Human Rights Studies

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University Lund University
Degree type Master
Academic title M.A. Master of Arts
Location Sweden
Methodology on campus
Commitment Full time
Duration 24- months
Tuition fee
Deadline 15. January 2023
Language English

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In the Fall of 2019 a new master’s programme was launched within the multidisciplinary field of human rights at the Human Rights Studies division, Department of History, Lund University. We have a long tradition of educating students, with a well renowned Bachelor program in Human Rights Studies. As the only university in Sweden, we also offer a multidisciplinary, four-year Ph.D. programme in our field.

Our multidisciplinary research environment studies human rights in all their complexity, from historical, philosophical, ethical, political, and legal perspectives. We are particularly interested in human rights in society, their role in democratic and non-democratic political systems, and what it means for institutions to respect and promote human rights.

Our master programme aims to give students the opportunity to study the complex phenomenon that human rights represent in our world in a historical and contemporary perspective. Teachers and researchers are committed to the view that human rights need to be regarded and studied, not only as ethical principles or ground for law and policy, but also as part of the infrastructure of a democratic society. With an interactive teaching style, closely connected to our ongoing research, we aim to give our students a research-oriented programme for those interested in gaining interdisciplinary skills relevant for political and cultural challenges of our time.

The Human Rights Studies division at the Department of History is also home to the only PhD program in interdisciplinary human rights studies in Sweden. We are located at the LUX Humanities Centre which offers a vibrant environment with library, café, and reading rooms.

Course Syllabus

The first year consists of mandatory and thematic courses to give students a solid basis before starting the second year. During the first semester students take two courses. First, they immerse themselves in human rights with a focus on indicators, actors and institutions connected to human rights in a global perspective. Also, students examine global connections regarding politics, economy, environment, conflict, migration and activism. On the second course, they study the political and philosophical historiography of human rights in the modern era, from a critical and analytical perspective. Students explore debates about legitimisation and justification of human rights as well as critique. The second semester focuses on research methods and ethics, project management, as well as a thematic specialization connected to ongoing research at our division.

The second year aims to give students opportunity to choose their own specialization. All through the third semester students do a practical or research internship with an institution or organisations of their choice or conduct independent research. On the fourth and last semester students conclude an independent research assignment and present their research in a Master thesis, 30 credits.

Compulsory courses (with number of credits):
  • Human Rights in the Global World: Agents, Indicators, and Institutions (15)
  • Human Rights in the History of Politics and Philosophy (15)
  • Human Rights in Practice: Research Methods, Research Ethics, and Project Management (15)
  • Thematic Specialization (15)
  • Field Course (30)
  • Master’s thesis (30)

Admission Requirements

Entry requirements

A Bachelor s degree with a major in human rights or other relevant major in the humanities, social sciences, law, or the equivalent. English Level 6.

Selection criteria
Basis of previous study results from courses that are of relevance for this programme, the statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under “Entry requirements”). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

Scholarships are available here

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About the author

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.