Human Rights Masters Programs Study Blog

35 Top Universities To Study Human Rights in Europe

35 Top Universities To Study Human Rights in Europe

 

Abo Akademi University – Institute for Human Rights, Turku (Finland)

The Master of Social Sciences degree in the International Human Rights Law program requires 2 years of full-time study at the university’s campus in Turku, Finland. Students complete 85 credits of coursework related specifically to human rights law and 35 credits of electives in subjects of interest to them. Successful completion of the master’s program involves completing a research seminar and writing a master’s thesis. A bachelor’s degree in law or a related field is required for admission.

Central European University – Legal Studies Department, Budapest

This 10-month full-time course of study at Central European University awards a Master of Arts in Human Rights degree upon completion. This interdisciplinary master’s degree program examines human rights and allows students to focus their research on a number of different topics, including criminal justice, minority protection, freedom of religion, political rights and non-discrimination. Often, internships with the Open Society Foundation and other non-government organizations are a part of the master’s degree program.

Charles University – Faculty of Law, Prague

Charles University offers a Master of Laws degree program with a concentration in human rights law and protection of the environment. This course of study examines how protecting human rights and the planet are interconnected and includes course work in public international law, environmental law, international human rights law, human rights protection and environmental law in Czech Republic. Optional courses tailored to students’ interests and the completion of a thesis round up the requirements of the 3-semester program.

European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice

The European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation is a unique program offered in cooperation with 41 univerisities located across  Europe. Students spend the first semester of the year-long course of study in Venice taking core courses related to human rights and participating in a field experience in Kosovo. The second semester takes place at one of the partner schools with additional coursework and research for a mandatory master’s thesis that must be defended during the final semester of study.

European University Viadrina – Faculty of Law, Frankfurt am Oder

The Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law results in a Master of Laws degree with 1.5 years of study spanning three semesters. All students in the program take a set of core courses in general human rights, civil rights and the rights of special groups. Electives are used to round out the coursework and allow students to gain a deeper breadth of knowledge in their research areas. A master’s thesis and an internship are required.

Interfaculty Centre for Children’s Rights (formerly Inter-University Institute Kurt Bosch), University of Geneva, Geneva

A full-time interdisciplinary master’s degree program, this 3-semester long course of study is taught in French and examines the rights of minors and issues related to protecting those rights from legal, psychological, sociological and educational standpoints. All students spend the first semester completing foundation coursework and then participate in a group project and elective seminars during the second semester. The final semester is spent completing a research paper and participating in an internship work placement.

Istanbul Bilgi University – Faculty of Law

The Master of Laws in Human Rights Law program at this Turkish university allows students to focus on one of four areas: the theoretical foundations of human rights, monitoring mechanisms or human rights, discrimination against minorities and human rights in criminal justice. For further flexibility, students have their studies culminate with either a formal master’s thesis or to complete a research project. Both tracks typically require 1 year of full-time study to complete.

Leiden University – Faculty of Law

An Advanced Master of Laws program, the European and International Human Rights Law focuses on regional and global human rights and how the two are interrelated. Admission to this program is highly competitive and those admitted have the opportunity to learn firsthand from renowned human rights experts who visit the university for lectures and seminars. All students complete an internship or study experience with a human rights organization in Geneva, Switzerland, or Strasbourg, France, as a part of the curriculum.

Leuphana University of Lüneburg – Digital School

The Master’s program in Governance and Human Rights is a very unique graduate program in human rights in that portions of the curriculum is presented online. Open to students from the EU and beyond, the distance education program allows for remote study for many courses with the rest of the classes being completed at the university’s campus in Lüne­burg, Germany. The program is geared toward professionals who want to further their education in human rights as it relates to political science and public policy.

London School of Economics and Political Science – Department of Law – Human Rights Law

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights partners with the London School of Economics and Political Science to offer an interdisciplinary master’s degree program in human rights law. Students in the program take courses in a wide range of subjects, including law, sociology, criminal justice, public policy and anthropology. Course requirements vary from year to year, but students are required to complete independent research and write a master’s thesis on an aspect of human rights law of interest to them.

University of Vienna, Postgraduate Center

The Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights is a two-year master’s program that takes a well-rounded approach to human rights, examining it from every possible angle. Examining the subject on both a regional and an international level, the program includes an internship or work experience during the third semester. All students also participate in a field experience in Kosovo and have a chance to see human rights organizations at work. A master’s thesis is a final mandatory requirement.

Middlesex University – Department of Law, London

Middlesex University allows students with bachelor’s degrees in law to pursue a certificate, a diploma or a Masters of Laws degree in Human Rights Law. Very flexible to meet the needs of both recent graduates and professionals returning to school, the master’s degree program can be completed within 1 year with full-time study or within 2 years with part-time study. The multi-disciplinary program takes on the subject of human rights law from social, cultural, ethical, political, economic and legal viewpoints.

