LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice

The key paradox of international human rights law is that the proliferation of treaties and adjudicative bodies of the past decades has not significantly diminished serious human rights violations and abuses in every state. As a consequence, standard setting and implementation, international treaties and domestic law, states and non-state actors have become central focuses of human rights activists and scholars.

The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice engages students in a critical, nuanced and interdisciplinary examination of this paradox and the multiple focuses of today’s human rights law and practice, while providing you with the practical socio-legal skills necessary to apply global norms at the local level.

Overview

Why study International Human Rights at York?

The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice engages you in a holistic examination of the law, policy, and advocacy of human rights. As such, it provides the substantive knowledge, versatile skills and valuable networks necessary for mid-career professionals and recent graduates to work in the human rights field. The LLM is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis.

The LLM in Human Rights Law and Practice is distinctive because our students:

  • Work on real human rights issues – You will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to apply international human rights frameworks and to make use of international mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights at local, national, regional and global levels;
  • Have the opportunity to work in partnership with international and local NGOs, human rights defenders, UN mechanisms and governmental bodies – You will develop socio-legal research skills and acquire fieldwork experience during a two-week placement in Malaysia (student numbers permitting) or in York;
  • Learn from the experiences of human rights defenders based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights and from the interactions with your student peers – You will learn to critically examine how political and social context shape human rights issues at legal and policy levels and develop advocacy strategies to address these issues;
  • Are taught in innovative and interactive small-class formats by academics who undertake cutting-edge research and are also experienced practitioners – You will acquire a solid academic foundation relevant to human rights practice, an excellent basis for a new career, career progression or PhD studies in the field of human rights.

I was awarded an Inner Temple scholarship for the Bar course. I believe that the advocacy skills I gained through the LLM’s interactive and engaging weekly simulations gave me an edge in the selection process. Those transferable skills will also be invaluable in my future as a lawyer.

Abdoulie Fatty, LLM Student 2011/12

Course content

LLM structure

Taught over 1 year, the LLM's structure reflects the three sides of human rights activism: law, policy and advocacy.

Term 1Term 2Term 3Summer
Legal Systems:
Sources & Operation
[10 credits]

International Human Rights Laboratory
[20 credits]

Research Skills & Methods
[10 credits]
 

Applying International Human Rights Law
[20 credits] 

Optional Module
[20 credits]
   
The Practice of
Fieldwork
[20 credits]
     
Human Rights Placement
[20 credits]
Dissertation
[60 credits]

Core modules

Our core modules enable you to acquire holistic knowledge and the necessary socio-legal skills for a successful career in human rights practice or progression to PhD study. They allow you flexibility to undertake research on those human rights topics which interest you most (e.g. by writing essays, making presentations, or developing an advocacy campaign on a topic of your choice and by undertaking a human rights placement with an organisation that works on a topic of interest).

  • Legal Systems: Sources and Operation (10 credits; term 1)
  • Applying International Human Rights Law (20 credits; term 1)
  • The Practice of Fieldwork (20 credits; term 1)
  • Human Rights Placement (20 credits; term 1 & 2)
  • International Human Rights Laboratory (20 credits; term 2)
  • Research Skills and Methods (10 credits; term 3)
  • Dissertation (60 credits; terms 3 & 4)

Optional modules

In the second term, you will be able to choose one optional module from a large variety of courses taught by staff from the Centre of Applied Human Rights (CAHR) or other departments at the University of York. You will have the opportunity to tailor your programme to enhance its interdisciplinary and to explore areas where rights are being used in new and innovative way.

Optional modules taught at CAHR

  • Asylum, Migration and Human Trafficking
  • Culture and Protest
  • The Modern Actors of International Law (International Organisations, Non-State Armed Groups, Corporations)

Optional modules taught at the York Law School

  • Corporate Responsibility and Law
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Constitutional Law and Theory
  • Medicine, Ethics and the Law

Optional modules taught in other departments

  • Africa and International Politics (Politics)
  • Citizenship and Education (Education)
  • Critical Theory (Politics)
  • Global Governance (Politics)
  • New security challenges (Politics)
  • Women, Citizenship and Conflict (Centre for Women's Studies)

* Module descriptors are available here.

