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Masters Degrees (International Human Rights Law)

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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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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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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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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 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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The LLM in International Human Rights Law offers the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of the history and theoretical underpinnings of international human rights, international and regional human rights systems, and the practical application of human rights norms in a range of contexts. Read more
The LLM in International Human Rights Law offers the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of the history and theoretical underpinnings of international human rights, international and regional human rights systems, and the practical application of human rights norms in a range of contexts.

This course combines rigorous legal education with a contemporary and global perspective and is ideally suited to students from a law, history, politics, or other social sciences background.

It is designed to provide the specialist skills and in-depth knowledge that will be attractive to employers in the areas of international legal practice and international development as well as those who intend to pursue careers in international governmental and non-governmental organisations.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/llm-in-international-human-rights-law/

Why choose this course?

- It enables you to specialise in areas such as international criminal law, the laws of armed conflict, humanitarian intervention and post-conflict reconstruction, international development and globalisation, refugee and migrant law, and the promotion and application of human rights as part of legal reform in the developing world.

- It is ideal for those who intend to pursue careers in international governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as in government and academic posts. Recent graduates from this course have gained positions in international organisations, such as UNICEF.

- You can enhance your CV and career prospects by developing specialisations that go beyond the standard human rights law subjects of a LLB or other law degree.

- Your course tutors, fellow students and alumni are drawn from countries around the world giving you the opportunity to build a truly international network of contacts.

- All members of the LLM course team are active researchers and encourage students to become involved in their respective areas of research by teaching specialist modules in which they have expertise and by supervising dissertations in their specialist subjects.

- Special support is provided for international students, particularly those whose first language is not English, to ensure that they find their feet quickly and are able to participate fully.

- The 2015 Times/ Sunday Times Good University Guide places the School of Law at Oxford Brookes in the top 30 of all the UK’s university Law Schools.

- You will benefit from a range of teaching and learning strategies, from case studies to interactive seminars, presentations and moots.

- Oxford has much to offer lawyers and as one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across a range of international law topics within the University, the city of Oxford and in nearby London.

Teaching and learning

A wide diversity of teaching methods are employed throughout the LLM courses in order to provide a high-quality learning experience. These include lectures, seminar discussions, individual and small group tutorials, case studies, and group and individual presentations.

Particular emphasis is placed on skills training, with opportunities provided to acquire and practice legal reasoning as well as research and IT skills. Assessment methods include coursework and individual and group presentations.

All the members of the LLM course team are active researchers and encourage students to become involved in their respective areas of research by teaching specialist modules in which they have expertise and by supervising dissertations in their specialist subjects.

Careers

Graduates from the LLM succeed across an impressive range of careers from policy makers and human rights activists through to high flying diplomats and commercial lawyers. LLM staff can advise you and direct you to possible careers and employers depending on your particular needs and ambitions.

"I have joined a corporate law team at a leading multinational law firm in Beijing, thanks to my LLM."
- LLM Alumna, Lin Zheng

- Pursuing an academic career in law
Research is fundamental to the Law School - one of the reasons we performed so well in the latest REF. Your own interests will be reflected in the modules you choose and many students feel moved to continue their academic studies and become specialists themselves. Several former LLM students have chosen to become researchers, publishing and lecturing on their work and graduating to do a PhD.

"The grounding that I now have in international law has allowed me to take on work that I would not previously have been qualified for. For example, I am currently developing a programme of litigation on the issue of counter-terrorism and human rights for an international organisation. I have lectured at Harvard Law School and been invited to contribute to an edited volume produced by Harvard."
- LLM Alumnus Richard Carver, Associate Lecturer and Human Rights Consultant

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

Professor Peter Edge researches in the interaction of religion and law, and the law of small jurisdictions including International Finance Centres. Recent projects exploring these at the transnational level have included a study of foreign lawyers working in small jurisdictions, and a comparative study of the status of ministers of religion in employment law. Past PhD students have worked on projects such as a comparison of the European Convention on Human Rights and Shariah, and a comparative study of how criminal law treats religion.

Professor Lucy Vickers’ research into the religious discrimination at work has led to consultancy work for Equality and Human Rights Commission, as well invitations to speak at United Nations with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Sonia Morano-Foadi, interviewed and quoted in The Economist, secured £12,000 from the European Science Foundation to fund exploratory work into the effects of EU directives on migration and asylum.

Professor Ilona Cheyne has been invited to participate in the EU COST group on 'Fragmentation, Politicisation and Constitutionalisation of International Law', working on standards of review in international courts and tribunals.

Research areas and clusters

Oxford Brookes academics are at the forefront of a wide range of internationally recognised and world-leading research and projects. In the 2014 REF 96% of the School of Law’s research was internationally recognised. The LLM course team consists of researchers working within the International Law and Fundamental Rights and Equality research groups. LLM students can attend the programmes of research seminars and other events that underpin the research culture of the School of Law.

