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LLB (Hons) International Human Rights Law

Apply the law to advance the struggle for human rights around the world

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)


York Law School

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

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Human rights lawyers and others with training in human rights law work to protect and have recognised in law the dignity and worth of the human person and ensure that those who are oppressed know that they are not alone.

The York Law School's LLB in International Human Rights provides you with the skills and experience to confidently contribute to the struggle for social justice in the UK and around the world. You will develop as a problem solver and creative, critical thinker through a problem-based learning (PBL) approach working collaboratively to analyse real-world human rights violations and pursue remedies. 

Throughout your degree you will learn not only about the complex set of norms, institutions and processes that have been developed to protect human rights around the world but how this human rights regime can be used to produce change.  You will develop your skills as a powerful written and oral communicator, coordinator and team player.

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What is problem-based learning? Find out more about our innovative approach to teaching, which gives you the chance to tackle complex cases head-on.

12th in the UK

for law, according to Complete University Guide (CUG) 2024.

Course content

Our distinctive course integrates the core legal curriculum with the development of skills required in the practice of human rights. The core modules include a series of Foundations modules which cover the core areas of English law and academic skills as defined by professional bodies. There are also core legal skills modules which you will develop key skills applied by human rights lawyers in practice.

Our range of option modules allow you to develop an individual learning pathway to reflect your career interest, focusing on a particular human rights issue or developing expertise in another field of law. At the core of the degree are modules focused on the practice of human rights law which allow you to work on advocacy and litigation with leading human rights organisations, and develop your skills in real cases as part of our clinic. You can focus your final year on particular issues or themes through your option modules, and choice of topics in your advanced law project module and case study module.


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Core modules

The Year 1 core modules will provide you with an understanding of the traditional core subjects integrated with a number of key legal skills and a range of critical and socio-legal perspectives on the law.

You will also develop your understanding of international human rights law and the practice of human rights lawyering:

  • International Human Rights 1: Theory, movement and institutions
  • Legal Skills (Human Rights)

Subjects covered in the Foundation modules include:

  • Criminal Law
  • Property Law (Including Land Law and Equity & Trusts)
  • Private Law of Obligations (Contract, Tort, Restitution and Remedies)
  • European Law
  • Public Law (including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

The Year 2 core modules will deepen your understanding of the traditional core subjects integrated with a number of key legal skills and a range of critical and socio-legal perspectives on the law.

You will also continue to develop your understanding of international human rights law and the practice of human rights lawyering.  The Human Rights Project will give you an opportunity to work as part of a team on a human rights project with a leading human rights organisation.

  • Advanced Legal Skills (Human Rights)
  • International Human Rights 2: Law, courts and practice
  • Human Rights Project

Year 3

In Year 3 you will develop your understanding of specific topics in human rights and your ability to conduct independent practical and academic work on human rights. 

You will undertake one advanced law project module and a case study module.  In both modules you'll be assigned a supervisor who'll support you through the process.  In the advanced law project you’ll have an opportunity to undertake an extended research project on a human rights topic of your choice.

You will continue to develop your practice of human rights law by undertaking a legal clinic module, providing support in the Baroness Hale Legal Clinic on real-world cases engaging with human rights issues.

  • Legal Clinic (Human Rights)

Option modules

You will also study two optional modules. Examples of these modules may include:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles and theories of English, EU law and international human rights law, and plan efficient and effective research strategies to identify, evaluate and apply relevant legal rules, principles, facts and theories to a broad range of integrated legal and practical issues [Knowledge and research/basic PSRB knowledge requirements].
  • Apply and adapt problem-solving skills developed through problem-based learning - analysing facts, parties’ interests and objectives, and identifying legal and practical issues - to deal confidently, creatively and in a structured manner with new and unfamiliar problems that might be encountered in the practice of human rights law [Problem-solving/PBL].
  • Develop well-reasoned, critical and creative arguments, theories and solutions to legal issues and problems, with the capacity to draw on these to produce original responses in a range of media to topics in international human rights [Critical and creative].           
  • Holistically integrate and adapt well-developed legal, academic and interpersonal skills when engaging with clients, peers, civil society and other professionals; which could include skills in interviewing, researching, problem-solving, advising, negotiating, communicating, planning, case analysis and advocacy [Clinical].
  • Communicate confidently and effectively, both verbally and in writing in a range of formats; presenting well-reasoned academic arguments and opinions, supported by evidence; providing structured, reasoned, practical legal advice; all adapted to intended recipients and audiences, whether academic, public, professional or clients [Articulate].
  • Draw upon a broad awareness of perspectives and interests in their work, capable of taking into account ethical, social, political, professional, commercial, financial, international, policy, human rights, ethnic, gender and client interest considerations when evaluating propositions and dealing with problems [Awareness].
  • Work efficiently and effectively, both independently and as part of a team, drawing upon personal and interpersonal skills and attitudes developed as part of a student law firm [Independent and interpersonal].
  • Record, reflect on and evaluate individual strengths, weaknesses and progress in personal learning and professional development, to then be able to identify and set future learning requirements and career goals to further improve individual knowledge and skills [Reflective].                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

Although students may decide to purchase some textbooks or other resources, we have an extensive physical and electronic library, so that there is no requirement to do so.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition fees and living costs:

Living costs

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You'll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field, engaged in human rights advocacy and litigation, and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Our LLB is taught mainly through problem-based learning. This method will simulate the practice of human rights law and develop your skills of analysis, reasoning and judgement. Through this approach you'll also develop communication and project management skills that will enhance your effectiveness in the world of work.

