Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

LLM International and European Human Rights Law

In this Section:

If you want to ...

  • examine the concept of rights in political philosophy
  • explore global and local human rights concerns
  • investigate the impact of international human rights
  • analyse the relevance of international human rights to domestic law

... then consider LLM International and European Human Rights Law.

"This advanced course in human rights taught by international experts offers a unique and distinctive focus on the theories and practice of rights, producing a vibrant environment for exploring this highly significant area of law and policy.

Dr Amrita Mukherjee, Programme director.

LLM International and European Human Rights Law will give you a greater understanding of the current systems of human rights legal protection.  

Human rights, though considered inalienable, are man-made: identified, developed, constructed and codified into legal systems.

However, national and international concern with new and different orientations towards human rights theories and practices has become very apparent: for example, the UK is currently considering its legal relationship to the European Convention of Human Rights.

Our programme explores the complex role of human rights in law and policy. We place special focus on implementation of human rights, through monitoring and internalisation of human rights, and exploring how human rights spread.

You will examine national and international systems of rights protection, including the European Convention, UN and Treaty-based rights. You will also investigate the law as regards freedom of expression, and human rights as regards media organisations, terrorism, health care, the family, and disabled people.

You will learn how to read and interpret primary and secondary sources, and develop skills in drafting, research and advocacy. You will develop the ability to appreciate global problems and politics, and consider contemporary problems in light of political and cultural differences.

Our programme attracts many international students, so you will study in a diverse and supportive environment that offers many opportunities for you to exchange ideas and build valuable networks. 

Career possibilities

Students who have graduated from this degree often choose careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying human rights law and developing policies at organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practice as lawyers or legal advisors.

Our alumni include people working at the EU Commission, at the United Nations, Non-Governmental Organisations and in the government sector. Others have chosen to follow academic careers.

This programme has four compulsory modules. You also choose another three to six optional modules to complete your programme.

Compulsory Modules

International Human Rights Law introduces you to the idea of the international human rights protection, and the mechanisms introduced by the United Nations to protect human rights and certain regional human rights systems. It considers the structure of the international human rights system, paying particular attention to the work of the Human Rights Committee and the legal regime on the prohibition on torture.

European Human Rights analyses different rights -- for example, life, expression, privacy and assembly -- and considers their protection in European and domestic law, with reference, where appropriate, to EU law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the UN International Covenant, and the ECHR.

Postgraduate Legal Research Methods aims to prepare you for legal research required for seminar preparation, coursework assignments and for writing dissertations in law. The module focuses on instilling the fundamental research skills that you need to undertake any type of legal research.

Dissertation allows you to tailor your own programme of training and research in consultation with a member of staff drawn from the school's MA/PhD supervisory panel.

Optional modules

  • Cyberlaw: Law and Regulation of the Information Society
  • EU Discrimination Law
  • Global Governance through Law
  • Globalisation and Crime
  • International Human Rights and Disabled People
  • World Trade Organisation Law

Programme structure

Seminars are usually held on a two-weekly basis and are two hours long. You are strongly advised to also attend the weekly lectures on international human rights and international law, particularly if you have previously not studied international law.


The programme provides the structures and support to carry out advanced levels of legal research. Each seminar session requires reading and research of primary and secondary resources, with priority given to current legal problems which you will be asked to analyse.

During the seminar, the high quality of student engagement and discussion, with guidance from the lecturer allows for critical evaluation and deepening understanding of theoretical concepts and their application to practical problems. The aim is to recognise and demonstrate originality and independent thinking, culminating in the 60-credit dissertation.


Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase advanced legal research.

Here, at the School of Law, our LLM International and European Human Rights Law programme offers you ...

  • Teaching by experts with policy insight

The key members of staff who teach on the programme and offer unique insight into the practice of international human rights include a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, key policy advisors to the EU and the UK Law Society as well as other international organisations.

These academics regularly advise and work with governments, lawyers, NGOs and individuals on crucial human rights issues on domestic, regional and human rights levels. The course has also been approved by the prestigious Open Society Foundation, which allocates two scholarships for the programme.

  • A supportive learning environment

The School of Law provides a supportive learning environment, individual pastoral support, a compact teaching framework within smaller group settings and an opportunity to undertake a larger research project with appropriate mentoring and support.

  • A supplementary academic and professional skills programme

If you study with us, you will also benefit from our academic skills programme. This ten-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law.

This programme provides an opportunity to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills required for you to excel during your taught postgraduate programmes, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation. Previous programmes have included workshops on analytical skills, presentation skills, career planning, and dissertation writing. 

  • The opportunity to study at a leading research-led university

The School has been ranked 4th equal in the UK for the impact of its research (REF 2014). Our research groups include:

LLM International and European Human Rights Law is a postgraduate programme of study that enables you to learn from experts across the School of Law.

All the School of Law Centres provide vibrant forums for research as human rights is now considered in virtually all policy considerations, whether in relation to criminal justice, business, social justice, emerging technologies, international and regional organisations and governance.

The culture in the School has a long and rich history of human rights research. Collaboration particularly in the last few years, with the adoption of focus on Global Law and Justice and increasing internationalisation of teaching and research, has meant that staff and student members have been able to benefit from this culture.

Tolerant and respectful dialogue, taking into account ethical values and diversity, has been harnessed to create a healthy research environment for all members.

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