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Masters Degrees (International Human Rights)

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International Human Rights Law LLM is a unique programme designed to enable students to progress to become human rights practitioners and specialists in this dynamic area of law. Read more

About the course

International Human Rights Law LLM is a unique programme designed to enable students to progress to become human rights practitioners and specialists in this dynamic area of law.

Students will critically engage with many of the human rights issues that feature strongly in public debate today, gaining comprehensive understanding of international human rights law and its interconnection with international criminal and comparative criminal law.

This course places particular emphasis on the radical transformations that international human rights law has experienced since the beginning of the 21st century, with the genesis of the International Criminal Court, the on-going process of the United Nations reform and the post 9/11 shift to a more securitarian approach to criminal process values, especially regarding the war against terror.

The course offers:

A detailed analysis of the theory, history and development of human rights, and an examination of the main regional mechanisms of human rights protection.

An overview of a variety of contemporary human rights topics, including the examination of major developments and recent tendencies in the field of international human rights protection.

Analysis of contemporary topics and challenges of international human rights protection including:
the emergence of the right to development and the so-called third- generation rights;
human rights advocacy and global governance though NGOs and non-State actors;
the crystallisation of group rights, minorities and indigenous peoples’ rights;
the challenges posed to international human rights law by international migration and the enhanced need of protection of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees;
women’s rights and the rights of the child, including protection against victims of human trafficking;
the crystallisation of general equality and the development of human rights advocacy for sexual and gay rights.

Brunel Law School has an excellent reputation in this field. The International Human Rights Law Review - a peer-reviewed international journal - is edited at Brunel Law School. The School is able to attract a number of leading guest speakers to support further debate and learning’s around the complexity of human rights, and provides students with a wider variety of perspectives particularly in the international context.

The programme is available full-time:
September (12 months)
January (15 months due to dissertation submission requirements)

And also part-time:
September (24 months)
January (27 months due to dissertation submission requirements)

The course is aimed at graduates from all over the world who are keen to develop an expertise in the evolving discipline and develop a career in international human rights law.

Aims

You will develop an expertise in the corpus and complexities of international human rights law.

You will acquire critical and analytical skills in the complex field of international human rights law.

You will be able to demonstrate through original research the application of knowledge, practical understanding and critical appreciation that can contribute to the discourse on international human rights law.

You will gain professional skills required to develop a career in international human rights law.

You will gain detailed knowledge of the European system of human rights protection in particular, both at a theoretical and practical level, including the ability to handle cases before the European Court of Human Rights.

Course Content

The LLM consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Compulsory modules:

Term I

European System of Human Rights Protection (15 credits) 1 or 2
Foundations of International Human Rights Law (15 credits) 1 or 2

Term II

Theory and Practice of International Human Rights (15 credits) 1
Regional Systems of Human Rights Protection: America, Africa, Asia (15 credits) 1

Optional modules:

Term I

International Human Rights and Islamic Law (15 credits) 2
Public International Law (15 credits) 1 or 2
International Humanitarian Law 2
Multiculturalism and Human Rights (15 credits) 2
International Criminal Law (15 credits) 2

Term II

International Environmental Law (15 credits) 2
Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (15 credits) 2
World Trade Organisation (WTO) abd Human Rights Law (15 credits) 2
Human Rights of Women (15 credits) 2
Counter-terrorism and Human Rights (15 credits) 2

** The superscript 1 or 2 indicates which year of study each module will normally take place in for part-time students.

Assessment

The faculty places great emphasis on the creation of a unique learning experience. In addition to attending seminars and preparing coursework and exams, students will also learn by participating in research centre activities and research trips, contributing to newsletters, making oral presentations, attending law film screenings as well as participating in debating events and reading group sessions.

Assessment methods in this programme range from coursework, seen examinations and a dissertation (15,000 words) to oral presentations and assessment by contribution in seminars.

Special Features

Research Centres
The Law School benefits from active research centres which regularly host research seminars and workshops. Many of these have been on the topic of international human rights. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) we were ranked 14th in the UK for REF Intensity in Law.

Extra-curricular Activities
The Law School offers students numerous opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, including a Reading Group, a Law Film society, mooting and debating societies and research workshops organized by the research centres based at the school. LLM students are expected to play a leading role organising and participating in these activities.

Research Skills
The Law School offers an elaborate scheme of research and writing skills sessions designed to facilitate students’ learning and to equip them with appropriate transferable skills.
Some of the modules in this programme also integrate skills training, for example on how to answer essay questions, make use of electronic legal databases and cite legal authorities.

Career Support
Students benefit from the university's award winning 'Professional Development Centre' which offers specialist workshops, interview skills, and one-to-one advice sessions to help prepare graduates for their chosen career.

Teaching Expertise
Brunel Law School has an excellent reputation in this field. The International Human Rights Law Review - a peer-reviewed international journal - is edited at Brunel Law School. The school is able to attract a number of leading guest speakers to support further debate and learnings around the complexity of human rights, and provides students with a wider variety of perspectives particularly in the international context.
This is a challenging programme that is at the forefront of thinking in International Human Rights Law. It is taught by leading academics with a wide range of expertise in human rights practice, policy, activism and governmental, international and non-governmental organisations. As a result, the programme is research-led, and some of the reading required for the programme is based on books published by our academics.