** Please note that we are not able to guarantee availability of optional modules (due to academic leave of lecturers, insufficient demand, oversubscription)

Human rights placements

A distinguishable feature of the LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice is our practice-oriented approach. You will have the opportunity to work on a project in partnership with local and international human rights NGOs, UN mechanisms or governmental bodies. You will develop the project over two terms (from September/October to February) and undertake fieldwork over two weeks (weeks 9 and 10 of the autumn term) in Malaysia or York. Please note that the Malaysia trip/placements will only run if there are sufficient student numbers.

You will be expected to work together in small groups in partnership with an organisation on a human rights project; this includes:

  • Extensive background research on local and country context, the host organisation, relevant thematic issues;
  • Devising a project prior to the field visit, in collaboration with the host organisation;
  • Two weeks of intensive fieldwork in Malaysia or York in November and December;
  • Work to complete the project output (report, study, advocacy campaign, funding application etc.) during term 2 in York.

To get an idea of previous years' placements, have a look at student feedback on the experiences in York and Malaysia.

Dissertation

During the summer term, you will start work on a dissertation of up to 12,000 words on a topic of your choice. You will receive specific training on legal research skills and methods to assist you with writing the dissertation and will be guided in your work by a supervisor. The dissertation is due for submission in mid-September.

The dissertation is a substantive piece of academic work and the culmination of your studies. It can be the springboard to progressing to PhD studies. If prior agreement is obtained, you will be able to undertake a work-based dissertation (i.e. a dissertation that is relevant to the organisation where you work).

Method of teaching

The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice is taught in weekly interactive lectures and seminars covering specific case studies. Your lecturers rely on innovative learning methodologies such as 'flipping the classroom' and mooting (a simulation of an international human rights court) and your assessments will include academic essays, oral presentations, advocacy reports, and reflective diaries.

Full-time/part-time study

The course may be taken on a part-time basis. The schedule is somewhat flexible and be adjusted to accommodate individual needs; generally, part-time students of the LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice will have the following schedule:

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Summer
Year 1

Legal Systems:
Sources & Operation
[10 credits]
International Human Rights Laboratory
[20 credits]
   
Applying International Human Rights Law
[20 credits]
Optional Module
[20 credits]
   
Year 2

The Practice of
Fieldwork
[20 credits]
  Research Skills & Methods
[10 credits]
 

Human Rights Placement
[20 credits]

Dissertation
[60 credits]

*** Please note that the structure described on this page is different from that of the 2017/18 LLM. The changes that have been undertaken aim to enhance the student experience by further increasing the interactivity during class (between students, students and tutor, students and human rights defenders), by reinforcing the training on legal systems and legal research skills and methodology, and by updating the range of topics covered in our programme to respond to the dynamism of human rights law and practice. These changes result from a wide process of consultation.

I was a solicitor in the UK, litigating social welfare and other human rights issues, and wanted to transition into international human rights work. The Centre's LLM was my first choice because of its 'applied' focus and the opportunity to do field-based research with a Malaysian NGO. The LLM equipped me with the skills and confidence needed to gain an internship with Human Rights Watch's Africa Division and to refocus my career.

John Foley, LLM Student 2011/12

Modules

Core modules

Legal Systems: Sources and Operation

Through history, different jurisdictions have evolved different ways of making law. The two
main mechanisms can be classified as the common law (in which law is created through judicial precedent) and codified systems in which the core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as the primary source of law. In parallel, a matrix of international law, accepted as binding in relations between states, has developed. This module will enable you to understand and apply the differences and similarities between these systems and will serve as a foundation for the remainder of the LLM programme.

Key texts: Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge, 2014), Carr, International Trade Law (Routledge, 2014), Kelly, Hayward, Hammer and Hendy, Business Law (Routledge 2011), Carr, Carter and Horsey, Skills for Law Students (Oxford 2009).

Applying International Human Rights Law

Instructor: Ioana Cismas

Where do human rights come from and how are they protected under international law? Who are the rights-holders and the duty-bearers? Can the enjoyment of human rights be limited and if so, under what circumstances? What protection mechanisms exist and how can victims of human rights violations make use of them? This module will enable you to answer these questions by immersing you into the law and practice of international human rights. We will review the history and theories of human rights, the sources of human rights law, categories of rights and typologies of human rights obligations, and mechanisms for human rights protection.

Relying on innovative approaches to legal teaching and learning, Applying International Human Rights Law integrates a mooting exercise that simulates the proceedings of an international human rights mechanism. The moot provides you with a hands-on opportunity to explore selected human rights in complex legal situations. In addition to substantive knowledge of human rights, you can expect to develop your analytical and critical thinking, team work abilities, and independent research skills.

