevance of your background in your letter of motivation.

Is EMA an MA or LLM programme?

EMA is an out-of-mainstream master’s programme (MA). Moreover, the national equivalent value attributed to the EMA Joint Degree varies among the Inner Circle Universities conferring the diploma. For further details please click here.

What are the language requirements for participating in the EMA programme?

Certified fluency in English is an admission requirement for the programme. While not a prerequisite, the ability to understand lectures and read academic texts in French is a definite advantage for participation in the programme.

What are the working languages of the course?

English is the official working language of the EMA programme. Exam questions have to be answered in English. It is the sole responsibility of each student to possess an adequate level of English to complete a master’s degree in English. GC/EMA does not provide language courses for students.

What kind of language certificate do you accept?

We suggest applicants take the English test very seriously so that language will not be an obstacle for learning in EMA. Preferred certificates for English language skills are the Cambridge English: First, Cambridge English: Advanced and Cambridge English: Proficiency certificates, TOEFL or IELTS Academic. TOEFL and IELTS test scores must have been obtained in the last 3 years. We also accept other certificates as long as they are proof of fluency in English and have been obtained in the last 3 years. The minimum scores required are highlighted in the table below:


























English language skills may be assessed in the course of interviews that may be conducted by the EMA national coordinating universities, or by the EMA selection staff.

It is the responsibility of each student to possess an adequate level of English to complete a master’s degree in English. GC/EMA does not provide language courses for students. If you do not have one of the above mentioned certificates, you can still submit your application and then, if selected, you will have to submit one of the above certificates by 31 August 2019.

If I can prove that I carried out my entire university education in English, do I still need to provide a language certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS?

In principle, only English native speakers will be exempted from submitting a certification of English proficiency. Applicants whose native language is not English may apply to have the requirement for an English language proficiency examination waived if:

a) They have received their degree from a university in a country where both the language of instruction and the official language is English;


b) They have completed at least two years of post-secondary education in an English speaking country.

Applicants must submit a request for waiver with their application citing their specific circumstances for exemption. The EMA Executive Committee retains discretion to approve or deny any waiver request. In case of denial, you will still have to submit one of the accepted certificates by 31 August.

Can I submit the documents required for application (i.e. reference letters, transcript of records or degree certificate) in French or in my mother tongue?

The entire application, including the letter of motivation and the CV, has to be submitted in English. Please also include a non-certified English translation of the required proofs, if the original certificates were not issued in English, French, Spanish or Italian.

Is there an age limit to participate in EMA

EMA does not apply any age limit. However, in case of applications from mature candidates, acceptance is generally conditioned upon demonstrated intention to put skills and knowledge acquired to practical use in advancing their career. As a general indication, the EMA students’ age range is between 23 and 35.

Career opportunities

What career paths do EMA graduates follow?

The majority of EMA graduates work with human rights organisations (governmental and non-governmental, international and national) both at their headquarters and in field missions (electoral observation, human rights monitoring, international cooperation projects). A number of graduates are also involved in human rights related activities with their home Ministries of Foreign Affairs or work for international institutions. Some graduates pursue further academic studies and research and a few are now the representatives of some EMA participating universities.

EMAlumni are also regularly invited to teach in the EMA programme or act as resources for its numerous activities, such as the EMA Career Day, jointly organised with the EMAlumni Association, which provides students with tips, advice and information on career development and job market, including also a CV and cover letter clinic.

In previous years, Global Campus itself has been facilitating the entry of its graduates in the human rights job market through two successful internship programmes: The EMA Internship Programme and The GC EU-UN Fellowship Programme.

Fees and financial issues

What does the tuition fee include?

Tuition fees cover all courses of the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation, both in the first and second semesters, and the field trip.

How can the tuition fee be paid?

Successful applicants will receive a letter of admission and will be requested to pay the fees upon acceptance of the offer. Payments can be made via bank transfer according to one of the following options:

  • Full amount within a maximum of two weeks from the date of the letter;
  • Two installments: The first within two weeks and the second within one month from the date of the letter.

What other costs, besides the tuition fee and the enrolment fee, will I have to cover?

