Department of Political Science


International Law and Human Rights

Course Code


Course Tutor

Dr Nathan Derejko (Department of Political Science)and Dr Kate Cronin-Furman (Department of Political Science)


One 3,000 word essay (50%) and one 2 hour exam (50%)

Credit Value


About this course

This course focuses on human rights as a domain of international law. The course will explore the theory and practice of international law and how this affects our understanding of human rights. Students should expect to understand and think critically about what is entailed when a right gains international legal status. 

Whom do legally enshrined international human rights protect? Where, from whom, and under what conditions? What is the nature and scope of the obligations they trigger? What are the dimensions of controversy and debate in this respect?

This is a foundational course, but students are expected to engage with complex issues and topics. Seminars will include theoretical and conceptual discussions as well as sessions that will enable students to tackle doctrinal and interpretative aspects of international law. 

Upon completing the course, students will have a solid grounding in international law, will gain legal analysis skills that they can apply to contemporary human rights events and cases, and will be able to critically engage with scholarly work and international case law.

*This is a core module for students on the MA Human Rights programme and is not available as an optional module.