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5 Affordable Human Rights Undergraduate Degrees

Human rights are considered across different disciplines including law, literature, politics and philosophy. The topic is so broad that universities are now starting to see the study of human rights as a course in itself. Through studying these courses, students learn about the practical concerns and application of human rights within the world. They are also encouraged to develop their sense of empathy to become more globally aware human beings. The skills acquired through studying human rights will later aid you to find a career in areas such as foreign relations, international development and working with governmental and non-governmental organisations. Thus, if you are thinking ahead to a career in human rights, an undergraduate degree is a good place to start.

The cost of obtaining a degree will probably play a key role in your decision about where to study. You will also need to be aware that the price of the course will vary whether you are a domestic or international student. To help you begin your search, here are 5 affordable options for studying an undergraduate degree in human rights.

Malmö University, Sweden

Malmö University offers a programme entitled Human Rights, which hones students’ understanding of the topic across disciplines such as law, politics and philosophy. Students who have taken this course profess to have a greater understanding of societal development as the programme adapts to the constant evolution of world politics. The course allows you to analyse and reflect on issues both globally and internationally and qualifies students for work in foreign policy, international aid, international cooperation, conflict prevention and human rights.

If this programme sounds appealing to you and you are a Swedish national or from an EU country, then you do not have to pay a tuition fee. If you are an international student from outside the EU, your full tuition fee will be 210,000 SEK (23,200 USD). You may also need to consider the cost of living in Sweden as Malmö University suggests that the average cost of living is around 8000 SEK (884 USD) per month. You can find a breakdown of the cost of living in Sweden on their website or by clicking on the link provided.

Makerere University, Uganda

Studying human rights in Uganda is an amazing opportunity to see how you could make a significant impact. Makerere University offers a Bachelor of Ethics and Human Rights within their Humanities and Social Sciences faculty. From this location, you can gain a better understanding of the lack of appreciation of human rights and why we require a better understanding of human rights principals.

Tuition fees vary across programmes but this 3-year Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences will cost 805,000 Ugandan Shilling (214 USD) per semester for African nationals or refugees and 1,207,500 Ugandan Shilling (321 USD) per semester for international students. Makerere University also offers accommodation and the cost of living in Uganda is significantly lower than the other countries listed here.

York University, Canada

Within the faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University offers a programme in Human Rights and Equity Studies which is ideal for those looking for a career focussed approach to their studies. In this programme you will look at the impact of denial of education, suppression of speech, the pay gap and issues related to military occupation and war. Students can expect to gain multidisciplinary knowledge in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, social work, economics, health, education and the arts. You will also be taught by experts in healthcare, poverty and social and labour policy with real-life experience and knowledge of what it is like to work in the field of human rights. Possible careers include international human rights worker, refugee and migrant advocate, trade union equity officer, women and children’s rights officer and working in human resources as well as possibilities in a number of different fields which are listed under Possible Career Path on the course page.

The cost of studying at York University is 7743 CAD (5909 USD) per year for domestic students and 26,975 CAD (20,588 USD) per year for international students. They also estimate the cost of living off campus to be 16,800 CAD (12,821 USD) per year and the cost of living on campus with a meal plan, which is mandatory in some residences, to be between 8963 CAD (6839 USD) and 10,313 CAD (7869 USD) per year depending on which meal plan you purchase. You can find a full break down of these prices on their website under Scholarships and Tuition or by clicking on the link provided.

National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland

The Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights programme at NUI Galway focuses on the origins, philosophy and history of human rights as well as how we apply human rights in the field of law. Students will specialise in human rights, taking classes at the Irish Institute for Human Rights which provides a real-life insight into what it is like to work in the field. Furthermore, the 4-year degree programme offers a third year in industry working with organisations that many students will be interested in pursuing careers with such as the UN or a national NGO. Previous students have also been given opportunities to work in Canada and South America. Students are encouraged to work for NGO’s so that they can gain practical experience in protecting human rights which will help them to attain careers in law, education and journalism.

If you are from an EU country, the tuition fee for this programme is €5,822 (6635 USD) per year. If you are an international student from outside the EU then the tuition fee will be €12,750 (14,532 USD) per year. The university also estimates the cost of living in Galway to be around €1240 (1413 USD) per month. You can find a breakdown of expenses on the website or by clicking on the link provided: Cost of living in Galway.

Kingston University, the United Kingdom

If you are looking to study in London, Kingston University is one of the highest-ranking universities to offer a course in human rights at 74th in the UK in the subject area of Politics according to the Guardian university league tables for 2019. The course, Global Politics and International Relations, focuses on governmental policy by looking at subjects such as the effect of the Syrian refugee crisis on EU foreign policy and the effect of Brexit on US politics. Students will learn how local politics apply at an international level. This course is also multidisciplinary, allowing students to analyse a number of different perspectives including politics, international relations, human rights, sociology, history and economics. Furthermore, the course allows students to harness skills such as public speaking which will be essential if you are looking to pursue a career in politics, law or education. You will also have the option to study for 3 or 4 years depending on whether you would like to take the course with a foundation or sandwich year or not. If you chose to take a sandwich year you will have the opportunity to study abroad for your 3rd year. In addition, alongside the course you have the opportunity to study a foreign language, including Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, free of charge.

Across England, tuition fees are now £9,250 (12,067 USD) per year and both EU and British students will be eligible for government funding through loans and grants. The loan system allows you to borrow as much as £6000 a year which you will pay back once you have completed your degree and are earning more than £27,725 (36,175 USD) per year. On top of that, you will be able to apply for grants and university scholarships depending on your academic results and economic situation. International students will pay £12,700 (16,571 USD) per year for programmes that start in 2019. You may also want to bare in mind that the cost of living in London is significantly higher. Kingston University estimates living expenses to be £241 (314 USD) a week with accommodation in a hall of residence. You can see a breakdown of these living expenses by clicking on the link: Cost of living, Kingston University.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.