Key texts: Daniel Moeckli et al, eds, International Human Rights Law, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press 2017); Olivier de Schutter, International Human Rights Law: Cases, Materials, Commentary 
(2nd edition, CUP 2014).

The Practice of Fieldwork

Instructors: Alice Nah

This module addresses the political, ethical, logistical and methodological challenges of conducting fieldwork related to human rights, peacebuilding, and development in challenging contexts. Students will gain the awareness and skills to conduct fieldwork in a safe and ethical manner, both individually and in groups. The module will also examine different methodological approaches to research, both qualitative (interviews and focus groups) and quantitative (surveys), and how to write up research for different audiences. Specific attention will be paid to ethical practices in engagement with vulnerable individuals and communities.

Key texts: Barakat et al., 'The composite approach: research design in the context of war and armed conflict', Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2002; Bell, D. and Coicaud, J.M. (2007) (eds). Ethics in Action: the Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge; Bob, C. (2005) The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-13; Bryman, A. (2015) Social Research Methods. 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Brock, K. and Pettit, J. (2007) (eds). Springs of Participation: Creating and Evolving Methods for Participatory Development. Rugby: Practical Action; Cohen, D. (2001) Advocacy for Social Justice: A Global Action and Reflection Guide. Bloomfield: Kumarian; Cooper et al. (2012) Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide, London, Bloomsbury; Gready, P. (2010) 'Introduction – Responsibility to the Story'. Journal of Human Rights Practice 2(2): 177-90; Vanderstaay, S., 'One Hundred Dollars and a Dead Man - Ethical Decision Making in Ethnographic Fieldwork', Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2005.

Human Rights Placement

Instructors: Ioana Cismas, Martin Jones

This module gives students the opportunity to apply and gain new knowledge, skills and abilities through the implementation of a human rights project for an organisation in Malaysia or the United Kingdom. Students gain invaluable insights into some of the constraints, challenges and opportunities that human rights organisations/organisations working on human rights topics face. Students are encouraged to reflect on the theoretical content of the programme, and critically evaluate this against their experience on the ground. They should think critically about how their experience and the issues they dealt with on their project reflects and addresses the significant political, ethical, logistical, and methodological challenges to human rights practice.

Please find further information here.

International Human Rights Laboratory

Instructor: Martin Jones

This module examines the international human rights regime and, in particular, the role of the law and the situation of human rights defenders within that regime. The "Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" (also known as the "Human Rights Defender Declaration") of 1998 sets out the rights of activists and those seeking to advocate for human rights, including human rights lawyers. The module uses the Declaration as a case study and explores its significance both for our understanding of the key actors in human rights and the character of international human rights law itself. Students will develop both their knowledge of human rights activism and the international human rights regime as well as practical skills in relation to legal advocacy on human rights.

Key texts: "Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 (9 December 1998); R. Charli Carpenter, "Governing the Global Agenda: Gate-keeping and Issue Adoption in Transnational Advocacy Networks." in Deborah Avant, Martha Finnemore and Susan Sell, Who Governs the Globe? (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2010); Daniel Joloy, "Mexico's National Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders: Challenges and Good Practices" (2013) 5(3) Journal of Human Rights Practice, 489-499.

Research Skills & Methods

Instructor: Peter Harrison

This module will be a compulsory element of the LLM degree, to prepare students for the dissertation in term 3 and over the summer. It will provide an introduction to research methodologies and theoretical perspectives (such as doctrinal, comparative law, socio-legal, historical, content analysis, quantitative analysis, research ethics), as well as practical elements of carrying out a research project, to include research design - defining a topic and questions; locating sources and reading critically; constructing arguments, and referencing correctly.

Key texts: G. Griffin, M. McConville and Wing Hong Chui, Research Methods for Law (Edinburgh University Press, 2007); G. Holborn, Butterworths Legal Research Guide (2nd edn, Butterworths, 2001); A. L. Parrish and D.T. Yokoyama, Effective Lawyering: A Checklist Approach to Legal Writing and Oral Argument (Carolina Academic Press, 2007); M. Salter and J. Mason, Writing Law Dissertations: An Introduction and Guide to the Conduct of Legal Research (Longman, 2007); E. Volokh, Academic Legal Writing (3rd edn, Foundation Press, 2007); The Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edition, 2010).