Students enroling in the EMA programme should bear in mind that they will have to cover all other costs related to the participation in the programme, such as:

  • Living and accommodation costs for both semesters;
  • Travel (including travel to the second semester university, possible Christmas holiday travels, and travel back to Venice for the awarding ceremony in September);
  • Local travel in Venice (for students the range is approximately between €25 and €30 per month excluding a fixed administrative cost of €50, depending on your age, to be paid only once upon registration);
  • Permit of stay and visa procedure for the second semester destination for Non-EU students (including travel to the relevant Italian diplomatic and consular offices, and eventual costs for the issuing of the visa);
  • Any other additional personal expenses.

Applicants are therefore encouraged to carefully consider their overall financial situation and ensure that they have adequate funds for the entire year. Based on previous experience, the minimum total cost which EMA students should foresee to cover can be estimated at approximately €850 per month (tuition fee excluded). In the second semester costs vary depending on the destination.

Does GC provide accommodation for students?

GC does not provide accommodation for students.

Ultimately, the responsibility for finding accommodation rests with students themselves. After the selection is completed and the list of students finalised, GC circulates information and details about apartments made available through its housing facilitation service, together with other useful links for independent house hunting.

Depending on the choice of accommodation, the anticipated rent per student could range from a minimum of €250 to a maximum of €650 per month, with utilities and condominium expenses ranging from €85 to €250 per month.

For the second semester EMA students are responsible for all accommodation arrangements. Accommodation costs vary depending on the second semester destination due to the differences in the costs of living in European countries.

How to Apply

What is a transcript of records and a Diploma Supplement? Where can I find these?

A transcript of records, or transcript of exams, is a list of all courses you have taken and passed, and all the marks you received in your university career. It provides information about your academic background. Usually it is the university secretariat, which issues this certificate upon the student’s request. 

If you have studied in Europe, you will also have to present the related Diploma Supplement(s). This is an internationally approved document (usually issued both in the original language and in English) which, following a template developed and approved by the Council of Europe, provides a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies you successfully completed.

Must the copy of my documents be legally notarised or will a normal copy do?

During the application procedure, photocopies are accepted. If selected, you will then have to provide the EMA Secretariat with originals or certified copies of your university degree and transcript of records. Concerning passports, a photocopy is sufficient.

Is there a specific form for the letters of reference?

There is no form for the letters of reference. Reference letters should be written on headed paper and signed by the referee. The letters must be addressed to the attention of the EMA Secretariat.

Do the letters have to come from academic referees, i.e. be produced by professors, or can they also be from employers or supervisors?

Since EMA is an interdisciplinary master’s programme, which provides students with both academic and professional qualifications, it is preferable to submit one reference letter from each of those areas. However, should it be difficult for the applicant to trace their professors after a long time or to have a professional referee in the absence of practical experience, the EMA Executive Committee will accept two letters coming from the same field, as long as they are relevant to the application in question (relevance in terms of human rights expertise, motivation to perform human rights studies, etc.).

Is there a possibility to apply for the programme without having finished the first university degree (for example: applying in March - finishing university in June - starting EMA in autumn)?

Applicants completing the degree entry requirements after the application deadline are requested to provide a current transcript of exams by 31 August (see Admission Criteria).

Why do I have to pay the application fee if I am not sure I will be selected?

Given the large amount of applications that we receive every year, this fee covers the administrative costs of processing them. The application processing fee is non-refundable also in case of unsuccessful application.

Non-EU degree

What is the Declaration of Value?

The document officially attests the validity of your degree in Italy and is absolutely necessary to obtain the diploma at the end of the Master’s programme.

When shall I start to apply for a Declaration of Value?

As soon as you receive and accept the formal offer to participate in EMA. Be aware that some Consulates will require you to have obtained DoV before processing your study visa application.

Where do I have to apply for the Declaration of Value?

You should file the request for the Declaration of Value to the Embassy, Consulate or Italian Cultural Institute responsible for the area or city where you obtained your university degree, regardless of your nationality.

When do I have to provide the Declaration of Value of my degree?

