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Understanding and Securing Human Rights (MA, PGDip and PGCert)

  • Venue: School of Advanced Study - University of London
  • Region: Home-based
  • Start Date: 01 September 2017
  • End Date: 30 September 2018
  • Cost: MA 2-5 years £8,100 / Postgraduate Diploma 2-5 years £6,480 / Postgraduate Certificate 1-5 years £3,240

An online MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights in collaboration with the School of Advanced Study

This intellectually rigorous degree explores human rights from a range of fields of study, including law, international relations, sociology, development and environmental justice. This cutting-edge and interdisciplinary approach widens the frame of debate, providing an extensive range of perspectives through which to understand contemporary human rights issues.

This career-orientated and practice-focused MA aims to develop the next generation of human rights professionals by developing critical thinking alongside practical, solution-based skills, including campaigning, fundraising, legal analysis and research - all of which are important for work in the broad field of human rights.

Programme details

  • MA7 modules (three core, three elective) plus a dissertation 2-5 years £8,100
  • Postgraduate Diploma 6 modules (three core, three elective )2-5 years £6,480
  • Postgraduate Certificate3 compulsory core modules 1-5 years £3,240


The MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights prepares you to:

  • Develop analytical expertise in human rights standards and mechanisms, key actors in human rights, and the contexts in which human rights are secured.
  • Evaluate and apply this knowledge through different cases and practices.
  • Develop programmes of action and policies as appropriate.
  • Analytically compare human rights practice across different cultures and states, recognising that interpretations and practices vary in different regions of the world.
  • Work effectively with the protection, promotion and implementation of human rights in a changing global context.
  • Take up or progress in careers in human rights work or enhance existing careers in human rights in civil society organisations, governments and the public sector and business.
  • Benefit from supported online learning

You study this online programme from the comfort of your home computer and access the course content through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE also gives you access to:

  • Associate Tutors who provide academic guidance throughout your studies;
  • Academically rigorous and up-to-date learning materials and resources;
  • Online tasks and assessments (‘e-tivities’) for each of the modules;
  • Peer-to-peer learning in online discussion forums;
  • Access to world-class online library facilities.

Career enhancement

This MA enables you to combine your studies with your ongoing professional and domestic commitments. This programme is designed for those who wish to pursue careers in a range of professional contexts in the human rights or humanitarian fields.

Graduates of the long-standing on-campus MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights have gone on to work for an impressive range of organisations, including major international NGOs like Amnesty International, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and Anti-Slavery International, several UN agencies, businesses, academia and in government.

Students will have access to online support in finding internships.  This includes Question and Answer sessions with the Programme Director and videos from alumni and other human rights professionals on how to make the most of internships for career progression.

Your time commitment

All modules run during two 20-week study sessions throughout the year. You register for up to two modules per session of study and should expect to devote between 15-20 nominal hours a week to your studies during these periods.

Summary of key dates

Understanding and Securing Human Rights

  • Application deadline 14 August 2017
  • Registration deadline 23 August 2017
  • Course starts Early September
  • Examinations take place January and June

To apply please visit our website using the link:

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