The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, founded in 1949, is the only postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. The Institute is a national and international centre of excellence for policy-relevant research, research facilitation and teaching. As a member of the School of Advanced Study, established in 1994, the Institute works with eight other prestigious postgraduate research institutes to offer academic opportunities across and between a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences.

We are home to a number of postgraduate study programmes, including the longest-running interdisciplinary and practice-oriented human rights MA program in the UK; the first postgraduate degree on refugees to be offered by distance-learning; a distance-learning human rights degree; and the interdisciplinary MA in The Making of the Modern World: Decolonisation, Democracy, and Development. The Institute also offers research degrees and provides research training. 

The Institute is the administrative home of the Human Rights Consortium and Refugee Law Initiative.

The Institute’s Library is an international resource holding more than 190,000 volumes, with particularly impressive Caribbean, Southern African and Australian holdings and over 200 archival collections.