Mykolas Romeris University – Faculty of Law, Vilnius

In cooperation with the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Ukraine, Mykolas Romeris University offers a Master of Laws degree in the Legal Regulation of Public Administration and Human Rights. The program lasts for 2 years and is intended for individuals who wish to work in the public sector after graduation. Students alternate between the campuses in Kiev and Vilnius each semester, completing course work and a research thesis on an area of interest.

National University of Ireland, Galway – Irish Centre for Human Rights

At the National University of Ireland, Galway, students with bachelor’s degrees in law or related fields can pursue either a Master of Laws degree in International Human Rights Law or a Masters of Laws degree in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict. Both programs prepare students for further study at the doctoral level or for careers in the private or public sectors. An internship is a mandatory part of the program; working professionals may receive course credit for their jobs.

Queen Mary, University of London – School of Law

The Master of Laws degree program in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London is offered as both a 1-year full-time program and a 2-year part-time program. No matter which  option students choose, the program provides an in-depth look at human rights issues in the UK, Europe and on a global scale. Students are also responsible for completing a 15,000-word dissertation. Opportunities for internships, field experiences and work placements are available for those in the program.

Queens University Belfast – Human Rights Centre

A Masters of Laws degree program at Queens University Belfast requires three semesters of full-time study and the completion of a dissertation and a specialized project in an area of interest. Students spend one semester studying international human rights law and human rights law practice. Then, they have the option to focus on areas of interest, such as equality, human rights in conflict zones, counter-terrorism, migration and human rights protections in various regions of the world.

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London – School of Law

The University of London offers the Human Rights, Conflict and Justice Master of Laws program in a number of formats, as it is meant to be flexible for both recent baccalaureate degree recipients and adults returning to graduate school. With full-time study, the requirements for the degree can be completed within one year. Part-time programs with two, three and four-year curriculum plans are also offered. Students must complete a dissertation in one of seven areas of concentration with any of the program options.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid – Instituto de Derechos Humanos ‘Bartolomé de las Casas’

Open to Spanish speaking students, the Graduate School of Law offers a Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Human Rights. Students who hold bachelor’s-level degrees in law receive the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of human rights issues and how laws are used to both defend and limit human rights. Research is an integral part of the program with students expected to pursue independent study and complete a lengthy dissertation prior to completing the 90-credit program.

Universidad de Alcalá – Faculty of Law, Alcalá de Henares

The Master in International Protection of Human Rights is a program that is intended for individuals who are already working as public officials, lawyers or human rights lawyers and wish to further their studies of human rights-related issues. A full-time course of study, the curriculum includes three modules: human rights in international systems, practices and institutions and research. The final module culminates with the completion of a research thesis. Courses are offered in English and in Spanish.

University College London – Institute for Human Rights

The UCL Institute for Human Rights offers two different master’s levels of programs in the field of human rights. The Master of Laws in Human Rights is intended for students who hold law degrees and are interested in children’s rights, comparative human rights, human rights in the workplace and European and international human rights law. Open to students who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields, the Master of Arts in Human Rights includes the study of human rights theory, human rights standards and institutions, research and legal analysis and international human rights laws.

University of Bristol – Law School

At the Clifton Campus of the University of Bristol, students who have a bachelor’s degree in law may pursue a Master of Laws degree in Human Rights Law. The program can be completed in 1 year with full-time study or within two years with daytime only part-time study. Open to UK and international students, the program allows students to focus on many aspects of international law and requires the completion of a dissertation based on independent research.

University of Edinburgh – School of Law

The University of Edinburgh offers a Master of Laws degree and a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights. Both programs provide the flexibility to take classes full-time for one year or part-time for two years. With the ability to focus on human rights law, crime and criminal justice or other areas of interest, the programs are suitable for students with a broad range of interests. A dissertation or a work-based placement are required for graduation.

University of Essex – Human Rights Centre, Colchester

The Human Rights Centre offers a number of degrees related to human rights. Students with a background in law can work toward a Master of Laws degree in International Human Rights Laws, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law or Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Those with bachelor’s degrees in other fields may pursue a Master of Arts degree in Theory and Practice of Human Rights or Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. All programs are offered as full and part-time courses of study.

University of Geneva – Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights provides students with the opportunity to pursue one of three degrees related to human rights. To continue studies after earning a law degree, students may opt for the Masters of Laws in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Students from other backgrounds who are interested in transitional justice can pursue a master’s degree in Transitional Justice. A more general Executive Master program is offered for students who are interested in other fields related to human rights.

University of Glasgow – College of Social Sciences

The University of Glasgow offers full and part-time Master of Science degree programs in Human Rights & International Politics that last for 1 and 2 years, respectively. Students take mandatory courses in human rights perspectives, international law, global politics and statistics or research methods plus one elective course in political science and one elective course in law. The final requirement for the degree program is the completion of a thesis program on a topic of interest to each student.

University of Gothenburg – Department of Social Work

The University of Gothenburg in Sweden offers a Master’s of Social Work degree in Social Work and Human Rights. Open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work or a baccalaureate degree in a related field, the program includes mandatory coursework in social work and welfare systems, interdisciplinary approaches to human rights, research method, social work practice, social work organization and international social work. A dissertation is required.

