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6 Tuition-Free Human Rights Masters Programmes

Note: This article was published in 2018. 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.

For those interested in pursuing a career in human rights, a Master’s degree is a great place to start. Further education provides you with both the knowledge and skills to really make an impact. Here are six programmes that don’t require tuition fees:

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Abo Akademi University: Institute for Human Rights and Department of Law

The Institute for Human Rights at Finland’s Abo Akademi University was founded in 1985 and focuses on research in areas such as social justice, social and cultural rights, and the protection of vulnerable groups. The institute offers tuition-free attendance for EU/EEA students and asylum seekers living in Finland, as long as they’ve been admitted to a programme with English as the instruction’s language. There are currently seven programmes available. To attend, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in a “relevant” field. If you are not from the EU/EEA, you must pay tuition or seek a scholarship. The institute offers three: full scholarship, a 100% tuition-fee scholarship, and a 50% tuition-fee scholarship.

Lund University: International Human Rights Law

Lund University is one of the northern Europe’s oldest universities with a founding date of 1666. The Master of Laws programme is 50 years old, and represents a cooperation between the Faculty of Law at Lund and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. There are no tuition fees for citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland. To attend, you must have at least a 3-year Bachelor degree in law or something equivalent, and be at an English Level 6, which is measured by scoring a 6.5 on the IELTS or a 90 on the TOEFL. If you must pay tuition fees, you can apply for the Lund University Global Scholarship programme, which is a merit-based scholarship.

University of Oslo: Theory and Practice of Human Rights

This 2-year Master’s programme offered by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights focuses on human rights in theory and practice from a variety of perspectives, including legal, historical, political, and social science. Students will be able to perform practical work through mock trials and internships, while also discussing human rights and completing a thesis as the final step in the programme. This master’s does not require tuition fees. To attend, you must have a Bachelor’s degree comparable to a Norwegian Bachelor’s degree and a minimum grade average of C (Norwegian grading scale) in a relevant specialization such as law, social science, history, and so on. That specialization must consist of at least 90 ECTS credits of your Bachelor’s degree.

University of South-Eastern Norway: Human Rights and Multiculturalism

In this programme, students learn about human rights and culture through a variety of perspectives, including political, judicial, secular, and religious contexts. Being an interdisciplinary programme, this master’s is a good fit for students coming from different degree backgrounds. It also serves as a post-grad degree course in teacher education. According to the website, eligible candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years “beyond the minimum requirements for matriculation at a Norwegian institute of higher education.” 90 credits should be from the social sciences. In terms of grades, you must have at least a grade point average of a C, measured by the Norwegian system.

University of Gothenburg: Master’s Programme in Social Work and Human Rights

Developed between the Department of Social Work and Department of Global Studies, this full-time programme is one of the most popular international master’s at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. Students learn about human rights and social work through a global perspective and a more local one. Field placement helps those eager for a career in human rights gain valuable experience. The master’s programme consists of modules with courses like “Social Work and Welfare Systems” and “Research Theories and Methods.” EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders, and exchange students do not pay tuition fees.

Fulda University of Applied Sciences: Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society

This new 2-year master’s programme at Germany’s Fulda University of Applied Sciences encompasses social sciences, cultural sciences, communications, law, or philosophy with a special interested in human rights. Students will be educated on legal argumentation, social science methods, and the theory and practice of human rights. Eligible candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Economics and Business Studies, or the Social, Cultural, or Political Sciences. Good English and German skills are also required. The state of Hesse pays all tuition fees, though students do need to pay a semester fee.

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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.