In 1948, Australia was one the countries that were part of the Drafting Committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). At home, however, the nation’s history of human rights has been spotty at best. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped people from engaging with the problems and developing programs at many universities and university law schools. Here are five Australian universities offering human rights master’s degrees.
This Master of Human Rights is available at Curtin University, which is located in Perth, Australia. It is taught by the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry. You will also have access to the Centre for Human Rights Education, which was established in 2003. Curtin was the first Australian university to select a Chair in human rights education. The Master degree and courses are for those planning on a career field in human rights, or who already working there and looking to learn more about a specific area.
The courses encompass theoretical and practical learning methods, as well as multicultural, multidisciplinary, and multi-religious viewpoints. Applicants must have a Bachelor degree in Arts/Humanities, Social Work, Law, Journalism, Health, Education, or Psychology. If your degree is in another field, you must have one year of paid or unpaid work experience. The course is 300 credits, and lasts 1 year and 6 months. Curtin University is also offering a Micromasters in Human Rights that counts towards the Master degree.
The Master of Human Rights at the University of Sydney is designed to give students a deeper understanding of how human rights fits into political, economic, social, and environmental areas. Courses will explore both international and regional systems of human rights, and encompass sociology, social policy, and more. Students will get the chance to perform independent research on human rights issues and participate in an internship with an Australian or international organization. The degree is offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It takes 1-1.5 years, depending on if you’re part-time or full-time. International students must be full-time. Within the program, you select one of three specialisations: Global Migrations; International Relations; or Social Research.
To apply for the 1.5-year program, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a 65% average from the University of Sydney, with a major in humanities and social sciences; or a Bachelor of Laws degree with a 65% average. For full-time and international students, you must have completed the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Human Rights (with a 65% grade average) or an Honours degree in a related field. If you have a bachelor’s degree with that same average and relevant work experience, you may also apply.
At UNSW Law, a Human Rights Law and Policy Master’s degree is available to students, full time (1 year) or part time (2 years). The aim of this degree program is to train and support future professionals and scholars as leaders in the exciting, dynamic and expanding field of international human rights law and policy. All students must complete the International Human Rights course within their first year, while non-law graduates must complete Legal Concepts, Research & Writing for Human Rights, with the remaining credits selected from human rights law and policy elective courses.
To be eligible, you must have an undergraduate degree in law, the social sciences, or humanities with a minimum credit average of 65% or higher. Alternately, you must have an undergrad degree in law, social sciences, or humanities with two years’ professional experience in a related field.
You can find the Master degree (which is an LL.M.) at the University of Auckland’s law school, where the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights, Policy, and Practice is based. This Master’s is designed for full-time students, legal practitioners, or others in full-time or part-time employment. It can be completed through research, coursework, or a combination of both. To specialize in human rights, you will choose a Human Rights Law concentration. It lasts 12 months. Courses vary by year, but could include classes like “Comparative Indigenous Rights Law” and “Human Rights in Mental Health Law.”
Entry is available throughout the year. To be eligible, you must meet certain grade point averages and have a Bachelor of Laws degree. If you don’t meet the grade requirements, you may apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Law pathway. There, you must complete at least 60 points of postgrad law courses with a B-grade average, and then you’ll be able to gain admission into the LL.M. program.
At Monash University, those interested in human rights can pursue a Master of Legal Studies degree with a concentration in Global Society and Human Rights. It is a 12-month program, if it’s full-time. Part-time is scheduled for two years. The concentration teaches students both the theory and practice of human rights law. If you are working towards a career in the government or a human rights NGO, this is a good fit. Units within the concentration include family violence, gender, and law; sentencing; and international refugee law and practice.
To be eligible for the one-year schedule, a student must have a juris doctor or bachelor’s degree in law or its equivalent. You can also apply if you meet that first qualification, and then have either a graduate diploma in law, certificate, or equivalent; or work-based experience or learning; or admission to practice as a lawyer in Australia. For a two-year, you must have a bachelor degree in law from a non-Australian jurisdiction and a letter from the Victorian Legal Admissions Board explaining which areas of law are “necessary to meet academic eligibility requirements for admission to practice in Victoria.” It needs to be dated within a year of applying for the Monash LLM.