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Human Rights MA, PGDip and PGCert

Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Legal Rights (Law)

Course type


Course Summary

This MA is based on an established programme developed in collaboration with leading human rights activists to provide training for future human rights professionals.

The cutting-edge content looks at human rights issues from a practical perspective as well as a theoretical and legal one. We offer a wide range of elective modules. The topics address emerging issues in human rights, such as the impact of environmental destruction on human rights; human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals; or cultural genocide.

This course was previously referred to as: Understanding and Securing Human Rights.

Study with us for an interdisciplinary approach, with a vibrant, global mix of students and chances to learn from human rights professionals from around the world.

The programme is available online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as well as study materials and help from academic staff. It allows you to study anywhere in the world and fit your studies around your other commitments.

Study materials

You receive individual module handbooks, assessment activities and digitised readings.

For each module, you will be able to discuss your work with fellow students and tutors. Expert tuition is provided via podcasts and videos from leading academics and human rights professionals.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key resources:

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. Tutors are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year through the VLE.

The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Your time commitment

All modules run during two 14-week study sessions throughout the year. You register for up to two modules per session and should expect to devote between 15-20 hours per week to your studies during these periods (assuming you take two modules).


Understanding Human Rights / Translating Human Rights into International Law: assessed by a seen written exam (70% of the grade) and three E-tivities (30%).
Securing Human Rights: assessed by two equally-weighted items of coursework (70% of the grade) and three E-tivities (30%).
All elective modules: assessed by one item of coursework (70% of the grade) and three E-tivities (30%).
Dissertation: assessed by a research proposal (15% of the grade) and a written thesis (85%).

Career opportunities

This MA programme is designed for those who wish to develop or enhance careers in a range of professional contexts in the human rights or humanitarian fields.

Graduates of the related on-campus MA have gone on to work for major international NGOs including Amnesty International, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and Anti-Slavery International, as well as several UN agencies, businesses, academia and in government.

You can also exit with Pgdip and PgCert awards.

Different course options

Study mode



5 years

Start date

Contact University


This module utilises a broad range of approaches from the social sciences and humanities in order to develop a nuanced understanding of human rights and human rights abuses. It aims to provide an insight into some of the key debates and an overview of important literature in this growing area of scholarship. Students will emerge with a deeper and more complex understanding of what human rights are and why they are important, of both their potential and limitations, and of the increasingly wide range of contexts in which they are being applied, used and abused.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (overall cost)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (overall cost)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have an undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK upper second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University. If you do not meet the entrance requirements you may still apply. Each application will be considered on an individual basis by the Programme Director, giving attention to alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience. English Language requirements If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. This is equivalent to a score of 7.0 overall in the iELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing. Computer requirements We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. Certain courses may have additional requirements, such as software to manage spreadsheets and run macros.

Department profile

Why University of London (UoL) The University of London (UoL) has been providing world-leading education for nearly 200 years. They have over 120,000 students, with 50,000 of those studying one of the University’s many flexible online courses. The MA Human Rights programme has been developed by the Human Rights Consortium (HRC), which is part of the University’s School of Advanced Study. The school was created in 1994 with the aim of...more

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