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 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
In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, York Law School had the joint highest proportion of ‘internationally excellent’ and ‘world-leading’ research and was ranked joint 5th in the UK by Times Higher Education.
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.
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. You'll choose one option module from a list that may include:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
During the Summer Terms, you will work on a dissertation of up to 12,000 words on a topic of your choice.
Your Research Skills for Dissertation Writing 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.
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:
*While in previous years we have conducted fieldwork in Kuala Lumpur and York, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the 2020/21 academic year we will only be conducting remote fieldwork with partners around the world. Some of our projects will engage with the human rights challenges posed by the pandemic and the issues raised by the worldwide anti-racism protest movement. Find out more about CAHR’s work during this tumultuous time.
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
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 International Human Rights Law and Practice
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,040||£18,240|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
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).
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 expect to be able to offer one scholarship for the LLM International Human Rights Law and Practice in 2020/21. 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 International Human Rights Law and Practice
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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
We're making changes to comply with rules on social distancing. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.
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 York Law School. The Centre is based in the Research Centre for Social Sciences on Campus West and York Law School is located in the Law and Management Building on Campus East.
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 your 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 International Human Rights Law and Practice
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 International Human Rights Law and Practice
|Undergraduate degree||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.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||7.0, minimum 7.0 in Writing and 6.5 in all other components|
|PTE Academic||67, minimum 67 in Writing and 61 in all other components|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, minimum 185 in Writing and 176 in all other components|
|TOEFL||96 minimum 24 in Writing and 23 in all other components|
|Trinity ISE III||Distinction in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 125|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
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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