Optional Modules

Optional Modules Taught at CAHR

Please note the offering of option modules will vary from year to year depending on student numbers and lecturer availability.

Asylum, Migration and Human Trafficking

Instructor: Martin Jones

This module will examine the phenomenon of human movement, including both forced and voluntary migration, and the legal frameworks that govern the rights of various categories of migrants. The module will focus on the specific policies which states put in place to advance (and to hinder) the enjoyment by migrants of their rights. The module will explore the general category of "migrant" and its various sub-categories (as defined by location of movement and by degree of volition), including the internally displaced, labour migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking. The module will examine the legal tools available to human rights defenders seeking to assist these groups. It will also examine the extent to which human rights law and policy have managed to challenge two of the remaining bastions of state sovereignty: the related powers of a state to control entrance and egress and its power to control its membership.

Key texts: Carol Batchelor, "Transforming International Legal Principles into International Law: The Right to a Nationality and the Avoidance of Statelessness", 25(3) in Refugee Survey Quarterly 8 (2006); Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, UN Doc. No. A/HRC/13/21 (5 January 2010); UK Border Agency, "Chapter 26: Unaccompanied Minors" (Enforcement Instructions); US Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 (June 2012).

The Modern Actors of International Law

Instructor: Ioana Cismas

The Modern Actors of International Law module exposes you to a cutting-edge topic in international legal research and practice: non-state actors and their role, status, rights and obligations under international law. The module discusses international law theories to understand whether and how non-state actors are accommodated within a discipline traditionally aiming to regulate the relations between states. Next, it explores international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law to unearth the legal framework of international organisations, armed groups and corporations as well as avenues to hold them accountable for violations.

This module will enable you to appreciate the changing reality of international law and evaluate the benefits and complex challenges brought about by the participation of non-state actors in international legal processes. It will foster your analytical skills, critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities.

Key texts: Jean d'Aspremont (ed), Participants in the International Legal System: Multiple Perspectives on Non-State Actors in International Law (Routledge 2011); Andrew Clapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors (OUP 2006); Noemi Gal-Or, Cedric Ryngaert, Math Noortmann (eds), Responsibilities of the Non-state Actor in Armed Conflict and the Market Place: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings (Brill 2015).
It is strongly recommended that you read an introductory text on international law. For example, Jan Klabbers, International Law (2nd ed, CUP 2017).

Development Alternatives: Development, Rights, Security (expected to run in 2019)

Instructor: Paul Gready

This module explores the intersections between development, human rights, and security on the grounds that both in theory and in practice these sectors are increasingly interlinked. A second core concern addressed in the module is to explore the ways in which these intersections are creating alternatives to dominant approaches, such as neo-liberalism in the economic sphere/development and a focus on law and civil and political rights within human rights. The term alternatives is understood in various ways - for example, alternatives at both a global or systemic level and in relation to local innovation; and progressive but also illiberal or authoritarian alternatives.
 
The module is split into three equally weighted sections: key concepts; global contexts; and local responses. The conceptual frameworks set out at the start will provide the spine of the module, and global and local case studies will refer back to conceptual frameworks provided at the start of the module. The module will be taught by a team of staff from the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) and Department of Politics, and all of the case studies draw on current research being undertaken by these staff members.

Optional Modules Taught at the York Law School

Optional Modules Taught in Other Departments

Fieldwork

Fieldwork

I cannot overestimate the value of the placement; my experiences were immensely rewarding and incredibly interesting. Throughout the entirety of the process, I have continued to expand my understanding of human rights and their practice in a wide variety of contexts. I thoroughly enjoyed the [Fieldwork and Placement] modules and would recommend the course as a whole to anyone looking to study human rights in practical and applied manner.
- Alice Trotter, LLM student 2017/18

The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice is distinguishable because it exposes you to the practice of international human rights law at local, regional or global levels. On the Practice of Fieldwork module, you will gain knowledge about concepts and methodologies and the skills to conduct fieldwork. The Human Rights Placement module provides you with the opportunity to work on a project in partnership with local and international human rights NGOs, UN mechanisms or governmental bodies. You will develop the project over two terms (from September/October to February) and undertake fieldwork over two weeks (weeks 9 and 10 of the autumn term) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia or York, the United Kingdom. Please note that the Malaysia trip/placements will only run if there are sufficient student numbers.

