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    Department of Law Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    LLM: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time PgDip: 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time PgCert: 8 months part-time

  • Course Type

    PgDip, LLM, PgCert

  • Course Fees


Why this course?

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.

You’ll study

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.

Field dissertation

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.

Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law

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.

Core module

You'll study the following core modules:

  • International Human Rights Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights Protection in the UK
  • International Migration Law

Compulsory module

  • Legal Research (LLM /PgDiploma only)

Optional 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:

  • LLM/MSc Criminal Justice & Penal Change
  • MSc Mediation & Conflict Resolution 
  • MSc/LLM International Relations, Law and Security
  • LLM in Internet Law & Policy
  • LLM in International Law & Sustainable Development

Learning & teaching

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:

  • Professor Alan Miller, Special Envoy of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and former Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Professor Tony Kelly, Summary Sheriff and solicitor-advocate with experience in high-profile human rights cases

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 

Visit the Human Rights Law LLM/PgDip/PgCert page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!





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