The course is aimed at law graduates wanting to work in the field of human rights as legal practitioners, policy or development work or as human rights advocates. It provides students with the legal human rights attributes to work locally or internationally.
During the course you cover • human rights law • conventions • policy and theory • principles of human rights and social justice • advanced case studies in international human rights and social justice • legal scholarship in human rights • project management for human rights (optional).
You gain skills in • legal application and understanding of human rights principles and law • critical appraisal of human rights legalisation in the UK and internationally • problem solving • practical application and realisation of human rights in practice.
Key features of the course include opportunities to
You also benefit from
You can also complete a dissertation based on a topic of your choice, enabling you to specialise in an area of interest.
On the course you gain transferable skills and develop knowledge of human rights, social justice theories and legal practice. This prepares you to work in
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.
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
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).
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
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
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
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.
This programme offers graduates in law and other disciplines, or those with relevant professional qualifications, the opportunity to develop a detailed understanding of human rights law at UK, European and international levels.
The programme is intended to provide invaluable training and insights for those who have either a professional or academic interest in an evolving human rights culture.
There are three potential exit points from the course: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters. Assuming satisfactory performance, it's possible to change between these exit points. For example, a student who initially registers for the certificate may opt to continue studying to the Diploma or Masters qualification; likewise, a student originally registered for the Masters can transfer to the Certificate or Diploma.
The Human Rights Law programme may be completed or over one year (full-time) or over two years (part-time).
The LLM is awarded on successful completion of six modules and a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor.
Successful completion of six modules will qualify you for the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip). A Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) is awarded on completion of three modules.
The dissertation is written over the summer and submitted in August or September.
An innovative feature of this programme is the opportunity for a select number of students to undertake a field dissertation within a governmental or non-governmental organisation with an international focus (currently our focus is on providing placements in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia). LLM students have travelled to countries such as India, Peru, and Guatemala to undertake projects in areas including right to water, law reform, developing sexual harassment policy and freedom of assembly.
This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis and typically lasts for up to 12 weeks. It's delivered through our partnership with Challenges Worldwide, an organisation with extensive international experience in volunteer work placements.
Work completed for the placement will focus on a specific area of law relevant to, or actually form the subject of, your dissertation.
The University provides comprehensive travel and health insurance for all participants in the Field Dissertation. We also pay for the costs of your placement. Students are responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have been in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student.
The Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law (CSHRL) is a hub for human rights law teaching, research and knowledge exchange. The CSHRL holds events and undertakes collaborative initiatives. We have strong links with a number of other universities in Scotland, and with a number of non-academic organisations.
As a student here, we will support you to become involved with the work of the Centre. We aim to facilitate interaction between students and staff, involve students in the work of the CSHRL and provide administrative support for events proposed by students.
One of the initiatives supported by the CSHRL is the LLM in Human Rights Law dissertation prize. The author of the highest-ranking dissertation in a year will receive a prize and be invited to attend the Law School’s annual prize-giving event. Visit the Centre’s homepage for news, including of previous prize-winning dissertations.
Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series, houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.
You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information sources which can be accessed from anywhere, including all the major legal databases.
You'll study the following core modules:
You'll undertake one optional module (LLM /PgDiploma only) which will be available from a timetable at the start of the second semester, including both daytime and evening modules. You may choose a class from other Law Masters programmes and/or relevant classes from non-law Masters programmes. Choices include modules such as Cybercrime or Business and Human Rights from:
This course is taught mainly through face-to-face teaching. Each class is delivered through two-hour weekly seminars, which students are required to attend.
Full-time students are required to take three modules per semester, with part-time students taking three modules over two semesters. The face-to-face seminars will normally be held in the evening from 6pm to 8pm. A few classes may be held during the day. Although coordinated by a module leader, these will be student-led and interactive.
The teaching and extracurricular activities on the LLM are supported by the Law School’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights.
In addition to regular Law School staff, external staff teach on the programme including:
Both are visiting professors in the Law School. The Faculty includes experts in migration, policing and security, family law, Scottish and UK constitutional law, equality, employment and labour law.
Classes will be assessed by a mixture of written exams, presentations and course work comprising research essays, typically of 3,500-4,000 words
The LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights draws on the established research excellence of the Transitional Justice Institute to deliver a world-leading masters programme in the field.
This programme has been developed to enable students to:
The Transitional Justice Institute in Northern Ireland is uniquely placed to deliver an effective and stimulating programme of study in this area. Key highlights of the programme include:
Attendance is compulsory for successful completion of the LLM. Modules are delivered through weekly half-day classes or fortnightly full-day classes.
The Transitional Justice Institute works closely with a range of human rights organisations that regularly offer internship opportunities to our LLM students – including the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Consortium, Law Centre (NI) and Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM).
Successful completion of the LLM
Previous graduates have gone onto positions in the local human rights sector and public sector in Northern Ireland, to legal practice in areas related to the LLM and to PhD research. Further, previous graduates have secured work in the United Nations and in international non-governmental organisations.
You develop a very clear understanding about human rights law and how it affects a range of different areas of life. This is a specialist programme focusing purely on human rights from the Geneva Convention of 1949 to additional protocols of 1977 and each country interpretation and their justification in the use of force. You look at recent force in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. You also look at the protection of natural resources globally and how human rights law has shaped politics. Careers can be within legal professions in defending the rights of others, diplomacy and negotiation at international level, civil service, government, NGOs and more.
You study social and economic rights and conflicts within education, health, housing, and family with options to study International Human Rights Law. The programme makes you highly employable within this specialism.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about international fees:
Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
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