British Red Cross Summer School on International Humanitarian Law

Red Cross volunteers carry a wounded person on a stretcher across a makeshift wooden bridge.

Credit: Ukrainian Red Cross

The course is normally held every two years, and the next one is scheduled for 8 to 11 September 2024. Applications are now open. Apply for the course.

This course is intended to provide a general understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL) and its practical application.

Topics are likely to include:

  • the history and development of IHL and its basic principles
  • protected groups, prisoners of war and detainees
  • the conduct of hostilities
  • human rights and IHL
  • the application of IHL in non-international armed conflicts
  • implementation and enforcement
  • special topics in IHL
  • the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The presenters will be experts from the armed forces, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and academia. The format of the course will likely comprise presentations, case studies, and group discussions.

Intended audience

The course will be for individuals with an interest in international humanitarian law.

Past participants have included armed forces personnel, government officials, staff of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), journalists, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society volunteers and staff from outside the UK, and university lecturers and students.

How to apply

The application period for the 2024 Summer School on IHL is open until 15 June 2024. Apply for the course.

If you have any questions, please send an email to


The course fee is £475. The course is offered on a residential basis, with course materials, accommodation and meals at the college included. Travel costs are not included.


If you are planning to apply from overseas, please consider carefully the visa requirements to enter the UK. It is important to apply for your visa early so the process is completed well in advance of the course.

Full details of entry requirements for the UK can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

If you are given a place on the course, you should apply for a Standard Visitor visa as soon as possible. The British Red Cross will provide a letter of invitation in support of your visa application.