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.
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.
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:
The compulsory modules studied will give you the opportunity to:
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.
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.
Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase your advanced legal research.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
As a student of the European and International Human Rights Law Advanced Studies programme, you will benefit from:
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.
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.
This MA examines contemporary issues concerning justice. You will learn how to conceptualise and study the possibilities of human rights, going beyond legal formulations to look at the conditions in which human rights claims are made.
Human rights mobilise millions of supporters across borders, inspiring passion and hope. And they operate at and between all the scales involved in globalisation: local, national, international, transnational. They are moral claims to justice. Although often associated with law, human rights are not the same as legal rights – human rights can be claimed where no legal rights are codified, even if changes in the law are invariably called for as part of attempts to realise human rights in practice.
Human rights are carried by different actors:
These different actors are often at odds with each other in defining and defending particular justifications of what human rights are and should be.
In this Masters you will learn about how human rights are constructed, exploring framings of human rights through case studies; and you will begin to practice some of the methodologies and methods that are currently used in NGOs and grassroots activist networks trying to remedy global injustices.
The focus on culture that runs through the programme makes for an emphasis on concrete, situated practices and meanings. Can human rights contribute to a global culture in which injustices figure as ‘wrongs’? Or are human rights invariably skewed, constructing injustices in ways that suit international elites better than they suit people who are suffering? Do human rights do violence to local cultures? Are they an appropriate response to local violence? In this MA we contextualise the study of how human rights are constructed in micro-processes, in the media and face-to-face in relation to debates over macro-structures, processes of globalisation and the institutions of global governance.
In terms of social justice, the MA is set up to study human rights beyond narrow, legalistic definitions. We look at what really makes a difference in terms of realising human rights in practice. Can human rights really be constructed in ways that challenge and overturn established social structures? Can rights be claimed in such a way that they can really protect us as human beings against the ‘creative destruction’ of global capitalism, state repression, the subjugation of women, and hatred and violence against minorities of all kinds – sexual, ethnic, religious?
This course covers the following disciplines: sociology, politics, anthropology, law, geography, english, literature, cultural studies, criminology
The MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice is taught in the Department of Sociology, where there are a number of people who are working on areas broadly related to human rights as well as directly on how human rights are constructed and claimed.
In the first part of the course you will take the core module ‘Constructing Human Rights’ in which you will be introduced to debates over the possibilities of human rights, different ways of conceiving culture and the role that is played by a diverse range of organisations involved in challenging injustices connected to globalisation. You will also consider practical attempts to realise human rights.
You will take two short, skills-oriented modules 'Researching Human Rights' and 'Organising Human Rights' in which you will be introduced to methods and skills that will be of direct practical use in working for NGOs (eg evaluating user engagement, team-building and decision-making through role play, tracing the media impact of a campaign).
In the second term, you will choose among a number of options. You can choose to take 'Practicing Human Rights' and make use of some of the skills you have learned in a placement. Students who choose this option find and negotiate a placement in an organisation or a grassroots campaign whose work can be related to human rights and attend a series of workshops that allow them to reflect on the practical work, on their professional skills and on the broader significance of their observations.
While the core modules of the programme are taught by lecturers in Sociology, you may choose your option modules from those that are run here or in other departments, including Politics, Media and Communications, and Anthropology.
Finally you will write a dissertation based on research you will carry out, possibly related to the NGO or network you have worked in, and making use of a range of concepts and methods taught in the Department. You will be supervised by someone with expertise and interest in the topic you are studying and the methodologies and methods you plan to use.
You will choose option modules worth 60 credits in Sociology, Media and Communications, the Centre for Cultural Studies, English and Comparative Literature, Anthropology, Politics, Music and Educational Studies.
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
As issues of globalisation and justice are frequently in the media, and government policy in the UK, US, and elsewhere in Europe is now supposed to be guided by considerations of humanitarianism and human rights, there is a need for graduates with knowledge of human rights.
There are openings for careers in organisations including charities, humanitarian and human rights NGOs and even multi-national corporations, many of which are now concerned with their image in terms of human rights.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.