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.
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.
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.
European System of Human Rights Protection (15 credits) 1 or 2
Foundations of International Human Rights Law (15 credits) 1 or 2
Theory and Practice of International Human Rights (15 credits) 1
Regional Systems of Human Rights Protection: America, Africa, Asia (15 credits) 1
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.