University of Latvia – Riga Graduate School of Law

Open to students with a bachelor’s degree in law, this program awards a Master of Laws degree in Public International Law and Human Rights. The program requires 1 year to complete with full-time study. Students may be admitted for part-time study on a case by case basis. All students in the program complete a thesis and courses in human rights law theory, conflict resolution in international humanitarian law, international criminal law, human rights and business law and human rights law in Europe.

University of Leeds – School of Law

The Master of Laws program in International and European Human Rights Law is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in social science or law. Students can choose to complete the program full-time within 1 year or part-time within 2 years. Students complete modules related to political philosophy, global and local human rights and domestic and international human rights laws. A dissertation is required for completion of the program and most classes require students to complete a paper, making the program very writing intensive.

University of London – School of Advanced Study – Institute of Commonwealth Studies

The Human Rights Consortium sponsors a Master of Arts in Understanding and Securing Human Rights program that includes two different courses of study. Students may focus on general human rights or focus their studies on human rights in Latin America. Those who choose the latter will have the opportunity to study abroad in a Latin American country through cooperation with the Institute of Latin American Studies. Students in the general program may also complete internships as a part of their coursework.

University of Lund – Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Highly competitive, the International Human Rights Law Master’s Program is a rigorous course of study that encourages students from developing nations and those from the European Union to apply. To prepare students for work in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, the program includes an internship placement. Research and a master’s thesis are also required for graduation. The multi-disciplinary required coursework examines human rights from legal, sociological, economical and other contexts.

University of Malta – Faculty of Laws, Msida

The University of Malta offers a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights & Democratization of Governance that focuses on the subject of human rights as it relates to public policy and political science. Students spend one full year in the program taking courses in human rights practices, human rights in context, human rights law and human rights protections. A master’s thesis is required.

University of Nottingham – School of Law – Human Rights Law Centre

The University of Nottingham offers full-time Master of Laws degree program in Human Rights Law that requires 1 year to complete. Admission to the program is competitive with only those who received undergraduate degrees with honors eligible for admission. Some students may be permitted to take the coursework on a part-time basis over a 2-year period. The rigorous curriculum includes 90 credits of coursework in law and 30 credits of coursework in elective areas of interest. A dissertation is mandatory.

University of Oslo – Faculty of Law

The Master of Arts degree in Theory and Practice of Human Rights requires two years of full-time study to complete. All students in the program must complete coursework in human rights metholodology, human rights in practice, international and national human rights, human rights law in context and human rights in philosophy, history and politics. Four elective courses and a master’s thesis are additional requirements.

University of Oxford – Faculty of Law

The University of Oxford offers a prestigious Master of Science program in International Human Rights Laws that is intended for students who show a great potential for being leaders of tomorrow in the public, private or nonprofit spheres. To allow students to work while completing the program, the course of study is offered only on a part-time basis and requires a 2-year commitment.

University of Ulster – Transitional Justice Institute, Newtownabbey/ Londonderry

The Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University offers two human rights-related degree programs. For individuals who wish to work in areas related to women’s rights, the Master of Laws in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights is an ideal fit. The Master of Laws degree in Human Rights Law in Transitional Justice is geared toward those with a general interest in transitional justice. All applicants must have an honors bachelor’s degree in law, humanities or social sciences.

University of Warwick – School of Law, Stratford

The University of Warwick’s Master of Laws degree program in International Development Law and Human Rights  is offered on a 1-year full-time or 2-year part-time basis. During the first two terms, students complete a required module and then choose three electives related to their specific interests. The final semester is devoted to the completion of a master’s thesis. A 7-month diploma program is also offered in  International Development Law and Human Rights.

University of York – Centre for Applied Human Rights

The Centre for Applied Human Rights offers two graduate degree programs at the master’s level. Students with a legal background can opt for the Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law and Practice, while all others should apply for the Master of Arts in Applied Human Rights. All students are required to complete a fieldwork experience in the UK or abroad in South Africa or Malaysia and to complete a master’s thesis.

Université Panthéon-Assas – Paris II

The Université Panthéon-Assas offers a Master of Laws degree in Human Rights Law that is open to French-speaking students only. A full-time course of study, the program is open to those who hold bachelor’s degrees in law or a closely related field and requires 9 months of coursework to complete.

Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles, Université catholique de Louvain, Université de Namur

This intensive multidisciplinary graduate program awards an Advanced Master degree in human rights. All students complete 300 hours of instructions with courses taught almost exclusively in French. A total of 120 hours of credit coursework is devoted to classes that examine human rights from a legal perspective, while another 90 credits deals with the social science-related aspects of human rights. Students then complete electives and a 30-credit dissertation.

Université de Strasbourg – Faculté de Droit

Taught in French, this full-time program awards of Master of Human Rights degree and is intended for students who have an interest in working for non-government organizations or in humanitarian relief. To qualify for admission, students must have a master’s degree in law or a related field. Along with coursework, students complete a thesis study and a field or work placement. Individuals currently working for NGOs or in humanitarian relief are preferred.

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