International Human Rights Law PGCert

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
PGCert International Human Rights Law (DL)
Duration
2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 or international equivalent) in law, humanities or social sciences; applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience also considered
Other requirements
IELTS
7.0 (no less than 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, and 6.0 in speaking and listening)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September
Campus
Available by distance learning, with some teaching on University Park
School/department
Law
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
 

Overview

Knowledge of the international human rights system has become an essential requirement for those working to improve the situation of persons around the world. This distance-learning programme has been designed to allow you to study this area part-time to fit around your commitments.
Read full overview

You will be provided with a thorough grounding in human rights law and systems, as well as the opportunity to pursue more specialist interests such as the rights of the child and international criminal justice. This course is designed to ensure that you obtain a sound theoretical understanding of human rights law and up to date knowledge of how international human rights standards and systems operate in practice.

The course is supported by the world-leading Human Rights Law Centre, which is led by Professor David Harris and Professor Dominic McGoldrick.

Key facts

  • This distance-learning programme can be studied anywhere in the world, with an intensive residential weekend at the University of Nottingham
  • The School of Law is consistently ranked among the world's top law schools, placing in the worldwide top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
  • 81% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 96.6% of law postgraduates in work or further study within six months of graduation
 

Course details

You will complete 30 credits of core modules and a further 30 credits from a choice of optional modules.

Materials

This course is predominantly delivered by distance learning and designed to be studied part-time to fit around your commitments. For each module, you will be provided with extensive materials including basic text, case studies, further reading and self-test questions.

You will have access to a reading pack of core academic articles for each module. All material is provided online, and there will be academic support and a discussion forum for each module.

Intensive residential sessions

There will be one intensive residential weekend held at the University of Nottingham. This provides the opportunity to develop understanding through traditional face-to-face teaching (lectures, seminars and workshops). These will be delivered mainly by academic staff from the University of Nottingham, with a few sessions also presented by guest lecturers.

The intensive teaching sessions constitute an important element of the programme, helping to ensure it is of the same high quality as the school's full-time programmes. You are strongly encouraged to attend, although this is not compulsory.

 
 

Modules

Core modules

United Nations Law

This module examines the international institutional law and general international law governing the United Nations, including the central organs (for example the Security Council and General Assembly), subsidiary organs (such as the UNEP and the UNDP), and the specialised agencies (for example, the WHO, UNESCO, ICAO). 

It considers:

  • the UN's constitutional basis
  • its legal personality and powers
  • membership and budgetary matters
  • representation and decision making
  • sanctions regimes
  • the UN's military options
  • issues of responsibility, accountability and immunities
  • the UN's contribution to the development and enforcement of international law
 
Regional Human Rights Law

This module will expose you to how human rights are protected in regional human rights law. In doing so, it will focus on the standards and mechanisms related to the Inter-American, African, ASEAN and Council of Europe (excluding the ECHR) regional human rights systems.

Having addressed the evolution of the specific systems, as well as their key institutions, the module will focus on a number of substantive rights areas from a critical comparative perspective. These will include migrant rights, children's rights and limitations on rights within the different systems.

The module will cover both the 'theory' and the 'practice' of regional human rights protection. In addition to looking at standards and mechanisms, you will consider the challenges posed in the different regions to the effective realisation of (some or all) human rights. This will include an examination of issues such as regional social and cultural attitudes, as well as logistical issues such as the limited enforcement powers and poor resourcing of some regional human rights systems.

 

Qualifying module options

Current Human Rights Issues

Content to be confirmed.

 
International Criminal Evidence

This module explores the strengths and weaknesses of different models of proof in both domesticand international criminal justice systems and the extent to which an international consensus is emerging around the principles of evidence and proof.

 
International Humanitarian Law

This module examines the legal constraints of international and national warfare. It traces the historical and contextual development of the law and focuses upon the principles which govern warfare. During the module, you will also study the mechanisms for the enforcement and the implementation of international humanitarian law.

 
The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law

Following a review of the history of international refugee law, the module focuses on the legal context of forced displacement today, including the rights and obligations of States and the rights of individuals.

The 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees are reviewed, with due regard also to human rights protection. Who is a refugee, and how decisions are made, are examined with reference to key terms, such as persecution, race, religion, political opinion and social group, and in light of selected contemporary issues, such as conscientious objection to military service, women refugees, flight from conflict, security, terrorism, and 'exclusion'.

The module also considers the legal standing of currently contested issues, such as the right to seek asylum, the principle of non-refoulement, procedural standards, the responsibility to determine asylum claims, and extra-territorial measures of interception.

Examples from different jurisdictions and the practice of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are used to focus attention on the adequacy of existing international mechanisms, particularly in the face of the challenges presented by migration, human smuggling, trafficking, internal displacement, complex emergencies (including protracted conflict) and humanitarian assistance.

 
The Rights of the Child

The module will explore the rights of the child in international human rights law, focusing on topics such as the concepts of childhood and the best interests of the child, family rights, education, child soldiers, child labour, the punishment of children, and the economic social and cultural rights of the child.

 
Women's Rights

Content to be confirmed.

 

 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Funding

Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

 
 

Careers

Providing advanced training in international human rights law, this course provides the opportunity to enhance your experience and career prospects.

Employability and average starting salary

96.6% of postgraduates from the School of Law who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £23,214 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £32,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

 
 
 
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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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