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Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights

Course Description

The Universe of Human Rights

Aims and objectives

We aim at providing you with the scientific knowledge and the practical skills to work as a human rights expert in different professional environments.

Target group

We welcome students with at least a bachelor degree in a broad variety of academic disciplines from all world regions, with an open mind, empathy for human beings and a strong interest to experience the fascinating world of human rights.


We offer an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to human rights, with a strong emphasis on practice. We keep the class size small in order to provide you with the best possible support, so you can get the most out of the programme. Your interests are taken very seriously – you have the opportunity to determine certain contents of your courses.

Semester overview
Semester 1: Courses introducing human rights, its mechanisms and its interdisciplinarity
Semester 2: Courses focusing on specific human rights and specific groups
Semester 3: Internship / research placement
Semester 4: Simulation of a human rights body's session and thesis writing

Overview of the Modules
a) Introduction to Human Rights from an Interdisciplinary Perspective (7 ECTS)
b) International and Regional Human Rights Systems (16 ECTS)
c) Current Human Rights Issues from an Interdisciplinary Perspective (21 ECTS)
d) Selected Human Rights and Human Rights of Specific Groups (10 ECTS)
e) Practical Human Rights Skills (6 ECTS)
f) Scientific Competence (5 ECTS)
g) Internship Related Courses (30 ECTS)

A detailed desription of the Modules is available here:

Our philosophy

As equal members of the interdisciplinary Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights, staff and students of the University of Vienna we welcome all academic disciplines and all cultures.

We are dedicated to supporting and maintaining a community in which the universal principles of human rights are shared through the common enterprise of intellectual curiosity and research as well as of the translation of the acquired knowledge into action for the betterment of the human rights situation.

Spirit and Culture of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights
We strive for a sense of community in which the individual growth of all members is advanced through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding.
The Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights values and encourages individuality while also affirming the community dimensions of academic life. Our human rights community shall provide a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the freedoms of other fellow students, teaching staff and the academic management team of this Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights.
The Master Programme is committed to honest, open, and equitable engagement with all, while respecting differences in religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, abilities and needs among others. We seek to promote an academic and social environment that in its diversity is integral to the educational purposes of the institution, by engaging in team building exercises, study trips and workshops while cultivating an open culture of communication.


We offer you a broad variety of courses taught by university professors and academic lecturers from various disciplines as well as human rights practitioners working in international organisations, human rights institutes, the corporate sector, development agencies and civil society organisations.

Field trip

We provide you with an enlightening and memorable field experience in the post-conflict situation in Kosovo, where the UN, the OSCE, the EU, NATO and other international organisations are jointly operating an international administration with a strong human rights mandate. The trip will last for one week where you stay with a local family and get the opportunity to have lively discussions about Kosovo's human rights issues with international actors, national human rights institutions, NGOs, media, universities and politicians.

Job opportunities

We will train you for a career as a human rights expert to be employed by governments, international organisations, development agencies, business corporations, research institutes and civil society organisations. You might work as an election observer, officer for human rights monitoring and capacity building in the field, diplomat, trainer, mediator, consultant, researcher etc.


- The Vibrant Heart of Europe

Not only is Vienna well known as the world city with the highest quality of life, but situated in the heart of Europe, it lies at the cross-roads of different cultures. People from all over the world come to Vienna to meet, to enjoy its charm and the sound of music, to study, to dance, to hold peace congresses and attend scientific conferences.

Many international organizations and agencies, including the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, have chosen to be hosted in Vienna. After the end of the Cold War, the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 laid the ground for the current human rights architecture of the United Nations. Combining tradition and modernity, arts and science, work and leisure, Vienna provides the ideal international environment to spend two unforgettable years studying the art of human rights. More information on Vienna is available here:

Application Deadline 1 May 2016
For more information please visit our website on http://www.postgraduatecenter.at/humanrights/

Visit the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights page on the University of Vienna website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold at least a bachelor degree (180 ECTS) of any discipline. Persons without any academic degree need to prove five years of working experience in a field related to human rights. Those who do not have English as their first language or who did not graduate from an English language programme must include evidence of English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS). Experience in the human rights field is not compulsory, but an asset. For more information about application visit. View Website

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Recipient: University of Vienna
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