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6 Distance Learning LLM Programs in Human Rights

LLM in International Human Rights Law, University of Law, UK

This LLM in International Human Rights Law focuses on building a student’s in-depth knowledge of the subject and how international law protects human rights. It covers topics like the general principles of international human rights law, the connection between humanitarian and human rights law, and the challenges and future of international and domestic human rights. Full-time, the program takes 12 months. Part-time takes 21 months. Modules are assessed by a 3-hour written exam (which must be taken at one of the UK campuses or approved overseas center) or a written coursework assignment. A 15,000-word thesis is also required. To apply, students need a UK undergraduate degree (any subject) at 2:2 or above, or an equivalent qualification. Proven English proficiency is needed, as well.

Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law – LLM European University Viadrina Frankfurt

Focusing specifically on international human rights and humanitarian law, this program stems from the understanding that individual protection is the basis of just and democratic governments. The curriculum centers around human rights protections in times of peace as well as war, including the special protections necessitated during armed conflict. Additional coursework focuses on international politics; security; terrorism; armed conflict; conflict resolution; peace-keeping; and the countries of central, eastern, and south-eastern Europe. Graduates are prepared to navigate the blurry boundaries between peace and war and advocate for proper legal protections in a variety of political, social, economic, geographical, and military situations

Students are taught by an experienced, international group of faculty members with diverse specializations. While most of the program is distance-learning, there are eight weeks of lectures and seminars that take place in-person on the Frankfurt campus.

An additional, related two-week summer intensive course, entitled the European System of Human Rights Protection is offered as an optional supplement to the LLM coursework.

Length: 1.5 years (3 semesters)

Admissions: Open to law graduates or equivalent, international students are welcome

LLM with specialization in Human Rights University of London

The University of London has long been considered a worldwide leader in the research and teaching of human rights law. This distance-learning LLM program allows students all over the world to access world-class faculty on their own schedule. Students are prepared to address human rights issues within government, inter-government, and corporate organizations, with particular attention paid to the rights of women, children, and refugees. After completing the program, students are prepared to work in the fields of human rights, immigration, NGOs and multinational organizations, as well as public law, family law, and employment law.

Students choose from a series of courses, each of which contains four modules. For the human rights specialization, courses include European Convention on Human Rights, Human Rights of Women, International Criminal Law, International Refugee Law, International Rights of the Child, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Law of Treaties, Medical Law and Ethics, and United Nations Protections of Human Rights. Each module is assessed by a written examination (no oral exams or dissertations are required). Examination sessions are held in May and October each year and are held in London as well as in overseas centers throughout the world.

Length: 16 modules from 4 courses, with can be completed in 1-5 years. Each module is estimated to take 115 hours of study.

Admissions: Applicants must have a Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in which 50% of the units studied were law-related OR have an advanced law degree OR be admitted into legal practice by a governing organization. Students must also prove English language proficiency.

International Human Rights Law Course: Master of Laws (LLM) by Distance Learning De Montfort University (Leicester)

This program is suitable for lawyers, barristers, and solicitors in private practice; human rights activists; NGO or international aid workers; and others with an interest in human rights law. The course is entirely distance-learning, making it ideal for those working full-time. There is also optional attendance at De Montfort University’s Law School for a maximum of ten Saturday study days during the period of study. Less-intensive certificate options are also offered in addition to the LLM.

Students will gain a background in international human rights law and the international legal system. Additional elective modules include Social Justice and Human Rights, International Child Law, European Convention of Human Rights, and The Protection of Refugees in International Law. To complete the degree, students must also write a dissertation, applying their technical knowledge and critical awareness to an international human rights theme.

Length: Two-and-a-quarter years. An accelerated 15-month course is also available. One 15-credit module requires approximately 150 hours of study.

Admissions: Undergraduate degree or professional equivalent. A degree in law is not required, but some background in law is useful. Demonstrated English language proficiency.

LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law  Aberystwyth University (UK)

Attached to the internationally-focused Aberystwyth Law School, this distance learning LLM helps students master a range of legal methodologies and their specific application to the field of human rights. This program is suited for those looking to work in government, think tanks, humanitarian organizations, international law firms, and NGOs. In addition to standard legal research skills student will have the opportunity to develop their own focused course of study.

The degree is based around a series of modules, including Human Rights in the Information Age, International Humanitarian Law, Migration and Asylum Law, The Sociology of Human Rights Violations, and Mental Health and Human Rights. Each module is worth 20 credits and the LLM degree requires a total of 180. All modules are assessed by a written 6,000-word assignment and a poster presentation. Students complete the degree by selecting 6 modules and completing a Master’s dissertation (60 credits). In addition to the LLM, diploma and certificate options are also available.

Length: Flexible duration, typically between two and five years

Admissions: Undergraduate degree in law, social science or related field preferred. Demonstrated English language proficiency

LLM/MPhil, Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Africa The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

This innovative LLM program specifically focuses on the human rights challenges of sexual and reproductive rights in Africa. Its goal is to equip human rights workers with the knowledge, research, and advocacy skills necessary to raise awareness, increase understanding, and advance the reproductive and sexual health rights of individuals and communities. Areas of study include international human rights law, human rights principals, and women and sexual minorities.

While the bulk of this degree can be completed online there are two contact sessions scheduled every year in Pretoria. Students will be assessed on writing assignments completed before and after the block sessions, as well as participation during the block sessions. They will also complete a mini-dissertation to fulfill degree requirements.

Length: 2 years

Admissions: Applicants must have an LLB degree or equivalent. Must have excellent academic credentials and demonstrated human rights experiences related to sexual and reproductive rights. There are 15 full scholarships available for African citizens.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.