Entry requirements

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in law or any social science subject, or a degree in another discipline with demonstrable interest in human rights or relevant experience as a practitioner.

Months of entry


Course content

About the MSc programme

The MSc Human Rights and Politics programme provides a rigorous year-long academic engagement with critical political issues faced by international human rights today.

The programme covers the multiple challenges that human rights thinking, institutions and activism are facing in the current period, a period during which many states, movements and political figures are turning towards populist nationalism and anti-minority discrimination. It introduces key problems with the foundations of human rights and considers the possibilities for new political foundations for human rights in a period of accelerating economic inequality and technological change.

Interdisciplinary in nature, it draws on sociology, political theory, political sociology and philosophy to investigate international human rights. The subject matter is international in scope. This master's is intended to appeal to those who want to study the politics of international human rights but who do not necessarily want to pursue a legal route to a human rights or related career.

The MSc Human Rights and Politics aims to equip you with interdisciplinary academic knowledge of the main challenges and problems affecting human rights theories, institutions, movements and practice in the world today. You will engage in a rigorous way with key human rights areas, including the many crises facing human rights thinking and human rights institutions. A key aim is to move away from discussion of international law and the UN Charter Regime and concentrate on the sociology and politics of human rights in today's world.

The programme links theoretical and empirical issues in human rights with political sociology and political philosophy using a variety of critical and analytical perspectives. Substantive themes covered in the programme may change from year to year, but indicative areas in the core course include: the threats to human rights; power and human rights institutions; the limits of political liberalism; the rise of authoritarian populism; movements against racism and white supremacism; wars and self-determination; development and human rights; identity politics; sexuality, sex, gender and human rights; human rights and coloniality; care, dignity and the renewal of human rights. You will also undertake an independent graduate dissertation. The core course and dissertation promote interdisciplinary understandings of human rights and the multiple challenges they face.

The programme is closely connected to LSE Human Rights in the Department of Sociology. In addition to research, LSE Human Rights runs a very active public events programme which includes public lectures, visiting speaker seminars and conferences involving world-leading human rights academics and practitioners. You will also benefit from masterclasses and guest practitioner seminars organised for students on the programme.

You will take a compulsory course on the contemporary politics of human rights, and will have the opportunity to choose courses from a range of available options in sociology, anthropology, development, gender, politics, international relations, and more. You will also complete a dissertation on an approved topic.

Department of Sociology

Established in 1904, the Department of Sociology at LSE is committed to empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and socially and politically relevant research and scholarship.

As a Department, we seek to produce sociology that is public-facing, fully engaged with London as a global city, and with major contemporary debates in the intersection between economy, politics and society – with issues such as financialisation, inequality, migration, urban ecology, and climate change.

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

Fees and funding


Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme. Visit the website for more information about the fees.


The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support Scheme, Master's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships.

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Find out more about financial support.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad
+44 (0)20 7955 6613