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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

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  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time; 2 years part-time; 3 years part-time

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  • Course Fees

    Please see our website for further details: website

  • Last Updated

    28 September 2017

Course content

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.


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.

Visit the Human Rights LLM page on the Swansea University website for more details!





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