You will be expected to work together with other students in small groups in partnership with an organisation on a human rights project. This work will include:

  • extensive background research on country context, the host organisation, relevant thematic issues;
  • devising a project prior to the field visit, in collaboration with the host organisation;
  • two weeks of intensive work in Kuala Lumpur or York in November and December; and
  • work to complete the project output (report, study, advocacy campaign, funding application, etc.) during term 2 in York.

 Kuala Lumpur

Student feedback on placement experiences in York and Malaysia

Applying

Admission requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree with honours (2:1 or higher, or its equivalent). Some academic study or practical experience of law is desirable though not required. Applications are also welcomed from candidates with a good 2:2 degree (or equivalent) and at least 3 years of relevant work experience.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English, you will need these minimum English test scores:

  • IELTS: 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in Writing and no less than 6.5 in all other components
  • PTE: 67, with a minimum of 67 in Writing and no less than 61 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 185, with a minimum of 185 in Writing and no less than 176 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 96 with a minimum of 24 in Writing and no less than 23 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Distinction in all components

Further guidance can be found on the International Applicants language requirements page.

LLM fees and expenses

Tuition fees and living costs

Find out about tuition fees and living expenses.

Field trips and placements

You will need to budget approximately £1,200 for the Malaysia field visit over and above LLM tuition fees and living expenses. If you undertake placements in York you will not incur additional costs, apart from potential limited local travel.

Funding

We offer a variety of scholarships for Masters students to help with the costs of tuition fees and loans.  You may also be entitled to 

Scholarships 2018/9

CAHR scholarships for UK/EU students

The Centre for Applied Human Rights offers one scholarship for a student on the LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice in 2018-19. The value of the scholarship is £2,770. The scholarship is only open to UK/EU applicants who have received a conditional or unconditional offer for full-time study. Applications will be assessed on the basis of academic promise, practical experience, and human rights commitment. The 2018-19 scholarship application form (MS Word  , 27kb) should be emailed to Miriam Hemingway (cahr-admin@york.ac.uk) by 5pm UK time on Monday 30 April 2018.

The University of York and the York Law School offer postgraduate scholarships annually. For more information on scholarships and other funding opportunities, see Fees and Funding and the University's site for scholarships for international students.

International students: the University of York offers scholarships for overseas (non-EU) students. New in 2018/19 are Academic Excellence and Vice-Chancellor's scholarships.

CAHR regularly hosts Chevening scholars on its LLM programme. Please visit the secretariat's website for more information on Chevening Scholarships and check out what Chevening scholars at CAHR have to say about applying for the scholarship as well as studying at CAHR.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Apply now button

For more information about studies at the University of York, open days, funding and scholarships, please visit the Postgraduate study website.

Those interested in applying or already admitted are welcome to visit us here in York , where you can sit in on classes and meet with staff and current students. Alternatively, you can arrange for discussions with staff by phone. Please contact cahr-admin@york.ac.uk to arrange visits or phone calls.

Careers

Where after the LLM?

Our LLM provides career advice, networking opportunities, hands-on experience, and personalised reference letters to help our graduates find good jobs with human rights NGOs, charities, humanitarian organisations, policy think-tanks, bar associations, national human rights institutions, governmental bodies, domestic judiciaries, UN agencies and other international and regional organisations.

For example, recent graduates are working with:

  • The Bar Council (bar association representing barristers in England and Wales)
  • Defence for Children International
  • Development NGO in West Africa
  • East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network
  • Egyptian human rights NGO
  • European Union Special Representative's Office in Afghanistan
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Human Rights Watch
  • National Human Rights Commission of Korea
  • Pakistan's judicial sector
  • UK-based NGO working with sub-Saharan children affected by HIV/AIDS
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Some of our students specifically credit the LLM with helping them advance their careers.

"After a year of working on refugee issues, I wanted to develop my education in order to increase my career opportunities both within and outside the government. I chose the LLM at the Centre for Applied Human Rights for a number of reasons: the practical dimension to the learning, the truly international flavour of the course and the human rights defenders programme. The LLM has not disappointed – it has provided me a thorough academic understanding of international human rights through interactive and applied learning. Doing the LLM part-time has allowed me to simultaneously pursue my career, and the faculty has been extremely accommodating and supportive of my sometimes competing priorities. The knowledge and practical skills I developed during the LLM have already resulted in new career opportunities for me and have helped me to progress to more senior levels within government."

