Human Rights

Birkbeck, University of London, School of Law

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Political, social and economic challenges are frequently articulated through the language of human rights. Is the rise of human rights discourse an emblem of hope and a political horizon, mobilising resistance to human need and suffering? Or do human rights claims deflect more radical political demands and block real transformation? Can the manifold crises of contemporary life be made more intelligible through the frame of human rights?

These are just some of the questions taken up in this degree. We are proud to offer this exciting and innovative Master’s degree, leading to the award of an LLM or MA Human Rights. The distinctive focus of the programme is on theoretically informed and multidisciplinary approaches to human rights. It aims to expose you to a critical and contextual engagement with the subject. You will study human rights in their legal, political, sociological, anthropological and philosophical contexts.

You will be introduced to a wide variety of approaches to research across a range of disciplines, and to the theoretical frameworks for advanced legal scholarship. You will also take specialist courses, choosing from a wide range of subjects in the area of human rights.

This course is particularly attractive to legal professionals, and to non-lawyers who work, or would like to work, in the field of human rights, allowing them to reflect critically on their role as human rights activists and practitioners.

Highlights

  • We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top three in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
  • This course has close ties to a number of leading human rights NGOs and is informed by critical engagement with, and analysis of, human rights practice. The dual stream award (either LLM or MA) allows you to choose a qualification that best suits your existing and future career. The final award will be determined prior to completion.
  • The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Pressand publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
  • Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU-based applicants only). Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.

Part-time home/EU students: £5,375 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £10,725 pa
Part-time international students: £8,200 pa
Full-time international students: £16,400 pa

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. 

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

 

Graduates can pursue careers in the legal profession, government and the public sector, and research or journalism. Possible professions include human rights lawyer, barrister, or human resources officer. This degree may also be useful in becoming a researcher, journalist, or trading standards officer.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

 

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