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MA Human Rights

Course Overview

This course offers a compelling programme of study in human rights to prepare you for your future career in the field.

Introducing you to the different approaches to human rights taken in law, politics, sociology and philosophy, the course offers you the opportunity to specialise in your area of interest. The course has close links with human rights organisations in London and opportunities for work placements, as well as a full programme of professional development.

You will leave equipped with the skills and experience that will help you pursue a successful career.

Key information

    Course name

    MA Human Rights

    Total academic credits

    180 credits

    Qualification awarded


    Awarding body

    University of Roehampton

    Professional recognition


    Academic level

    Postgraduate (QCF_NQF Level 7)

    Study mode

    Full time - Classroom


    12 months

    Tuition fees




    Work placement


    Course location

    Roehampton Lane (Digby Stuart College) campus, London

Academic entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a usually with a good second-class honours degree (or above) (or equivalent) from an approved university or college in the UK, or a recognised degree from abroad in a related subject. Non-graduates with appropriate professional experience or other qualifications such as a second-class degree may be accepted on an individual basis after consideration by the Programme Convener.

English entry requirements

Graduates for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band.

Students who fail to meet this standard at the point of application are recommended to attend a pre-sessional English course at the University.

Assessment methods

Combination of examination, coursework and a supervised independent research project.

The programme adopts a broad range of learning and teaching strategies to ensure students' diverse needs and talents are catered for: the university uses essays, projects and presentations for assessment; and you are supported in your learning in taught sessions and individual tutorials with supervisors.

Progression route

Further academic study of DBA, PhD or other research degree or Professional career.

Career opportunities

Careers in human rights campaigning, advocacy and defending, or in national and international government, non-governmental agencies, think tanks and the media.



  • Human Rights: Discourses and Debates
  • Human Rights Research Methods
  • MA Induction
  • MA Colloquium
  • Dissertation


Optional - Students select three modules. All modules are subject to availability –

  • International Relations and Human Rights
  • Sociology of Human Rights
  • Civil Society: Policy and Management
  • Human Rights Advanced Placement
  • Understanding Genocide
  • International Human Rights and Criminal Law
  • International Development and Human Rights


Reasons for choosing this course

The programme aims to:

  • facilitate at an advanced level appropriate for postgraduate study a detailed appreciation and understanding of the sociological study of human rights
  • facilitate at an advanced level appropriate for postgraduate study an understanding of the complex relationship between sociology as a discipline and the field of human rights, and by extension of multidisciplinarity and disciplinarity as applied to the academic study of human rights
  • ensure that students are able not only to evaluate the benefits of social research methods to the study of human rights, but are fully equipped with the skills and confidences required to undertake research in this area
  • develop to an appropriate degree an understanding among students of the relationship between theory and social 'reality', in particular the 'reality' of human rights concerns in contemporary context
  • prepare students for careers beyond their programme of studies through the development of practical, technical and transferable skills appropriate for postgraduate employment

In addition, the MA programme aims to:

  • allow students the opportunity to develop an original piece of academic writing within their discipline on a topic of interest to them, which will demonstrate an advanced understanding of current research and be a contribution to on-going debates


Main learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the programme will:

  • have developed to a level appropriate for postgraduate study an understanding of the contributions made by various disciplines to the study of human rights, and of the problematic nature of disciplinarity in the study of human rights
  • be fully equipped to analyse and interpret data and events within the field of human rights from a perspective informed by sociology
  • have developed an appropriate level of expertise in preparing a research proposal that is situated firmly within the framework of sociology, in the field of human rights
  • have developed to an appropriate level an appreciation of the relationship between theoretical debates and contemporary human rights concerns and policies
  • have developed appropriate practical and transferable skills to enable them to competently and confidently engage with complex, highly specialised, often contradictory and unpredictable resources, including but not limited to skills in critical interpretation, the evaluation of priorities, problem solving, independent learning, and presentation of work

In addition, upon completion of the MA programme, students will:

  • have developed an appropriate level of expertise in writing a detailed piece of analysis, whether theoretical or methodological, that is situated firmly within the framework of sociology, in the field of human rights