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Course content

About the course

The LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides a comprehensive overview of international law and how it works in the contemporary world. The course balances the academic with the urgently practical – for example, combining the necessarily comprehensive detail of human rights legislation in conflict with the harsh reality of the threat posed to human rights by the same conflict. Other modules will tackle significant issues such as the ‘victory’ of democracy on the international stage and the ideological change that has shifted it in the West from a system of government to 'the only route to ensure peace and prosperity’ in places like the Middle East.

An important part of the course is the writing of a detailed dissertation within the specialism of your choice. This is your opportunity to select a project topic which has a direct bearing on your professional life. Previous LLM students at Aberystwyth have found this opportunity to be invaluable in establishing a successful career.

The course will be particularly attractive to those seeking a career in government departments, international organisations, humanitarian and human rights advocacy, business organisations, international law firms and a range of non-governmental organisations.

The Department of Law and Criminology recently participated in the Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 96.5% of publications submitted were of of an internationally recognised standard and that 98% of research activity in the department was rated as internationally recognised.

This degree will suit you:

• If you want to study an area of law with urgent contemporary significance and practical relevance
• If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of legal responses to humanitarian and human rights issues
• If you wish to nurture a legal career within government, non-governmental or corporate structures
• If you desire skills highly sought-after in any postgraduate workplace

Course content

Core modules:

Dissertation
International Human Rights Law
International Humanitarian Law
Philosophy of Human Rights Protection
Public International Law

Optional modules:

Climate Change Law and Policy
Contemporary Issues in Food Policy and Law
Criminology of International Conflict Personnel
Human Rights, Environment and International Business
Law and Gender

Assessment

Assessment takes the form of; research proposals including a related bibliographic element, case studies, oral assessments and essays. Each student will complete a master’s dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words which deals with an area of chosen study in the third semester.

Employability

Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your LLM will place you in the jobs market as a rigorous legal professional armed with impressive expertise in the latest legal developments in the field of Human Rights and Humanitarian law. In addition, this course will help you to master key skills that are required in almost every postgraduate workplace. You will be pushed to improve your approaches to planning, analysis and presentation so that you can tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence, making you a highly-desirable candidate for a career in government, non-governmental and corporate contexts alike.

Study skills

You will learn to quickly assemble, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal data regarding Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and you will refine your professional practices by engagement with multiple case studies. You will learn how to deploy your knowledge to assert your expertise and build your legal case. These skills in analysis and discourse, supported by your mastery of rigorous methodologies, will stand you in good stead for any professional workplace.

Self-motivation and discipline

Studying at LLM level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable skills

The LLM programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within timeframes and to specific deadlines.

Visit the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law - LLM page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

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