Taught course

Understanding and Securing Human Rights

School of Advanced Study · School of Advanced Study, University of London

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirement is a minimum upper second class honours degree from a UK University or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a discipline deemed appropriate to that of the programme. International qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of guidelines from the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC). Applicants with lower degree classifications will still be considered if they can demonstrate a very strong commitment to the study of human rights (and related work experience). All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence (gained in the last 2 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.

Months of entry

October, September

Course content

This degree is aimed at those who are already, or wish to become, human rights professionals or activists and those who wish to pursue an academic career in the field of human rights. In addition it is suitable for academics, journalists, public servants and employees of intergovernmental agencies.
The MA is interdisciplinary in character, drawing upon philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations, cultural studies and development studies as well as law. Lecturers are both academics and human rights practitioners.

Required modules:

  • Understanding Human Rights I: Ideas and Contexts
  • Securing Human Rights I: Actors and Mechanisms, Skills and Strategies
  • Translating Human Rights into Law I: The Foundations of International Human Rights Law

Optional modules*:

  • Understanding Human Rights II: Genocide, Gross Human Rights Violations and Reconciliation (Optional) [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]
  • The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America [10 ECTS]
  • Researching Human Rights: Social 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]
  • Human Rights and Everyday Life in Latin America [10 ECTS]

*All modules are subject to availability.

All students must complete a minimum of three compulsory modules and three optional modules, plus a 15,000-words dissertation, in order to fulfil the requirement for the MA

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For more information on funding opportunities please visit our website at http://www.sas.ac.uk/graduate-study/prospective-students/funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Advanced Study Registry
020 7862 8662
020 7862 8725