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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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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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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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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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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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Your programme of study. The General Law programme at Aberdeen is one of the best programmes in terms of scope and areas of interest you can choose to study at advanced level. Read more

Your programme of study

The General Law programme at Aberdeen is one of the best programmes in terms of scope and areas of interest you can choose to study at advanced level. If your first degree was in a specific area of law there is nothing preventing you from choosing another area of law completely or a complementary area. You could study environmental law areas such as oil and gas law, energy and environmental law, low carbon energy transition with further environmental regulation. If you are more interested in criminal law you could look at Criminology, the politics of human rights, humanitarian law.  If you are more interested in business you might choose international law, intellectual property law, world trade organisation or for business with a creative aspect you might think about specialist in cultural property issues or law for business and arts and museums law.  There are many possible mixes of these general areas of law you might want to explore. Employment possibilities are huge from this range of areas of law and include all notable areas to practise law and careers within the legal profession to welfare sectors such as employment, business, HR and finance.

Law careers

You may become a Barrister if you wish to represent people at High Court and Magistrates court to put legal argument forward for decision. You could start off as a legal executive to later qualify as a solicitor with further training or after a number of years experience you may wish to become a judge. If you want some work experience you could become a court usher. Other careers include a Paralegal. This role undertakes much of a lawyers role in drafting documents, meetings and contracts.  If you decide your law degree is useful for other areas you may look at Civil Service careers, become a politician, work in the police, city, or teach.

This programme is ideal if you want to be a generalist to an advanced level rather than a specialist in a specific area of law. You develop your analysis and research skills and you have the option of wide ranging courses to choose from which stretches your intellectual thinking capabilities in a top 10 School of Law (Complete University Guide 2018)

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

Compulsory

  • Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship

Optional (4 courses 2 in Semester 1 and 2)

  • International Energy and Environmental Law
  • Oil and Minerals for Good
  • Low Carbon Energy Transition: Renewable Energy Law
  • International Law: A Time of Challenges
  • The Politics of Human Rights
  • Oil and Gas Law
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Commercial Arbitration In the Asia Pacific
  • Private International Law: Concepts and Institutions
  • Issues in Criminal Justice
  • World Trade Organisation: Gatt
  • Comparative Contract Law for International Transactions
  • International Intellectual Property: Frameworks and Challenges
  • International Criminal Law
  • Copyright and Patents
  • Private International Law - Jurisdiction, Recognition and Enforcement

Semester 2

Optional

  • Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art and Museums
  • Principles of Environmental Regulation
  • Choice of Law for Business
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Low Carbon Energy Transition: Nuclear Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Criminal Evidence and Proof
  • Criminal Law
  • The use of Force in International Law
  • Trade Marks and Brand Development
  • International Trade and Finance Law
  • Private International Law of Family Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Carriage of Goods By Sea
  • Oil and Gas Law: Taxation of Upstream
  • Downstream Energy Law
  • Commercialising Innovation and Law
  • Commercial Tax Law and Policy
  • International Investment Law and Arbitration in the Energy Sector

Semester 3

  • Dissertation

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You are taught by a School of Law ranked 10th in the UK (The Complete University Guide 2018). The University has been teaching and researching law since the Middle Ages.
  • You develop skills which are vital to the legal profession in a highly personalised environment with high contact from your lecturers.
  • You get a great range of options which you can tailor to your own requirements and build upon your undergraduate degree and experience to widen your career options, and you can take your qualifications further with programmes such as International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • January or September

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs

You may be interested in:



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Human Rights at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Human Rights at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

Environmental changes, ageing populations, the media and new technologies, asylum and migration, intergenerational justice, complex multilevel governance arrangements, the impact of trade and investment, poverty and inequalities, the rise of identity politics and the changing nature of the personal sphere are contemporary global challenges facing human rights calling into question the fundamental tenets of human rights law both in terms of its formulation and implementation through policy development and law-making.

Differentiated from existing LLMs, the LLM Human Rights explicitly focuses on these contemporary challenges and how best to respond to them though law, policy and practice. The Human Rights programme draws on the research strengths in the College of Law and Criminology, but also from other colleges, in its teaching; and, exploits strong relationships with external partners to integrate a distinctive applied focus to the Human Rights programme.

Key Features

Students pursuing the LLM Human Rights will benefit from a programme designed around high calibre research and impact in human rights. Human Rights students will also benefit from academics' strong relationships with external partners working in the field of human rights, giving the programme a distinctive approach centred on the implementation and application of human rights.