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On this programme you will acquire specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. Read more
On this programme you will acquire specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. The programme is interdisciplinary thus building on the strengths in this area of the Sutherland School of Law and the School of Politics and International Relations. Members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law have engaged in major research in this area spanning the full range of international human rights law from asylum law and practice, the EU and fundamental rights to the law of privacy in Ireland.

The LLM in International Human rights differs from existing degrees in Ireland by having a distinct interdisciplinary nature flowing from the co-ordination between the School of Law and the School of politics and International relations (SpIre).

See the website http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llmininternationalhumanrights/

Your studies

On this programme you will acquire a specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights in a single course.
Your core modules will include International Human Rights Law and the Politics of Human Rights. You will also choose from modules such as: International Security; Politics of Development; Discrimination Law; and, Media and Regulation. You will complete a supervised dissertation and will also have international exchange opportunities during the programme. On completion of your studies, you will:
- be able to understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations in the study of human rights;
- be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to real and hypothetical situations;
- be able to conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers;
- have identified doctrinal and practical trends in legal practise and their impact; and,
- have an increased ability to identify and analyse problems from a legal perspective.

Studying abroad

The School affords its students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad as part of the Comparative, International and European Law (CIEL) Graduate exchange programme with our partner Universities in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Students participating in the programme will have their dissertations jointly supervised by staff in UCD and in the institution which
they are visiting. Successful completion of the semester abroad will lead to the award of a Certificate in Comparative, International and European Law.

Your future

The programme qualifies you to work in the field of human rights, either domestically or internationally, as a practising lawyer, legal-adviser, policymaker, advocate, researcher, or academic. Career opportunities exist in intergovernmental organisations (United Nations, Council of Europe, European Union, Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe), government departments, international and domestic non-governmental organisations, law firms, and Universities.

Features

The Sutherland School of Law offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Reflecting its interdisciplinary nature, there are core modules that must be taken in both Law and Politics. The core law modules are

- International Human Rights considers the theoretical underpinnings and development of contemporary international human rights law, critically examines the institutional architecture developed by the UN system and regional systems to implement human rights norms as well as national methods of implementation of human rights law.

- Law of the ECHR offers a critical examination of key aspects of the operation and substantive law of the ECHR focussing on its incorporation into domestic law and an in-depth analysis and evaluation of the Court's jurisprudence for a number of substantive rights.

- Other Law modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:

- Comparative Constitutional Law discusses a number of constitutional issues from a comparative perspective including the influence of the ECHR and its jurisprudence on constitutional structures and systems.

- Media Regulation discusses the regulatory environment in which the media operates, and encourages a critical analysis of the implications which the current system has for media freedom, journalistic ethics and practices, democracy and governance

CIEL

Any student admitted to an LLM programme in the Law School also can apply on a competitive basis to spend their second semester at one of our sister Law Schools:
- University of Antwerp
- Maastricht University
- The University of Mannhein
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
- Universite de Toulouse 1 – Capitole

Students must score 6.5 in IELTS or 90 in the internet TOEFL exams in the relevant language of instruction (English, French or German). Spaces are allocated on a competitive basis. Students who are accepted onto this programme graduate with an LLM and are awarded a certificate in International and Comparative Law (CIEL).

Careers

This programme will equip graduates with the knowledge, skills and capacity to work in the field of human rights, either domestically or internationally, as practising lawyers, legal-advisers, policy-makers, advocates, researchers or academics. Career opportunities in the field of human rights can arise in a variety of different contexts. These include, but are not limited to, intergovernmental organisations (United Nations, Council of Europe, European Union, Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe), government departments, international and domestic non-governmental organisations, law firms and Universities.

We have an excellent Careers Development Centre here at UCD, designed to help you with information regarding future employment or studies. UCD hold a number of graduate events throughout the year including a dedicated law fair at which at which many of the big Law firms will be in attendance. The School of Law has a dedicated careers advisor on it’s Academic staff, Dr. Oonagh Breen, and a staff member from the careers office will be in attendance at the School of law on a number of occasions throughout the academic year. To see the full range of services offered by the careers office go to http://www.ucd.ie/careers/

Find out how to apply here http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llmininternationalhumanrights/apply,80081,en.html

See the website http://www.ucd.ie/law/graduateprogrammes/llmininternationalhumanrights/

Scholarships

The University and UCD Sutherland School of Law have a list of scholarships that are open to Irish, EU and International applicants.
For further information please see http://www.ucd.ie/scholarships
International students may wish to visit: http://www.ucd.ie/international

Why you should choose UCD

In the state-of-the-art UCD Sutherland School of Law, graduate students engage in advanced study with internationally renowned
specialists to develop the transformative potential of law.