Michaela Throup, LLM Student 2010/12 (part-time)

For more details, please see our Alumni pages.

FAQ

LLM Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the LLM and the MA?

The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice addresses human rights holistically: the law, policy and advocacy of human rights, while also enabling you to acquire the required legal knowledge and socio-legal skills for human rights practice.

  • LLM students take a core module on "Applying International Human Rights Law" while MA students take a core module on "Social Sciences and Human Rights Practice". LLM students will receive training in legal systems and legal skills and methods. 
  • The overseas placement for LLM students is in Malaysia while that for MA students is in South Africa.

Can I do the LLM even if I haven't studied law before?

Yes, approximately half our LLM students have not studied law before.

Can I get a start on preparing for the LLM?

We will send out some readings over the summer to help prepare you for your studies.

How big is the LLM class? What is the class like?

There are usually 15-20 students in our LLM each year. About a third come straight from university. Another third have been out of school for a few years. A final third are mid-career professionals. Some students have no human rights experience while others are human rights defenders. Students come from all over the world with about one-half coming from the UK and the EU.

How is the LLM taught?

The LLM is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, problem-based learning, group work, and reflective learning.

What days will I have classes?

While we cannot confirm classroom timetabling until late summer, you might find it helpful to know the following:

  • Autumn Term has 8 weeks of classes and 2 weeks of placement (in Malaysia or the UK)
  • Spring Term has 9 weeks of classes
  • Summer Term is mostly independent study on your dissertation
  • Students typically have 8 hours of classes per week

Will I be able to work during my LLM?

Yes, many students do a combination of paid and volunteer work during the year. However, the University requires that full-time students do not work more than 20 hours per week.

How many contact hours will I have?

For full-time students, the contact hours are approximately:

  • Autumn Term: 36 hours of lectures and 28 hours of seminars
  • Spring Term: 40.5 hours of lectures and 31.5 hours of seminars
  • Summer Term: 16 hours of LLM dissertation training, presentations, and one-on-one meetings
  • There is also a sizeable amount of group work outside the classroom for the “Defending Human Rights” module in Autumn and Spring Terms

How is the LLM assessed?

The assessment of the modules differs in order to test the various skills and the wide knowledge which you will have acquired during your studies. Assessments range from academic essays, mooting written submissions and oral pleadings, shadow human rights reports, group project outputs, and reflective diaries.

The LLM dissertation is a 12,000-word piece of original work.

How can a student do well on the LLM?

The highest academic award is a Distinction, which requires that students earn a 70 or above in all their modules and a 70 or above on their dissertation. More details are available in the University's Guide to Assessment.

Can I write my dissertation on any topic I'm interested in?

You can choose your own dissertation topic as long as it has a human rights focus.

Will I have supervision or support throughout the process of writing my dissertation?

Yes, you will receive training in Research Skills & Methods at the beginning of term 3 and you will be assigned a dissertation supervisor. Where possible, we try to allocate supervision on the basis of your topic.

Where can I do my placement in 2018/9?

The placements we have offered in prior years are illustrative. We negotiate placements with interested organisations (NGOs, humanitarian organisations, UN mechanisms, governmental bodies) in Malaysia and the UK in summer 2018 and send out information to students at the beginning of September.

You select your placements in the first week of term 1. Please note that placements in Malaysia do not run in the absence of sufficient numbers of interested students.

What funding is available for the LLM?

There is information about funding opportunities on our website.

For overseas applicants, there is specific advice from recent Chevening Scholars on our website.

What is the deadline for my application?

There is no deadline for applications but there are deadlines for funding. Most offers of admission are made by early summer. We encourage you to apply early to allow you to prepare for the LLM and have time to make suitable arrangements for visas, finances, living arrangements in York.

Prospective student enquiries

York Law School

Email: law-pg-admissions@york.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1904 325802

Studying for the LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice

KL fieldtrip 2012

Student experiences »

Chevening scholars

Saeed, Chevening video interview

Chevening scholars on the LLM in International Human Rights Law & Practice talk about their experiences of studying at CAHR.

As an academic and practitioner (at the UN) in human rights, I can only congratulate the course team for putting together such an attractive package of learning and practice. It strikes me as very much a 'leading edge' programme in its area.

Patrick Thornberry CMG, Professor of International Law, Keele University, and Member, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Social Sciences Postgraduate Virtual Open Day, 31 January, 3-5pm