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6 Tuition Free Human Rights Masters Programs

Note: This article was published in 2017. In the meanwhile, all universities have introduced tuition fees for international students. At some universities, students from EEA/EU may still be able to study without paying tuition. It might be a better choice to visit our more up-to-date directory of masters in human rights and explore what scholarships are available.

MSc Human Rights and Multiculturalism

At Norway’s Buskerud and Vestfold University College, students can receive an MSc in Human Rights and Multiculturalism through a 2-year, full-time master’s program at the Drammen campus. This program takes an interdisciplinary approach to prep students to work in a variety of career fields, including government, non-profit, education, research, private corporations, and media. Classes focus on human rights in regards to cultural diversity, with topics such as globalization, migration, civil wars, nation-building, and more. In addition to interdisciplinary research, students will be qualified to continue in academic research in these fields. Tuition is free but scholarships are occasionally offered to cover living expenses and travel.

MPhil Theory and Practice of Human Rights

The University of Oslo’s MPhil Theory and Practice of Human Rights is a 2-year, full-time program that gives students the opportunity to study human rights from legal, political, social science, philosophical, and historical-based perspectives. Courses all center on human rights, including various approaches, regional focuses, methodology, practice, and more. Students participate in internships, discussions, and mock trials in addition to their course work. As part of their final piece to the program, students complete a master thesis that brings together methodology and practice in human rights. Tuition to this program is free.

MSc International Human Rights Law

Abo Akademi University’s Institute for Human Rights and Department of Law offer a 2-year, full-time MSc International Human Rights Law program. Based on campus in Turku, Finland, this master’s program equips students to work in various human rights careers including public administration, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Course topics vary from women’s rights to refugees to war to humanitarian law. In addition to courses, students also complete a research seminar and a master thesis. Tuition for students from EU/EEA countries is free. Starting in 2017, tuition fees are 10,000€ for non-EU/EEA countries. Scholarships are available for tuition-paying students, including a full tuition scholarship plus living expenses, a full tuition scholarship, and a tuition scholarship covering half of the tuition costs.

LLM International Human Rights Law

The LLM International Human Rights Law degree at Lund University in Lund, Sweden is a 2-year, full-time program that seeks to prepare students to work in law firms, international organizations, courts, private companies, and various other sectors working within the field of human rights. Students will take several courses focusing on aspects of human rights law and hear from guest speakers and lecturers with extensive expertise and experience in human rights. Past speakers even include a former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Tuition is free for EEA students and $27,588 for non-EEA students. Lund University does offer several scholarships for international students to cover tuition fees.

LLM Public International Law

The University of Oslo in Norway offers an LLM in Public International Law, a 1 ½ year master’s program with options for four programs: Public International Law and PIL with specializations in International Criminal and Humanitarian Law; International Environmental and Energy Law; International Trade, Investment and Commercial Law; and Human Rights. This full-time, on-campus program is divided into three 30-credit semesters, with the final semester focusing specifically on a master thesis. In addition to courses, students will have opportunities to engage with issues through lunches, guest lectures, and seminars that highlights expert scholars and practitioners. Tuition is free for all applicants.

MSc Social Work and Human Rights

This two-year Social Work and Human Rights international master’s programme at the University of Gothenburg focuses on the intersection between social work and human rights. By intertwining the two fields, the aim is to provide students with a unique perspective on human rights issues and social development in all levels of society. Students with a degree in Social Work and/or Human Rights are favored in competition with students with degrees in related subjects. (This only applies to students from countries where it is possible to obtain a degree in Social Work and/or Human Rights.) Tuition to this program is free.

About the author

Allison Reefer

Allison Reefer is a young professional living in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with a refugee resettlement agency to help refugees and immigrants in the city, and she volunteers with a local shelter for human trafficking victims. She obtained her Master in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Writing from Geneva College, focusing most of her academic work on human trafficking and migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In her free time, she loves to write, read, sing and play bass guitar, practice Russian, and explore her city.