The School is ranked by the authoritative QS World University Rankings as Ireland's number one law school and amongst the world's 100 leading law schools. Students benefit from the School’s strong links with university partners; businesses; NGOs; and, domestic, EU and international governments.
We place particular emphasis on the quality and breadth of our graduate programmes across Diploma, Masters and Doctoral levels. Our graduate degrees are available on a full-time or part-time basis, beginning in either January or September.
We also offer part-time Diploma programmes and single subject certificates with the possibility of securing CPD points and building study up to achieve diploma or masters awards.

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Who is it for?. The Specialism in International Human Rights Law is designed for students from all backgrounds who have an interest in the intersection between human rights and international law. Read more

Who is it for?

The Specialism in International Human Rights Law is designed for students from all backgrounds who have an interest in the intersection between human rights and international law. It will enable students with this to develop a career in human rights law or to embark on policy-oriented careers in government and non-governmental organizations at the domestic and international level.

Objectives

The Specialist LLM in International Human Rights draws from the expertise of The City Law School's team of experienced human rights scholars. It gives you an opportunity to examine intellectually the subject from various angles - minority protection, human rights at times of war, the prosecution of international criminals, to name a few.

This masters degree helps you appreciate and understand how international law intervenes to protect human rights and where the gaps are in international law.

The Specialist LLM in International Human Rights provides the opportunity to study some of the most significant issues in international human rights protection facing the world today. You will have guidance and expert academic support to examine a number of important issues in international human rights protection law, including how the law of war and armed conflict protects the civilian, how minority protection is being regulated by international law, the remedies available in international criminal law, and the extent to which the rights of indigenous people are safeguarded by international law.

Placements

Each year a small number of internships become available and you will be provided with information about such opportunities and how to apply during the year of your study.

Academic facilities

As a City Law School student you will benefit from everything the institution has to offer including the Learning Success department and Lawbore, an online resource designed to help you find the information you need for the course modules. All course modules have online depositories through Moodle.

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

You will benefit from City, University of London’s extensive library of hard copy and electronic resources, including its comprehensive database of domestic and international caselaw, legislation, treaties and legal periodicals. There are two law-specific libraries – one at the Gray’s Inn campus and one at our Northampton square campus -  with individual study spaces and dedicated rooms for group work.

Additionally, we are a short walk away from the British Library and the Law Library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught by leading academics as well as visiting practitioners including barristers and solicitors who work in private practice and in legal departments of major companies.

All modules are structured as ten weekly two-hour seminars which comprise both lectures as well as interactive tutorials. All modules are supported by our online learning platform - Moodle. Assessment is by way of coursework which comprises 100% of the final mark in each module. Each module carries the same weight in terms of the overall qualification.

You will be allocated a dedicated supervisor for your dissertation who will help you develop a specific topic and provide support in terms of resources, content and structure.

Modules

As with all LLM specialisms at City, University of London, you may take either five modules and a shorter dissertation (10,000 words) or four modules and a longer dissertation (20,000 words). All modules are of the same duration and are taught per term (September – December or January – April) rather than the whole academic year. If you take four modules you will take two per term in each term and if you take five modules will have three in one term and two in the other. Dissertations are written during the summer term when there are no classes.

In order to obtain this specialism, you must choose at least three modules from within this specialism and write your dissertation on a subject within the specialism.

Specialism modules

Choose from the following 30-credit modules:

  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Criminal Law: the Practitioner Perspective
  • International Criminal Law: Crimes and Institutions
  • International Human Rights in Law and Practice
  • International Law and the Global Economy
  • International Law and the Use of Force
  • Law and War
  • Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in International Law

For your remaining modules you can choose from more than 50 modules covering a diverse range of subjects.

Career prospects

As a graduate of this specialist LLM in International Human Rights, you will be well placed to pursue careers in this area of law in private practice, in-house in a law firm, policy and government, non-governmental organisations and a wide range of non-legal careers in the human rights field.

The City Law School has a vibrant Pro Bono programme including our award-winning commercial law clinic for tech start-ups Start-Ed.



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The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice engages you in a holistic examination of the law, policy, and advocacy of human rights. As such, it provides the substantive knowledge, versatile skills and valuable networks necessary for mid-career professionals and recent graduates to work in the human rights field. Read more

The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice engages you in a holistic examination of the law, policy, and advocacy of human rights. As such, it provides the substantive knowledge, versatile skills and valuable networks necessary for mid-career professionals and recent graduates to work in the human rights field. The LLM is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis.

Why study International Human Rights at York?

The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice provides the knowledge, skills and networks necessary for mid-career professionals and recent graduates to work in the human rights field. The LLM is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis. Our LLM is distinctive because students:

-Work on real human rights issues, which gives practical skills, hands-on experience and improved job prospects

-Get the opportunity to work alongside human rights defenders during a two-week field visit to Malaysia (student numbers permitting) or placement in York

-Learn from international human rights defenders based at the Centre

-Explore how international human rights law interacts with national public policy in various states

LLM Structure

Our core modules enable you to acquire holistic knowledge and the necessary socio-legal skills for a successful career in human rights practice or progression to PhD study. They allow you flexibility to undertake research on those human rights topics which interest you most (e.g. by writing essays, making presentations, or developing an advocacy campaign on a topic of your choice and by undertaking a human rights placement with an organisation that works on a topic of interest).

