Human rights abuses still occur, despite growing numbers of international treaties and organisations dedicated to their eradication. The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice engages you in a critical, nuanced and interdisciplinary examination of this paradox.
You'll learn about issues central to the work of human rights scholars and practitioners including states and non-state actors as perpetrators and duty-bearers; standard-setting versus implementation; and the interaction between law, policy and advocacy at local, regional and global levels. Whether you are a mid-career professional or recent graduate, our LLM enables you to acquire the substantive knowledge, versatile skills, and valuable networks necessary to work in the human rights field.
The LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice is distinctive because you will:
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
Gain direct experience of fieldwork on placement in York, UK or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Our unique Protective Fellowship Scheme puts experienced activists at the heart of your learning.
The LLM aims to familiarise you with three key aspects of human rights activism; law, policy and advocacy. You'll learn to
You'll have the opportunity to work on a human rights project in partnership with local and international non-governmental organisations, United Nations mechanisms or governmental bodies.
You and your group will forge a relationship with an organisation, to develop and deliver a project. The experience mirrors a classic human rights mission, requiring the following elements:
Past projects have included:
Please note that the Malaysia trip will only run if there are sufficient student numbers.
Our core modules enable you to acquire holistic knowledge and the socio-legal skills you need for a successful career in human rights practice, or progression to PhD study.
They give you flexibility to undertake research on issues you're passionate about. You'll have opportunities to write essays, produce presentations, develop advocacy campaigns, and to undertake a human rights placement with an organisation that works on a topic of interest.
Our range of option modules gives you the opportunity to tailor your programme and to explore areas where rights are being used in innovative ways. Choose one of the following modules to study during the spring term:
We are not able to guarantee availability of optional modules (due to academic leave of lecturers, insufficient demand, oversubscription).
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Dissertation (60 credits)
During the Summer Terms, you will work on a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a topic of your choice.
Your research skills and methods module will give you the specific training you need to succeed, and you'll also be guided by an academic 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's often possible to align your dissertation with an organisation you've worked with, ensuring it has immediate relevance and impact. As part of their dissertation research, many of our students choose to undertake fieldwork and collect primary data, drawing on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills which they have developed on the LLM. The dissertation can be the springboard to progressing to PhD studies.
Previous students' dissertations have investigated:
York Law School and CAHR recognise the hard work and celebrate the academic achievements of our students by offering a Best Written Dissertation Award and Best Overall Student Prize.
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 modules and would recommend the course as a whole to anyone looking to study human rights.Alice, LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice (2018)
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)|
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
If you choose to undertake a placement in Malaysia you will need to budget around £1,200 to £1,400, over and above tuition fees and living expenses. Placements in York do not incur additional costs, apart from potential limited local travel.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
We are offering one scholarship for the LLM International Human Rights Law and Practice. 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.
Awarded by British embassies and high commissions, Chevening Scholarships provide one year of fully-funded postgraduate study in the UK. They are offered to early and mid-career professionals with the potential to become future leaders. We have hosted 34 Chevening Scholars in the past five years and welcome further enquiries and applications. To find out more, please visit our Chevening scholarships webpage.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
The Centre for Applied Human Rights and North Yorkshire Police are partner organisations in furthering the cause behind the York Human Rights City project. What could be more rewarding for a police officer than to have a placement with another police force abroad. This exposure has stimulated me to appreciate how human rights are embedded into day to day affairs of policing in the UK.Kashif, LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice and Chevening Scholar (2018)
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
You will be taught by academics and experienced practitioners in a range of innovative and interactive formats, including:
Most of the teaching activities will take place at the Centre for Applied Human Rights and the York Law School. The Centre is based in the Research Centre for Social Sciences and the York Law School is located in the Law and Management Building. In addition, you will spend two weeks undertaking fieldwork, either in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) or in and around York (UK).
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll be assessed on work including essays, moot written submissions and individual oral pleadings, legal advocacy campaigns, reflective diaries, presentations, and the dissertation.
We'll be looking for evidence of your ability to interpret international human rights law and use compelling socio-legal arguments to identify and challenge human rights violations. You should be able to speak knowledgeably about unfolding international events to a range of audiences, and collect and interpret qualitative data to support your arguments.
As well as your assessed work you'll be given formative assignments which don't count towards your final grade. The feedback you receive for this work will help you develop your skills and identify areas for improvement.
All the professors were really helpful, and really ready to share all their knowledge and experience. The Centre for Applied Human Rights provides a spirit and energy that motivates you to think more passionately about human rights.Marina, LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice (2015)
We provide career advice, networking opportunities, hands-on experience, and personalised reference letters to help you find good jobs with human rights NGOs, humanitarian and development organisations, policy think-tanks, national governments, and UN agencies.
Previous students have gone on to work for:
Find out more about our graduates' careers.
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 refocus my career.John, LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice (2012)
You should have, or be about to complete, an undergraduate degree at 2:1 (or equivalent). We will also consider a 2:2 with at least three years' relevant work experience.
Some academic study or practical experience of law is desirable, but not required.
If English is not your first language, you may need to provide evidence of your ability. We accept the following qualifications:
Further guidance can be found on the international applicants language requirements page.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
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.Michaela, LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice (2012)
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