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LLM in International Human Rights Law & Practice

Course Description

The key paradox of international human rights law is that the recent proliferation of treaties and adjudicative bodies has not significantly diminished serious human rights abuses.
The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice engages students in a critical and nuanced examination of this paradox, while providing them with the practical skills necessary to apply global norms at the local level.

Why study International Human Rights at York?

The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice provides the knowledge, skills and networks necessary for mid-career professionals and recent graduates to work in the human rights field. The LLM is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis.
Our LLM is distinctive because students:
*Work on real human rights issues, which gives practical skills, hands-on experience and improved job prospects
*Get the opportunity to work alongside human rights defenders during a two-week field visit to Malaysia or placement in York
*Learn from international human rights defenders based at the Centre
*Explore how international human rights law interacts with national public policy in various states

LLM structure

Three core modules cover international human rights law, policy and advocacy. Optional CAHR modules cover several topical issues through a human rights lens: culture, migration, and post-conflict justice.
The programme requires you to undertake a placement with human rights organisations in Malaysia or the UK. This is an important part of the degree programme and will develop your practical skills and provide hands-on experience, both of which will prepare you for working in this field and improve your career prospects.
The LLM is taught in weekly lectures and seminars covering specific case studies and including skills training on oral presentations, advocacy, report writing, and memos.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules reflect the three sides to human rights activism: law, policy and practice.
*Defending human rights (40 credits; terms 1-2)
*Applying international human rights law (20 credits; term 1)
*International human rights law and advocacy (20 credits; term 1)
*Dissertation (60 credits; terms 3-4)

Optional modules

In the second term students will be able to take two options.
Four optional modules taught by Centre staff will explore areas where rights are being used in new and innovative ways. Students may take also choose optional modules taught by other departments, from the list below.

Optional modules taught at CAHR
*Asylum, migration and trafficking
*Culture and protest
*Truth, justice and reparations after violence

Optional modules taught at the York Law School
*Corporate responsibility and law
*Financial citizenship and social justice
*Legal clinics in context: street law and law reform (Partly taught by CAHR staff)

Optional modules taught in other departments
*Conflict and development (Politics)
*Contemporary issues in toleration (Politics)
*Critical perspectives on the criminal justice system (Sociology)
*Global governance (Politics)
*Globalisation and social policy (Social Policy and Social Work)
*Governing for the environment (Politics)
*Law and social control (Sociology)
*Peace agreements: ending intra-state conflicts (Politics)
*Teaching and learning citizenship and global education (Education)
*Women, citizenship and conflict (Centre for Women's Studies)


A key part of the LLM is exposing students to the practice of international human rights law at the domestic level. Thus students have the opportunity to pursue a placement and related project with our NGO partners in Malaysia and York. The fieldwork takes place over a two week period in November-December in either Kuala Lumpur or York. The placements give students the experience of conducting a field mission and an opportunity to do research, interviews, monitoring, and advocacy.

LLM Career Paths

Our LLM provides students with the necessary skills to find good jobs with human rights NGOs, humanitarian organisations, charities, policy think-tanks, national governments, and UN agencies.

Visit the LLM in International Human Rights Law & Practice page on the University of York website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree with honors (2:1 or higher, or its equivalent). Some academic study or practical experience of law is desirable though not required.

Course Fees

2016/17 Home/EU: £6,650; Overseas: £15,680

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Recipient: University of York

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