  • Legal Systems: Sources and Operation (10 credits; term 1)
  • Applying International Human Rights Law (20 credits; term 1)
  • The Practice of Fieldwork (20 credits; term 1)
  • Human Rights Placement (20 credits; term 1 & 2)
  • International Human Rights Laboratory (20 credits; term 2)
  • Research Skills and Methods (10 credits; term 3)
  • Dissertation (60 credits; terms 3 & 4)

In the second term, you will be able to choose one optional module from a large variety of courses taught by staff from the Centre of Applied Human Rights (CAHR) or other departments at the University of York. You will have the opportunity to tailor your programme to enhance its interdisciplinary and to explore areas where rights are being used in new and innovative way.

Optional modules taught at the York Law School

  • Corporate Responsibility and Law
  • Counter Terrorism
  • The Modern Actors of International Law (International Organisations, Non-State Armed Groups, Corporations)

Placements

A key part of the LLM is exposing students to the practice of international human rights law at the domestic level. Thus students have the opportunity to pursue a placement and related project with our NGO partners in Malaysia and York. The fieldwork takes place over a two week period in the autumn term, in either Kuala Lumpur or York. Please note that the Malaysia trip/placements will only run if there are sufficient student numbers.

Students will be expected to work together in small groups in partnership with a human rights organisation. This will include:

-Extensive background research on country context, the host organisation, relevant thematic issues etc.

-Devising a project prior to the field visit, in collaboration with the host organisation

-Two weeks of intensive work in Malaysia (student numbers permitting) or York in November and December

-Ongoing discussions about project completion once students return to York

Where after the LLM?

Our LLM provides career advice, networking opportunities, hands-on experience, and personalised reference letters to help our graduates find good jobs with human rights NGOs, humanitarian organisations, charities, policy think-tanks, national governments, and UN agencies.

For example, recent graduates are working with:

-Foreign and Commonwealth Office

-UK-based bar association

-Egyptian human rights NGO

-Development NGO in West Africa

-East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network

-Human Rights Watch

-Pakistan's judicial sector

-UK-based NGO working with sub-Saharan children affected by HIV/AIDS



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This advanced course in human rights taught by international experts offers a unique and distinctive focus on the theories and practice of rights, producing a vibrant environment for exploring this significant area of law and policy. Read more

This advanced course in human rights taught by international experts offers a unique and distinctive focus on the theories and practice of rights, producing a vibrant environment for exploring this significant area of law and policy.

This programme will give you advanced knowledge, greater understanding and critical insights into current systems of human rights legal protection and human rights debates.

You’ll explore different domestic, regional and international human rights legal systems to analyse how rights have been legalised, developed and enforced through the theory and practice of human rights.

You’ll investigate the law relating to the protection of life and human dignity, freedom from torture and other ill treatment, freedom of expression, and human rights with regard to media organisations, terrorism, health care, the family and disabled people.

You’ll benefit from the expertise of leading academics in a stimulating research environment. Our research groups include:

Course content

The compulsory modules studied will give you the opportunity to:

  • examine the concept of rights in political philosophy
  • explore global and local human rights concerns
  • investigate the impact of international human rights
  • analyse the relevance of international human rights to domestic law.

Compulsory modules will also enable you to hone your legal research and writing skills, which you’ll be able to demonstrate in your dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

If you study with us, you’ll also benefit from our academic skills programme. This 10-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law. It allows you to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills to excel during your taught postgraduate programmes, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you’re a part-time student, you’ll take three compulsory modules and choose one or two optional modules in your first year. You’ll then take the compulsory dissertation module and one or two optional modules in your second year to complete your programme.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • European Human Rights 15 credits
  • Postgraduate Legal Research Skills 15 credits
  • International Human Rights 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • International Human Rights and Disabled People 15 credits
  • EU Discrimination Law 15 credits
  • Cyberlaw: Regulation of Cyberspace 15 credits
  • Globalisation and Crime 15 credits
  • World Trade Organisation Law 15 credits
  • Global Human Rights Advocacy 30 credits
  • Global Governance through Law 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read International and European Human Rights Law LLM Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read International and European Human Rights Law LLM Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

This programme is taught through a range of weekly lectures and seminars held on a two-weekly basis. You’re strongly advised to attend the weekly lectures on international human rights and international law, particularly if you’ve not previously studied international law.

Independent study is integral to this programme – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research and other critical skills. You’ll be expected to carry out advanced levels of legal research and participate fully in seminars.

Assessment

Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase your advanced legal research.

Career opportunities

Students who have graduated from this degree often choose careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying human rights law and developing policies at organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practise as lawyers or legal advisors.

Our alumni include people working at the European Commission, United Nations, non-governmental organisations and in the government sector. Others have chosen to follow academic careers.

