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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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
We hold regular research seminars, workshops and debates, which all students are welcome to attend.
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.
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:
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 Human Rights and the Environment examines the political, legal and human rights issues that shape and inform environmental protection and regulation. Jointly delivered by our prestigious Law School and the Lancaster Environment Centre, it enables you to explore the environmental aspects of the law and the legal regulation of the environment in the context of human rights.
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. The Lancaster Environment Centre, along with Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, is part of our world-leading Graduate School for the Environment. These influential centres underpin our postgraduate teaching and you will have access to the much sought-after expertise of academics working at the forefront of research into natural and social sciences, legal and socio-legal issues.
The pathway for the LLM ensures a balanced duality: Law School modules, LEC modules, and a 20,000 word dissertation, enable you to pursue your own interests whilst becoming practiced at looking at issues from different perspectives.
Your core modules are Perspectives on Environment and Development, Environmental Law or International Environmental Law, the LLM Dissertation, and one from International Human Rights Law, Rights of Peoples, or The Right to Adequate Food as a Human Right.
You will study a further elective module in Law and one from the Lancaster Environment Centre. We pride ourselves on the breadth of options available and you can focus on the human rights, legal, environmental and sustainability issues that most interest you. Elective modules include: Chemical Risk Assessment, Climate Change and Society, Environmental Justice, Air Pollution and Climate, Law and Global Health, International Law, European Union Law, and the Law of International Organisations and Institutions.
The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing. The topic will link to a key legal or environmental question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the academic community with new, original research and writing. A dissertation supervisor will provide you with support and introduce you to relevant research; their personal research interests will closely align with your chosen topic wherever possible.
Our teaching approach is international in scope and comparative by nature, and we actively encourage you to build a beneficial network of academics, peers and alumni during your time with us. All of this will help you to broaden your experience, deepen your understanding, and prepare for your next step.
Your postgraduate LLM degree opens doors to a huge range of careers. You will develop: the skills required to critically evaluate cutting-edge research; inter-disciplinary skills; and, analytical and communications skills. All of which are a real boost in any sector and highly prized by employers. The LLM is also an ideal stepping stone to PhD study and academia.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
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.
Coursework and dissertation