You will be part of a student law firm during your studies. Your firm will be faced with complex legal issues as part of each of your modules; you will decide how you want to operate as a firm, build relationships within your team, and collectively approach these problems in a realistic way. Your firm may be working alongside or in opposition to other firms. 

You will learn to identify the key legal principles, and establish what you know as well as what you need to ascertain. Through this process, you will reflect on deeper social and theoretical issues, such as questions of justice, fairness and human rights. Tutor-facilitators will guide you through particular points and issues, helping you maximise your time of study.

You'll also learn through a range of other resources including: plenary lectures, written subject guides, and a variety of relevant material in our virtual learning environment.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.


York Law School has a dedicated Problem Based Learning Suite and mock up court room for our students. You can use these during your contact hours and for independent studying. Our Baroness Hale Legal Clinic provides a hub for our legal activism and an opportunity to pursue human rights advocacy and work on live cases.  The Centre for Applied Human Rights, affiliated with the Law School and the Department of Politics and International Relations, is an interdisciplinary research and teaching platform for academics, activists, policymakers and others to discuss shared challenges and co-produce solutions.

Teaching location

York Law School is located on Campus East. Nearly all of your teaching will take place within the Law and Management building or nearby on Campus East.

About our campus

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 - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

York Law School uses two main forms of assessment, formative and summative.

  • Formative assessment provides feedback on coursework tasks and your general contribution in PBL and Skills sessions. This does not count towards your final module grades.
  • Summative assessment consists of formal skills-based coursework tasks, examinations and formal assessment of individual contribution in PBL and Skills sessions as part of some modules. These assessments will count towards your final module grades.

You will sit all examinations (and assignments generally) as an individual. They have, however, been specially designed to reflect the PBL learning process and so facilitate group work as a means of preparation.

In addition, many modules, including all Foundation Stream modules, will assess your performance using coursework, including focused essays and more general reflective assignment.

Careers and skills

Our pioneering Careers and Development programme will help to ensure you are ready to pursue your chosen career path. Created through collaboration with leading local, national and international firms and key vocational providers, the programme includes professional skills workshops, personal development, mentoring schemes and link days.

We also have a dedicated full-time Employability Tutor, who can give you advice on a wide range of matters, from CV and assessment centre techniques to general career planning.

We have established a wide range of professional links and partnering arrangements. Through these you benefit from 'real world' lawyers as part of the teaching team and gain access to practical, work-based learning opportunities that can help you to prepare for your career.

Career opportunities

Qualifying as a solicitor or a barrister

If you wish to qualify as a solicitor (in England and Wales), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requirements are that you:
• have a degree-level qualification or equivalent;
• pass two solicitor qualification examinations – SQE1 and SQE2;
• complete two years of qualifying work experience (QWE); and
• meet character and suitability requirements.
Your LLB from YLS will fulfil the first requirement, and enable you to develop elements of the legal knowledge and skills assessed in SQE1 and SQE2.

If you wish to qualify as a barrister, the first stage of qualification is to meet the academic requirements of the Bar Standards Board (BSB). Your LLB from YLS includes the seven foundations of legal knowledge required by the BSB for the academic component of barrister training.

Qualifying as a lawyer in another jurisdiction

If you want to qualify as a lawyer in another jurisdiction your law degree from YLS may be recognised as contributing to the entry requirements of the professional stage of legal training.

Undertaking further study or research

Our thriving research environment offers a number of postgraduate study opportunities. We have a number of taught postgraduate programmes and welcome proposals for MPhil and PhD study. As an LLB student here you can prepare for further study and experience working with academic colleagues through our research internship programme.

Transferable skills

  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Negotiation
  • Project management
  • The ability to formulate an opinion based on a rounded view of an issue or problem

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels


Access to Higher Education Diploma 39 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 6 awarded Merit or higher. Please note that all Access Diploma and Foundation Degree applications are considered in light of all academic achievement.
BTEC National Extended Diploma D*DD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3
European Baccalaureate 85% overall
International Baccalaureate 36 Points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AAABB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other qualifications Canadian Ontario Secondary School Diploma: Average of 85% in six Grade 12 U or M level courses. British Columbia High School Diploma: Average of 85% in four Grade 12 courses.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ We recognise the value of this qualification although it will not be included as a condition of entry. It may be taken into consideration when you receive your results.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our 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 English language test 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.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).


Our problem-based learning approach is very different to other law schools, so it's important to discover whether or not it's right for you. If we're thinking of making you an offer, we'll ask you to complete an online self-assessment. This will help you understand what life is like as a law student at York, and decide if you want to move forward with your application.

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Stephen Levett | Admissions Tutor
Martin Jones | Programme Leader

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York Law School

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