Careers support

The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School of Law Careers Advisor. The School also arranges career development workshops, seminars and one-to-one sessions for students on all postgraduate programmes.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The LLM International Human Rights Law is your opportunity to explore the way that international law is used to protect human rights and enables you to gain expertise in a distinct yet relatively broad specialism. Read more

The LLM International Human Rights Law is your opportunity to explore the way that international law is used to protect human rights and enables you to gain expertise in a distinct yet relatively broad specialism. You will combine core and elective modules to gain an international perspective on this highly-relevant field of law. The degree is taught by the research-active academics based in our prestigious Law School and offers you the opportunity to engage with teaching staff who are working at the forefront of International Human Rights research.

Our Law School is home to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice; these influential centres underpin our postgraduate teaching, which is research-led and research-informed.

There are two pathways for the LLM, both of which enable you to pursue your own interests:

  • Studying five modules and completing a 20,000 word dissertation
  • Studying six modules and completing a 15,000 word dissertation

Your core modules are International Law, International Human Rights Law and the LLM Dissertation. The modules in International Law and International Human Rights Law will address key questions such as how international laws protect, govern and define your human rights and inter-state relationships. You will evaluate the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights protected through international instruments and explore the way that international law is used to shape the world in which we live.

The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing. The topic will link to a key legal question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the legal and academic community with new, original research and writing. A dissertation supervisor will provide you with support and introduce you to relevant legal material and research; their personal research interests will closely align with your chosen topic wherever possible.

We pride ourselves on the choice and breadth of elective modules available, offering you access to sought-after expertise in high-demand areas and growing fields such as The Rights of Peoples, Law and Global Health, International Terrorism and the Law, Gender, Sexualities and Human Rights, and International Environmental Law.

Our teaching approach is international in scope and comparative by nature, and we actively encourage you to build a beneficial network of academics, peers and alumni during your time with us. All of this will help you to broaden your experience, deepen your understanding, and prepare for your next step.

Your postgraduate LLM degree opens doors to a huge range of careers. You will develop the skills required to critically evaluate research relating to international human rights law; skills which are highly prized by employers both here in the UK and overseas. The analytical and communications skills developed through your studies are a real boost in any sector. The LLM is also an ideal stepping stone to PhD study and academia.

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.

Assessment

Coursework and dissertation



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Many believe that international human rights law is one of our greatest moral achievements. However, there remain huge gaps between the theory and the practice of human rights implementation. . Read more

Many believe that international human rights law is one of our greatest moral achievements. However, there remain huge gaps between the theory and the practice of human rights implementation. 

On this degree course you engage critically with many of the international human rights issues that feature strongly in public debate today. You gain a deep understanding of international human rights law, as well as its interconnection with national, regional and European systems of human rights protection.

You will be encouraged to develop a critical perspective on international human rights law, with opportunities also for more practical experience through the Human Rights Law Clinic. Many of our staff engage in interdisciplinary human rights research, which is reflected in our teaching. This is an area of research strength at Sussex. The Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research was established in 2015.

Why choose this course?

  • Engage with a growing team of established human rights researchers and get involved with the Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research.
  • Prepare for your future career and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Human Rights Law Clinic.
  • Discover what interests you most – Sussex Law School provides a truly international, stimulating and engaging learning environment for you to build a rich base of knowledge in human rights.

How will I study?

You’ll learn through core modules and options in the autumn and spring terms. In the summer, you undertake supervised work on the LLM dissertation. Find out more about core modules and options here.

You will be assessed through coursework, a portfolio, essays and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Human Rights Law Clinic

When you’ve successfully completed the International Human Rights law core module, you can apply for The Human Rights Law Clinic option. 

The Clinic gives you the chance to build on law and theory through the preparation of pro bono legal opinions for real clients. You’ll gain practical insights, work on research, and formulate advice and recommendations on contemporary human rights challenges.

Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research

The Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research was established to foster a vibrant research culture for human rights researchers within the Sussex Law School. 

Our work has a global as well as national focus and we adopt a range of different approaches to human rights research, for example: 

  • Doctrinal 
  • Critical 
  • Theoretical 
  • Practical 
  • Interdisciplinary 

We hold regular research seminars, workshops and debates, which all students are welcome to attend.

Funding opportunities

The University of Sussex is proud to offer a range of postgraduate funding awards up to £5000, in order to help talented students to come and study at Sussex.  Find out more about funding awards available to you by visiting our funding database.

Careers

This LLM is ideal if you wish to achieve a law-oriented postgraduate qualification in human rights and want to go on to a career in law or human rights advocacy. 

The international and comparative nature of this course means that you will be well placed to seek employment in the UK and overseas in organisations such as: 

  • International law firms 
  • Governments 
  • International organisations 
  • NGOs


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Our LLM in International Human Rights will expose you to the fundamental aspects of the field, and provide you with the opportunity to critically examine the impact of the international human rights standards on national constitutions and laws, with particular focus given to the conflict between international standards and national provision. Read more

Our LLM in International Human Rights will expose you to the fundamental aspects of the field, and provide you with the opportunity to critically examine the impact of the international human rights standards on national constitutions and laws, with particular focus given to the conflict between international standards and national provision.

