Taught course

Human Rights

University of Sussex · School of Global Studies

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in politics, international relations, philosophy, law, history, sociology, anthropology, development studies or a related field

Months of entry


Course content

This MA draws on Sussex’s academic expertise in law, international relations, anthropology, education, social care and social work, human geography and migration studies, combining internationally recognised research with an interdisciplinary approach that enables fresh thinking and contributes practical insights of great value to policy-makers.

We address key debates in the field (including cultural relativism, indigenous rights, multiculturalism), compare philosophical positions within the historical evolution and contemporary form of human rights, identify and assess the contemporary international human rights regimes (including the United Nations, regional institutions, national bodies and international and local advocates), and apply human rights to broader concerns (such as migration, health, humanitarianism and postconflict reconstruction).

By the end of the course you will have strengthened your analytical, research and presentation skills and gained specialist knowledge on a particular subject through research for a 10,000-word dissertation.

Although some students do have experience in the field of human rights (and related fields), which contributes to a rich learning environment, you do not require any previous work experience to do this MA.


Human Rights and the Politics of Culture is assessed by a three-hour unseen exam. Liberalism, Modernity and Globalisation is assessed by a 5,000-word term paper. Assessment of optional modules varies, but will mainly consist of 5,000-word term papers. You are also assessed on your dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Autumn term: you take Human Rights and the Politics of Culture • Liberalism, Modernity and Globalisation.

Spring term: you adapt your course to your interests by taking two modules from Refugees, Displacement and Humanitarian Responses • Women and Human Rights • Human Rights in International Relations • Anthropology of Reconciliation and Reconstruction • Medical Anthropology: Cultural Understandings of Health and Healing • Knowledge, Power and Resistance • Fair Trade, Ethical Business and New Moral Economies • Poverty, Vulnerability and the Global Economy • Activism for Development and Social Justice • Migration, Inequality and Social Change • Critical Debates in Environment and Development • Transnational Migration and Diaspora • Anthropology of Childhood • Globalisation and Rural Change • International Crimes.

You also take a Research Methods and Professional Skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops including one that prepares you for your dissertation.

Summer term: you undertake supervised work on a 10,000 -word dissertation (or dissertation with placement).

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit:www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment60
Dissertation40 (10000 words)

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678039