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5 Masters in International Law and Human Rights around the world

Masters in International Law and Human Rights, University of Peace

The University of Peace is a United Nations mandated project for the study and research of human rights, peace, and international relations. It is located in Costa Rica and has operated since 1980. To ensure academic freedom, it created its own charter and is not subject to UN regulation or interference.

This masters program is designed both for lawyers interested in the field of human rights and for field workers who want a thorough understanding of litigation and advocacy. It prepares students for an active career working with governmental, NGO, and inter-governmental bodies.

There are three critical pieces to the degree. First, students are prepared for peace and conflict studies and take a course in the structure of the United Nations. The next stage, students take core foundational courses in international justice, including law related to armed conflict, vulnerable peoples, and transitional justice among others. The third stage is intended to provide students with a practical understanding and foundational skills in advocacy. Students choose a specialization and are expected to gain a comprehensive understanding of legal and governmental bodies and processes. They build skills in different areas of advocacy including legal briefing, research, and negotiation. Tuition for the program is $19,500, and the program is intended to be completed in one year. There are scholarships available for faculty of other universities, documented refugees and asylees, Costa Rican citizens, and students from partner universities. All courses within this track are delivered in English.

Masters in Human Rights Law, University of Oxford

Oxford’s degree is a part-time degree intended to be completed in modules over the course of two years through one of Europe’s oldest educational institutions. It’s a taught degree with two periods of instruction online, and two sessions held on Oxford campus during the summer. It is delivered through the school of continuing studies.

Oxford intends this degree to prepare both lawyers and human rights professionals to understand the broad applications of law in the international space. It places equal weight on the content of the law as well as its theory and philosophy so that students can research and implement international human rights law in the most effective manner.

The degree is awarded based on course assessment (20%), examinations (50%), and a dissertation (30%.) Students take online modules with a reading tutor, online discussions, and 2000 word assignments. During the summer, modules are taught in small-group seminars. Dissertations are done in the second year under the guidance of faculty and tutors.

Current tuition for EU and overseas students is the same at 12,961 British pounds or about USD 17,500. The cost does not include travel to England to complete the summer session. Scholarships are available.

Masters in International Law and Human Rights, University of Tartu

The University of Tartu is located in Estonia, and up and coming cultural center of Eastern Europe. It was founded in the 17th century, and the law department focused primarily on Roman and Swedish Law. It has a rich history as one of the older law schools in Europe.

The modern masters in International Law and Human Rights is a two-year degree studying the principles and applications of international law in the field of human rights.

Students take a variety of courses from human rights professionals. There are core courses in theories of human rights, law and practice of the United Nations, international law and governing bodies, and research skills, among other areas.

Students must also take elective courses in specialized fields including Russian approaches to international law, cyberspace and technology, and European Union law, among a variety of other specializations. Students also complete a dissertation in their chosen specialization and take a practice module in either International Law practice or Human Rights Law practice.

Tuition costs are 2200 Euros per year, or about USD 2600, and also includes some study materials. Scholarships are available, but tuition waivers are not. All courses are delivered in English.

Masters in International Law and Human Rights, Umeå University

Umeå University is located in Umeå, Sweden. It is the largest university in northern Sweden, founded in 1965, and is currently ranked at the top for international student satisfaction.

The masters in International Law and Human Rights program focuses on the implementation of universal human rights laws as well as research into the discourse of human rights.

Students receive foundational training in fundamental international law including theory and implementation. Students also study the role of the state in human rights protections. It also includes an in-depth study of vulnerable peoples and specialized groups including women, children, and the protection of the environment as the newest piece of human rights.

Teaching is delivered through traditional lectures and seminars. Assessment is in the form of active participation in required seminars and examinations in the form of a written home exam at the end of the course.

Annual fees for Non-EU citizens are 90,000 Swedish Krona per year, or about USD 11,000. For Swedish citizens and EU citizens, fees are waived. Scholarships are available. The course is a one year cycle. All courses are delivered in English.

Masters in International Human Rights Law, American University of Cairo

The American University in Cairo is a distinguished university in one of the most dynamic cities of northern Africa and the middle east. It is the first to offer American style teaching to the Arab speaking world.

This two year Masters is appropriate for students both in the legal and non-legal fields. It focuses on principles of international law including states and governing bodies, refugees, cyberspace and technology, environmental issues, and vulnerable people groups. It prepares students to work in the field through a broad base of contacts and faculty.

Students also have the opportunity to add a diploma in Migration and Refugee studies in conjunction with the degree. This diploma is together with the Masters for interested, qualified students.

Tuition is $1213 per credit hour or $6550 per semester. Scholarships, loans, and financial assistance are available and US-based or international students pay in USD. All courses are delivered in English.

About the author

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.