The LLM International Human Rights also provides you with an opportunity to assess how international human rights law offers protection to different categories of vulnerable groups.

Additionally, our LLM provides an opportunity to acquire, or build upon existing skills gained from your undergraduate course - enhancing employment opportunities in the legal profession and providing a basis for progression to doctoral studies. 

What's covered in the course?

You will analyse and critically evaluate principle features of international human rights law, including fundamental concepts, values, principles and rules, and the main institutions and procedures. You’ll also learn to evaluate complex legal issues, communicate complex and abstract ideas, and employ strategic transferable skills.  

Why Choose Us?

  • You will earn from a dedicated and passionate teaching team, who have experience with the international human rights institutions
  • This course is a conversion LLM – you don’t need a degree in Law to be eligible to study it.
  • The course covers transnational jurisdictions, so it is international in scope.
  • The course has flexible delivery methods to suit your location and when you are able to study. You can enroll as either an on-campus student, flexible/blended learning student or as a distance learning student
  • Studying of the LLM International Human Rights will provide you with an opportunity to engage with the work of the Law School’s Centre for Human Right
  • You will have an opportunity to enhance your employability skills by completing an internship
  • Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on domestic law and legislation.


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Ethics and human rights are always hot topics, both domestically and internationally. The LLM International Human Rights Law will enable you to explore a wide range of subjects in this area, examine the latest developments and critically analyse the arguments on all sides of the debates. Read more

Ethics and human rights are always hot topics, both domestically and internationally. The LLM International Human Rights Law will enable you to explore a wide range of subjects in this area, examine the latest developments and critically analyse the arguments on all sides of the debates. The two compulsory modules – International Human Rights Law and Medical Law and Ethics – will offer you a firm foundation for human rights specialisation, particularly with an ethical and medical law perspective. Practical work and case studies underpin solid theoretical teaching, equipping you with everything you need to work in this dynamic and challenging area of international law.

In the International Human Rights Law module you will gain a critical understanding of human rights law from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. The module also includes examination of theoretical and philosophical discussions on human rights, international and regional systems of human rights protection and the effectiveness of the United Nations system, and a focus on civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

The Medical Law and Ethics module offers analysis of a wide range of areas within medical law and ethics, particularly from an international perspective. You will cover topics such as medical negligence and legal and ethical dilemmas, medical law and ethics from ‘birth to death’, the impact of modern technologies in areas such as gene editing, embryo testing, surrogacy and organ donation, and the law and ethics of end-of-life issues, such as assisted suicide.

Why choose this course?

You can be sure that the teaching you receive is up to date and highly relevant to twenty-first-century global human rights issues, taught as it is by specialists at the forefront of their disciplines and underpinned by the latest research and practice. Practical, innovative teaching methods combined with traditional class seminars ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge and skills that you will need for your career in the arena of human rights.

The two compulsory modules will be complemented by two from a range of optional modules on offer, enabling you to tailor your course according to your particular ambitions and aspirations.

In addition, the University’s co-curricular programme offers a wide range of options that will further enhance your skills.

Structure

Level 7

Core Modules

  • Dissertation - 60 Credits
  • Research Methods and Skills - 0 Credits

Optional

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution - 30 Credits
  • Banking Law 2 - 30 Credits
  • Public International Law 2 - 30 Credits
  • Intellectual Property 2 - 30 Credits
  • International Commercial Law 2 - 30 Credits
  • Legal Risk Management, Governance and Compliance - 30 Credits
  • Company Law 2 - 30 Credits
  • International Environmental Law - 30 Credits
  • International Energy Law - 30 Credits
  • Medical Law and Ethics - 30 Credits
  • International Human Rights Law - 30 Credits
  • Islamic Finance Law - 30 Credits
  • International Development Law - 30 Credits
  • Private International Law - 30 Credits
  • Emerging technologies and law - 30 Credits
  • Data Protection Law - 30 Credits
  • International Electronic Communications Law - 30 Credits
  • Corporate Governance - 30 Credits
  • Employment law - 30 Credits
  • International Financial Law 2 - 30 Credits

Teaching methods

A range of innovative theoretical and practical teaching methods are used on this course, from class seminars to large group discussions, small group work to collaborative projects, role plays to debates. All this will enable you to develop those vital intellectual, transferable, interpersonal and practical skills, and to enhance your abilities in the areas of negotiation, presentation, debating, and so on. These skills can be boosted further by participation in our peer mentoring scheme.

The compulsory modules are assessed by way of written coursework, so independent study is, of course, essential to consolidate and broaden your learning and to demonstrate your ability to formulate arguments and seek solutions to contemporary global human rights challenges.

Careers

The knowledge, skills and critical understanding of medical law and ethics you will gain on this course will equip you to serve and support human rights efforts in a wide variety of positions and sectors. Whether you choose to work in the public sector, health, international organisations or civil society, or even to follow an academic or research career, you can be sure that your degree will be the launching pad you need for an exciting and stimulating future.



