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Human Rights LLM

Course Description

Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Human Rights at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

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!

Student Profiles

100 Swansea University Master's Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Swansea University is offering 100 Master’s Scholarships, each worth £3000 towards tuition fees for UK/EU students starting eligible master’s courses in September 2017.Eligible courses include:All LLM programmes (including LLM by Research)All MA programmes (including MA by Research)All MRes programmesAll MSc programmes (including MSc by Research)Please note that MPhil, GDL/CPE and LPC programmes are not eligible for the Swansea University Master’s Scholarship scheme.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must have, or expect to achieve, a minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent).You must hold an offer to study on an eligible master’s course at Swansea University from September 2017. Programmes commencing in January, April and July 2017 are not eligible.

Application Procedure

Please visit our website for more details on how to apply.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Human Rights LLM require a good initial degree in Law or cognate discipline. Candidates with relevant experience are also encouraged to apply. We welcome applications by prospective students from around the world and look for evidence of previous study that is equivalent to the entry requirements stated above. IELTS requirement of at least 6.5 with 6.0 in each component.

Course Fees

Please see our website for further details: View Website

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Recipient: Swansea University

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