Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Degree level: Postgraduate
Awarded by: University of London

Understanding and Securing Human Rights (Taught)

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Course summary

This degree, offered by the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, is the longest-running interdisciplinary, practice-oriented human rights Master's programme in the UK. The MA was originally founded with staff from Amnesty International in 1995. Located in Bloomsbury, the intellectual heart of London, students have access to world-class libraries and facilities located within minutes, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum. Our priority is to equip students with practical skills, such as advocacy, research, and fundraising, essential to working in the field of human rights to enable them to build a human rights career. This Master's degree is therefore particularly suitable for individuals who are, or seek to become, human rights practitioners in the NGO, business, governmental and inter-governmental sectors. Our degree is praised by employers for providing the necessary practical skills human rights professionals need, making our graduates highly employable. The nearly 800 graduates of the MA in Human Rights have gone on to work for an impressive range of organisations, including major international NGOs like Anti-Slavery International and Amnesty International, businesses like Primark and Sainsbury’s, and UN organisations like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Human Rights Consortium, in collaboration with the Institute of Latin American Studies, offers a specialist pathway through the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights which enables students to focus their studies on the human rights concerns – past, present and future – of Latin America. Please visit our website to find out more about this pathway.

Course details


Required Modules: Understanding Human Rights I & II [10 ECTS]; Securing Human Rights I [10 ECTS]; Translating Human Rights into International Law I & II [10 ECTS]. Optional Modules: Understanding Human Rights II: Genocide, Gross Human Rights Violations and Reconciliation [10 ECTS]; Securing Human Rights II - Securing Human Rights in Development and in Conflict [10 ECTS]; Translating Human Rights into Law II - Topics in International Human Rights Law [10 ECTS]; Researching Human Rights: Social Science Research Methods [10 ECTS]; Business and Human Rights [10 ECTS]; Indigenous Peoples, Minorities and Human Rights [10 ECTS]; Citizenship and New Social Movements in Latin America [10 ECTS]; The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America [10 ECTS]; Human Rights and Everyday Life in Latin America [10 ECTS].

Assessment method

All students must complete a minimum of three compulsory modules and three optional modules, plus the dissertation, in order to fulfil the requirement for the MA. In addition, students may wish to select one extra optional module (equalling 10 ECTS) and / or the internship (20 ECTS) for additional credit, totalling between 110 and 120 credits. If an additional optional module is taken (for an extra 10 ECTS), the final taught average is calculated from the three compulsory modules and the three optional modules with the highest grades. The internship is not given a grade and is marked only as a pass or fail (extra 20 ECTS).

How to apply

International applicants

The Yusuf Ali Scholarship is available to students of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi descent who have applied for the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Awards range in value between £3,000 and £7,795, depending on financial need. Find out more about this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement is a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (for example a Grade Point Average [GPA] of 3.0 or higher). We are happy to consider applications from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements, but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience. All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence (gained in the last two years) that their written and spoken English language is adequate for postgraduate study. This requirement is specified in order to ensure that the academic progress of students is not hindered by language difficulties and that students are able to integrate socially while studying and living in the UK.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £5120 Year 1
England £5120 Year 1
Northern Ireland £5120 Year 1
Scotland £5120 Year 1
Wales £5120 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Understanding and Securing Human Rights at Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London - UCAS