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This LLM engages students in the practice and policy context of human rights law internationally. The course offers students a wide range of human rights law courses taught by leading experts in their field. Read more

This LLM engages students in the practice and policy context of human rights law internationally.

The course offers students a wide range of human rights law courses taught by leading experts in their field. It includes interdisciplinary teaching and a unique International Human Rights clinical module which focuses on essential human rights lawyering skills, including oral and written advocacy (legal and policy), strategic litigation, fact-finding and development.

The course will be of interest to students and practitioners from a range of different fields including:

  • law
  • social policy
  • political science
  • public administration
  • development
  • history
  • international relationssocial sciences

Applicants for the LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) degree also have the option of registering for a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law and Human Rights. Students take 60 credits of taught masters’ modules from those on offer for the LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy). The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed over 9 months full-time or 18 months part-time. Those who wish to apply for the Diploma should contact  for application details.

This shorter programme may be attractive to legal professionals and others who may prefer not to make an initial commitment to a full master’s programme. Graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma may further progress their studies by completing a 15,000 word research dissertation and graduating with a Masters in Law (LLM).  

Credits

Students complete 90 credits over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. Students take 55 credits of compulsory modules and choose 35 credits from the list of optional modules. 

Please visit the School of Law website here for up to date information on the programme. 

Programme regulations are available in the College Calendar 

Please see the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Course Practicalities

LLM classes are in seminar format. This participative and interactive format of teaching is suitable for postgraduate level.

You will receive advance reading lists and/or materials for each seminar.

Seminars take place in two-hour blocks between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. 10 credit modules run for 12 weeks and 5 credit modules run for 6 weeks.

Assessment

You will be examined by continuous assessment throughout the year and your dissertation must be submitted in September. Individual module assessments can be viewed in the Book of Modules.

Who teaches this course?

The School of Law has many expert and committed lecturers with expertise across a wide range of areas. For a full listing of academic staff, see here 

Why choose this course

This course is of relevance to legal practitioners, policy makers and civil society actors across a range of fields. You will benefit from a series of guest seminars and workshops with key actors in the human rights movement.

It will provide you with the skills and qualification necessary to pursue an international career with international organisations, governments, UN bodies, European Human Rights bodies and in legal practice. The course includes a unique International Human Rights clinic core module.

Students engage in the practice and policy context of human rights law and also focus on essential human rights lawyering skills, including: oral and written advocacy (legal and policy)strategic litigationfact-finding and development.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will be supported in applying for and securing internships and placements internationally and nationally in the field of human rights. The School of Law has an active summer placement course and excellent links with international organizations, public bodies and NGOs.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this course have pursued careers with international organisations, in legal practice, in policy bodies and in aid and development. Testimonials from UCC law students/graduates http://www.ucc.ie/en/law-postgrad/studentprofiles/careersinhumanrightslaw/



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This course is suitable for. Read more
This course is suitable for: solicitors and barristers in private practice and in-house; activists; campaigners and researchers involved in human rights issues; those working in organisations with public functions and who need to comply with human rights obligations; as well as human rights professionals in the UN and other international organisations and NGOs and those with an interest in Human Rights Law.
•Informa
This course is delivered in partnership with Informa Professional Academy, an organisation dedicated to working with leading academic bodies to provide high-calibre and well respected distance learning postgraduate courses
•Develop your own personal pathway
This course combines one core module with a diverse range of optional modules
•Study at your own pace
Enjoy flexible distance learning, with the option to exit at one of several points with a postgraduate award
•Differentiate yourself in the job market
Gain a competitive edge by increasing your knowledge of human rights law
•Boost your employability
Improve your career and employability options in a globalised job market

[[ Module choices:]]

International Human Rights Law – explores the birth of international human rights thinking and the struggle to balance competing rights. You will also examine the international legal system and human rights legal system

You will also select elective modules which might include:
•Social Justice & Human Rights
•International Child Law
•European Convention on Human Rights
•International Humanitarian Law
•International Law
•Negotiated Study
•Freedom of Religion, and the Rights of Minorities in International Law
•Gender & Sexuality in International Law
•The Protection of Refugees in International Law

Dissertation
You must also undertake a dissertation, providing an invaluable opportunity to work in depth on a particular aspect of the law. You will need to apply and enhance your technical knowledge and critical awareness in a subject of your choice. In order to obtain the LLM in International Human Rights Law your dissertation must have an international human rights theme.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

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This engaging Masters degree combines two highly-relevant and challenging areas of legal study and explores the interplay between them. Read more

This engaging Masters degree combines two highly-relevant and challenging areas of legal study and explores the interplay between them. It provides you with an international perspective and is taught by the research-active academics based in our prestigious Law School. It is your opportunity to engage with teaching staff who are working at the forefront of international research into these fascinating legal and socio-legal issues.

Our Law School is home to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice; these influential centres underpin our postgraduate teaching, which is research-led and research-informed.

