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Human Rights MA

The Human Rights MA develops the skills and theoretical tools needed to carry out human rights research. It provides an understanding of the foundations, nature, limits and implementation of human rights. Students are introduced to philosophical, legal and policy issues and encouraged to engage with them in a critical way.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£10,765 (FT) £5,560 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, a GPA 3.45 or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students develop an understanding of the central issues and problems in the formulation, defence, development, interpretation and application of human rights instruments, law, practice and policy. They gain knowledge of central disciplines and their contribution to human rights studies, and are equipped with key research skills in human rights.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights (15)
  • International Human Rights: Standards and Institutions (15)
  • International Law and Human Rights (30)
  • Normative Methods, Legal Analysis and Research Skills (15)

Options

  • Choose one of the following 15-credit modules
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods (15)
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)

  • Choose further modules up to a value of 30 credits in total from a list available at:
  • www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/teaching/masters/ma-human-rights
  • The following are suggestions:
  • Terrorism (15)
  • Republicanism and Liberalism (15)
  • Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account (15)
  • Governing Divided Societies (15)
  • Gendering the Study of Politics: Theory and Practice (15)
  • The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: challenges to Democratisation (15)
  • Global Ethics (15)

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme has an integrated research and teaching approach, where key and cutting edge areas are brought into the seminar room for discussion, and students are encouraged to carry out original research into these areas. Assessment is through essays, unseen examination, seminar presentations, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Human Rights MA

Funding

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

The Human Rights MA is a challenging, formative experience that provides the foundations for a variety of future careers. Graduates of the programme are now working in an impressive number of international, national, governmental and non-governmental institutions and organisations, including:

  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Amnesty International
  • British Institute for Human Rights
  • Council of Europe

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Deputy Head of Partnership and Legal Services, Advocates for International Development (2010)
  • Youth Programme Assistant, Royal Commonwealth Society (2010)
  • Communications Outreach Specialist, US Federal Government (2010)
  • Agenda Analyst, United Nations Development Programme (2011)
  • Parliamentary Assistant, European Parliament (2011)
  • Policy Developer, Japanese Government (2011)
  • Campaign Officer, Save the Children (2011)
  • Researcher, Universal Rights Group (2012)

Employability

Graduates of the programme have secured employment in an impressive number of international, national, governmental and non-governmental institutions and organisations, including the UK Foreign Office, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman UK, British Institute for Human Rights, the European Union, the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, ILGA, Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies. Some of our students are now human rights lawyers. Our students have also pursued PhDs and have become human rights academics.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of Human Rights.

Students benefit from weekly seminars featuring distinguished external speakers, and regular high-profile events for policy-makers and others. Each year the students have the opportunity to participate in a study trip to Geneva to visit the United Nations Human Rights Institutions and meet human rights practitioners.

The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary training students receive is one of the highest available in the world, in one of the world's top universities, as reflected in UCL's performance in a range of rankings and tables.

Student / staff ratios › 29 staff › 378 taught students › 37 research students

Department: Political Science

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

Students develop an understanding of the central issues and problems in the formulation, defence, development, interpretation and application of human rights instruments, law, practice and policy. They gain knowledge of central disciplines and their contribution to human rights studies, and are equipped with key research skills in human rights.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-07-31

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Human Rights at graduate level
  • why you want to study Human Rights at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging and truly international academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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