LLM in Human Rights Law

Queen’s Law School has more than 25 years’ experience in delivering an LLM in Human Rights Law. Throughout that period it has constantly reviewed and revised what it offers as part of the Human Rights Masters, shifting the content from time to time depending on the human rights issues that are most prominent and on the expertise of staff available to teach the various subjects. For the re-structured LLM starting in September 2015 we will be harnessing as much of our joint expertise as possible to provide a vibrant and relevant course which will stimulate the hearts as well as the minds of students who are taking it. The focus will remain on international human rights law (including at regional levels in Europe, Africa and the Americas) but there will be concentration as well on the practice of human rights, especially in the contexts of discrimination, armed conflicts, terrorism and migration.

The protection of human rights at the international level is a relatively new branch of law. Since World War Two there has been a huge growth in the number and variety of human rights standards set out in international treaties and in other so-called ‘soft law’ documents. The problem is that these standards are not always fully implemented and the international mechanisms for trying to get them implemented are defective. This LLM provide students with an opportunity to gain an in-depth appreciation of what has gone right and what has gone wrong and to suggest ways in which human rights could be protected more effectively so that human beings everywhere can realise their full potential.

The School’s LLM programmes in human rights are exciting and rewarding degree programmes which attract a diverse student body, including international students, students who are qualified legal practitioners and students with extensive experience in the statutory, community or voluntary sectors. The teachers on the programme have experience of working for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Working Group on Minorities; Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young Persons, the Inter American Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Council of Europe and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Women in Politics programme and the Geneva based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, amongst others. This diversity among both staff and students allows the students and teachers on the course to learn from each other and makes for a vibrant academic experience.

1 year full-time / 2 years part-time

A number of activities are organised for postgraduate Human Rights Students, see further details of Activities for LLM Human Rights Students

Entrance Requirements
Normally a 2:1 Honours degree or above or equivalent recognised qualification in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline.

Graduate Comments
“I had always been interested in human rights campaigning and activism, but studying human rights law provided me with intellectual and professional skills which were necessary to pick up interesting jobs. Queen’s University was a great place to study; the facilities, lecturers, internship opportunities, general learning environment, financial and academic support were excellent. I have recommended the course to several colleagues and friends.”   Louise Dear, Scotland

Organisation of the LLM Programmes

The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic.

Compulsory modules

  • International Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights in Practice
  • Dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words

Optional modules

  • Equality and Discrimination
  • Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Times of Conflict
  • Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Migration and Human Rights
  • Protecting Human Rights in Europe, Africa and the Americas

Methodology mini-modules

  • Concepts of Human Rights
  • Human Rights Research Methods
  • Concepts, Issues and Methods in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Approaches to Legal Research

Closing Date for Applications 
Applications, via the online portal, will be accepted up to end August.  After this date, please contact the School Postgraduate Secretary pglawenquiries@qub.ac.uk

Programme coordinatorProfessor Brice Dickson

Some funding opportunities exist for our Taught Masters programmes