The focus on implementation and practice in human rights is complemented by a multidisciplinary approach. Human rights policy and practice often do not recognise disciplinary divides. The Human Rights programme allows students to experience teaching from other disciplines to enhance their knowledge and understanding of human rights as an integrated project (e.g. politics and international development).

Uniquely the Human Rights programme addresses diverse challenges in human rights faced by law and policy, and by practitioners at the global, regional, State and sub-State levels. The approach focuses on how these challenges might be effectively managed through law and policy. The Human Rights programme offers:

- The opportunity and choice to address a range of human rights topics and challenges across a number of thematic areas, with teaching by expert researchers in the field.

- A multidisciplinary approach reflecting the reality of human rights in practice.

- A practical and practice focused philosophy.

Modules

The LLM Human Rights is a modular programme, with students required to accumulate 180 credits to graduate. In appropriate circumstances a student may graduate with a merit or distinction. Each programme is divided into two parts:

Part I consists of 3 taught modules, each 20 credits. Students will be required to undertake 2 compulsory modules, these are: International Human Rights Law and Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention. Students are also required to select 1 further optional 20 credit taught module from a range of available modules (see below for examples optional modules).

Part II gives students a choice of 3 optional modules, each 20 credits, from a range of available modules (see below for examples optional modules).

Students of LLM in Human Rights are also required to undertake a dissertation, which contributes 60 credits.

The following are examples of modules offered to Human Rights students (modules available for selection will be dependent on contingencies, e.g. whether a module leader is in study leave).

Human Rights and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability

Trade, Investment and Human Rights

Human Rights and the Media

Human Rights and Family Law

Human Rights and Identities

Accountability for Human Rights Implementation

Impact Assessment and Human Rights

Children’s Human Rights

Human Rights and Poverty

Human Rights, Migration and Human Trafficking

Human Rights and Criminal Justice

Human Rights and Terrorism on-line

Human Rights and Medical Law

Human Rights and Employment

Extra-curricular Activities

Throughout their studies Human Rights students are provided with the opportunity to take part in a number of extra-curricular activities to enhance their practical understanding of human rights. These include:

Guest lectures by expert practitioners in human rights.

Workplace learning through voluntary work and/or placement.

Involvement in collaborative research projects with research partners.

Engagement with the College’s projects focussed on practical implementation and impact from research (e.g. Cyberterrorism Project, Wales Observatory, Centre for Environment, and the Sex Work Consortium).

Careers and Employability

The LLM Human Rights will open the door to a range of careers, including:

- Human rights institutions: increasingly international and regional human rights institutions are seeking to support, monitor and influence State policy and social arrangements. Potential graduate destinations include: the United Nations and the Council of Europe as well as other regional institutions.

- The public sector, including government at all levels. Potential graduate destinations include: civil service, regional, national and sub-national government, local authorities and other public bodies, and, political and policy advice work.

- The private sector: human rights are increasingly the concern of the private sector in the realm of socially responsible capitalism. Potential graduate destinations include: global business (including institutions such as the World Bank); the business sector (from large scale business such as the banking sector, to smaller concerns seeking to appeal to the ethical consumer).

- The NGO sector: non-governmental agencies are well-established stakeholders in human rights. Potential graduate destinations include: international NGOS (e.g. UNICEF); regional or local level NGOS.

- Research and academia: research on human rights is a well-established concern for academia.

The LLM Human Rights enhances student employability as:

- The Human Rights programme ranges across a broad spectrum of human rights topics relevant to law, policy and practice and encourages a practical approach in these areas.

- Students will have the opportunity to engage with projects providing opportunity for hands-on experience of human rights research as well as dissemination to support practical application.

- The Human Rights programme offers a range of work place learning opportunities.

- Entrepreneurial skills will be developed by encouraging students to contribute ideas to project work and project activities.



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Can a church be attacked if a sniper hid in the tower during an armed conflict? Having the Polish nationality, being tortured in a Thai prison, what rights do you have? Can you invoke them and how?. Read more
Can a church be attacked if a sniper hid in the tower during an armed conflict? Having the Polish nationality, being tortured in a Thai prison, what rights do you have? Can you invoke them and how?

Human rights are of all times and places, they are just not recognized everywhere, nor interpreted the same in all countries. There are several human rights systems in place and, in some cases, it can leave victims and their lawyers in a situation where they have to choose which forum to go to or which system to choose to seek their justice.

In this programme, you will be trained in human rights at the international level, but also in international humanitarian law and other related fields of (international) law. You will learn about the different systems and how human rights are interpreted within these systems and in different countries.

Why in Groningen?

This programme offers a broad approach to human rights. It is therefore a specialization in the broadest sense: it covers all aspects in and surrounding human rights. This will provide students with a context in which human rights function.

Job perspectives

A (legal) career in doing human rights assignments in governmental institutions and ministries, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, internationally operating enterprises and academic institutions.

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