Human rights education is about more than simply conveying knowledge; rather it follows the head–heart–hands (or sometimes feet) model with the role of education being to ensure understanding and knowledge (head), change of attitude (heart), and the development of the skills to do something with the knowledge (hands/feet). In the higher education sector, this presents some challenges, and requires alteration to more traditional models of teaching and learning. This article compares student expectations and results in two broadly comparable courses – one in the United Kingdom (UK) and the other in China. Both courses were heavily skills-based, seeking to ensure that students achieved sustainable knowledge and developed the capacity to undertake human rights research on any country. As the results indicate, most students professed ignorance about the United Nations (UN) system and international human rights prior to the start of the course, yet achieved a fast learning curve of knowledge and skills. It is to be hoped that such a module makes a real contribution towards the goals of the World Programme for Human Rights Education.