There are two pathways for the LLM, both of which enable you to pursue your own interests:

  • Studying five modules and completing a 20,000 word dissertation
  • Studying six modules and completing a 15,000 word dissertation

Your core modules are International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Terrorism and the Law, and the LLM Dissertation. The modules in International Law and International Human Rights Law will address key questions such as how international laws protect, govern and define your human rights and inter-state relationships. You will evaluate the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights protected through international instruments and explore the way that international law is used to shape the world in which we live.

International Terrorism and the Law explores concepts relating to civil liberties, international law, criminal justice and human rights as you consider one of the greatest global challenges to peace, stability and security.

The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing. The topic will link to a key legal question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the legal and academic community with new, original research and writing. A dissertation supervisor will provide you with support and introduce you to relevant legal material and research; their personal research interests will closely align with your chosen topic wherever possible.

We pride ourselves on the choice and breadth of elective modules available, offering you access to sought-after expertise in high-demand areas and growing fields such as The Rights of Peoples, Law and Global Health, International Criminal Law, Gender, Sexualities and Human Rights, and International Environmental Law.

Our teaching approach is international in scope and comparative by nature, and we actively encourage you to build a beneficial network of academics, peers and alumni during your time with us. All of this will help you to broaden your experience, deepen your understanding, and prepare for your next step.

Your postgraduate LLM degree opens doors to a huge range of careers. You will develop the skills required to critically evaluate cutting-edge research; skills which are highly prized by employers both here in the UK and overseas. The analytical and communications skills developed through your studies are a real boost in any sector. The LLM is also an ideal stepping stone to PhD study and academia.

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.

Assessment

Coursework and dissertation



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When human rights are violated by a particular state, is it more effective to use the national, regional or international human rights protection mechanisms to address the issue? And what mechanism will probably be most effective in addressing specific types of human rights violations?. Read more

When human rights are violated by a particular state, is it more effective to use the national, regional or international human rights protection mechanisms to address the issue? And what mechanism will probably be most effective in addressing specific types of human rights violations?

What does this master's programme entail?

Human rights are at risk in all societies. Though various national, regional and international laws and treaties have been developed to protect the human rights of all people, some laws are more effective than others in particular situations. In this programme, you will compare the functionality of different protection mechanisms that are currently in place. You will also learn how to apply them successfully in different political, social and cultural settings.

Reasons to choose European and International Human Rights Law at Leiden University?

As a student of the European and International Human Rights Law Advanced Studies programme, you will benefit from:

  1. Expert instructors: In addition to learning from the expertise of our academic staff, you will participate in lectures, masterclasses and workshops given by renowned human rights experts working for the UN, the EU, NGOs or other organisations.
  2. Life-changing work: You will learn how to develop your own voice to speak for people in the world who may have otherwise been silenced. You will become an effective advocate for restoring the basic rights and fundamental freedoms that are inherent to all human beings.
  3. Excellent reputation: Leiden Law School has an excellent reputation in human rights research and education.

Is European and International Human Rights Law the right programme for you?

Would you like to actively work to protect the rights of people across the globe? Are you interested in applying your knowledge of human rights law to real-world political, social and legal settings? Then this is the programme for you. You should also have a sufficient background in law.



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This masters of law programme is designed to help students become experts in the areas of International Law that directly concern the human person - International Criminal Law & International Human Rights Law - whilst mastering the discipline of International Law of which they are part. Read more

This masters of law programme is designed to help students become experts in the areas of International Law that directly concern the human person - International Criminal Law & International Human Rights Law - whilst mastering the discipline of International Law of which they are part. In addition to the foundational courses in Legal Research Methods and Public International Law, students will be required to study International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law and write a dissertation on a topic within the International Criminal Law or International Human Rights Law. The remaining courses can be chosen from a range of relevant options.

Through carefully designed course work and varied teaching approaches, students will acquire the intellectual open-ness, technical expertise and critical thinking abilities that are necessary for effectiveness in a globalising world. The programme will equip students to respond effectively to the wide range of intellectual and professional challenges facing those working on legal issues concerning the human person in International Law. The LLM in International Law (specialising in International Criminal Law & International Human Rights Law) will equip them to deal with both case work and policy making.



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Our LLM International Human Rights Law is the oldest established human rights law course in Europe, and reflects our University’s global reputation as the leading centre for human rights research, practice and education. Read more
Our LLM International Human Rights Law is the oldest established human rights law course in Europe, and reflects our University’s global reputation as the leading centre for human rights research, practice and education. In 2009 the University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its excellence in the advancement of human rights.

We provide an advanced conceptual understanding of the international law on the promotion and protection of human rights, at the international, regional and national level, informed by the latest practice and scholarship.

Our course sets international human rights law in its philosophical and historical contexts, enabling you to understand international human rights law as it applies in various situations including states of emergency or acute crises, development and transition.

At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. We are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014), and we are ranked among the top 200 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2017] for law.

We attract some of the most experienced and academically qualified students from around the world, and we aim to produce graduates who will be leaders in the field of international human rights law as advocates, field officers, legal advisers or researchers with governments and international and non-governmental organisations.

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