Human rights has emerged as the dominant discourse through which political, social and economic challenges are articulated. Is the rise of human rights as emblem of resistance and political horizon a reflection of the exponential rise of human need and suffering, or is it a convenient means of deflecting more radical political demands and transformation? What are the mechanisms through which various crises are made intelligible through human rights? What about the convergence of human rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the implications of the growth of 'business and human rights' in international media?
These are just some of the questions we consider in this exciting and innovative Master’s programme, offered through an intensive classroom-based model. 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 is also practical, setting out the impact of human rights on business, with some case studies. It aims to expose you to a critical and contextual engagement with the subject.
You will study human rights in their political, legal, sociological, anthropological and philosophical contexts, and 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 will be attractive to those who wish to develop a career in the human rights field. It is especially aimed at more established participants in human rights practice across the spectrum of professional, NGO, governmental and inter-governmental activity, as well as CSR professionals in the private sector, who wish to take time to reflect and to deepen their understanding.
- Our new intensive programme is ideal if you are unable to follow a weekly course of study (for example, due to your work or family circumstances). Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.
- The programme 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 of Law is 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.
- The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and 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.