As soon as possible after confirmation of acceptance and, only in exceptional and justified circumstances, no later than 31 August 2019. Please note that without this document you will not be awarded the EMA degree.

Non-EU students

When must I start the visa procedures?

As soon as you receive and accept the formal offer to participate in EMA.

For which kind of visa must I apply?

If selected, you are required to obtain a type D - multiple entry visa for postgraduate (“post-laurea”) study, which must cover the entire duration of the academic year.

Notes on visa

All non-EU students are required to obtain a study visa from the relevant diplomatic and consular Italian representation offices in their home countries. In order to find out about deadlines and visa requirements, we suggest that you consult the following website:

It is up to students to:

    • Gather all relevant information concerning the procedure and contact details of relevant Italian representation offices;
    • Submit the application to the relevant diplomatic and consular Italian representation office according to the official procedure, and enclose all requested documentation in their possession;
    • Cover all related costs;
    • Comply with all applicable immigration rules;
    • Update the EMA Secretariat about the developments of the procedure and provide the visa (as copy), when made available.

The EMA Secretariat will provide you with information and assistance on the visa application process and provide you with the necessary documents confirming your admission.

Who will pay for the visa procedures?

Students bear all costs involved in the visa procedures.


Is GC part of Erasmus Mundus?

No, GC is not part of the Erasmus Mundus consortium of institutions.

Should I first apply to the Venice School or Venice Academy?

The Venice School of Human Rights and the Venice Academy of Human Rights are two short summer courses, which are independent from the EMA programme. You can choose to attend one, both or none of them. If you participate in one of them, this may affect the evaluation of your application for the EMA programme in terms of previous study in related areas.

Selection procedure

Besides the Brazilian nationality, I have an Italian one. With what nationality is it better to apply for this programme? Why?

Candidates holding multiple nationalities must indicate all of them in the application form. As a rule, please consider that in case of multiple nationalities, the country where the candidate has permanent residence will be considered as prevailing over the other(s).

When and how will I be notified about admission?

The selection process is ongoing and is conducted according to two application deadlines. This means that selected candidates are informed in different rounds and at different points in time, but in any case no later than mid-June. After all offers are sent out, some places may become newly available depending on acceptance of the offers by the selected candidates. Applicants on the reserve list may then be contacted within the next weeks.

If I am offered a place, can I defer the acceptance and begin the following year?

No, you must re-apply and go through the whole selection process again.

If I have participated in a previous selection (unsuccessful or having resigned), having sent the completed set of documents, can it be used or re-considered in order to participate in the following year's selection?

No, you must re-apply and go through the whole selection process again.

Enrolment procedure

What documents should I provide?

If selected, students should provide the following documents by August 31:

  • Copy of: degree, final transcript and, for those graduated in the EU, diploma supplement.
  • English language certificate
  • Receipt of payment of the tuition fee
  • Copy of passport picture page
  • Copy of study visa, if relevant
  • Declaration of Value, if degree was obtained in a country outside the EU

Structure & Content of the EMA

When do EMA courses start and end?

Registration and classes start in mid-September. The second semester runs from February to mid-July, and the thesis defence and awarding ceremony take place in the second half of September.

What are the second semester university allocation procedures? Can I choose the second semester university in advance? Must I submit an application for this procedure?

EMA is an inter-European programme involving 41 universities. During the first half of the first semester, students define individual thesis topics on the basis of which suitable EMA universities to host these studies are identified. This process is carried out by the EMA Academic Team according to an established format. The maximum number of students that can be hosted by each participating university is three.

Students may be allocated to any EMA university taking into account both the student’s and the university’s interest, the suitability of the thesis topic for the respective department and the quality of the thesis proposal. This part of the programme is conceived as an exchange, which implies that students will be hosted for the second semester activities in a university located in a country other than their own. The decision is made by the EMA Executive Committee (in consultation with the EMA Council) in December and is final and binding.

Is it possible to work while attending EMA courses?

Working is not compatible with EMA courses. Given the intensity of the EMA programme, it is not feasible to engage in income generating work on the side.