Birkbeck's School of Law is proud to offer this exciting and innovative Master’s programme, leading to the award of an LLM or MA Human Rights. The distinctive focus of the programme is on theoretically informed and multidisciplinary approaches to human rights. It is also practical, setting out the impact of human rights on business, with some case studies. It aims to expose you to a critical and contextual engagement with the subject. You will study human rights in their political, legal, sociological, anthropological and philosophical contexts.
Human rights has emerged as the dominant discourse through which political, social and economic challenges are articulated. Is the rise of human rights as emblem of resistance and political horizon a reflection of the exponential rise of human need and suffering, or is it a convenient means of deflecting more radical political demands and transformation? What are the mechanisms through which various crises are made intelligible through human rights? What about the convergence of human rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the implications of the growth of 'business and human rights' in international media? These are among the questions taken up in this programme.
You will be introduced to a wide variety of approaches to research across a range of disciplines, and to the theoretical frameworks for advanced legal scholarship. You will also take specialist courses, choosing from a wide range of subjects in the area of human rights.
The programme has close ties to a number of leading human rights NGOs and is informed by critical engagement with, and analysis of, human rights practice.
This programme will be attractive to those who wish to develop a career in the human rights field. It is especially aimed at more established participants in human rights practice across the spectrum of professional, NGO, governmental and inter-governmental activity, as well as CSR professionals in the private sector, who wish to take time to reflect and to deepen their understanding.
Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
Our new intensive programme is ideal if you are unable to follow a weekly course of study (for example, due to your work or family circumstances).
Designed for students who are interested in exploring in depth the major contemporary debates in human rights.
Unique programme, focusing on the study of human rights from a critical, contextual and multidisciplinary perspective.
The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
We use IT resources, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines, such as economics, politics and sociology. For example, it provides access to over 17,000 electronic journals, which are available online 24 hours a day. Find out more about our teaching and learning resources.
You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.
Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.