Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights MA


Fact file

MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1(or international equivalent) in any discipline
Other requirements
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September or January
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course explores what recent changes to the global cultural and political landscape mean for individuals and groups, in terms of their ability to access human rights.
Read full overview

Demand for various forms of expertise on human rights, citizenship and identities is rapidly expanding as governments, international agencies, non-governmental organisations and private sector organisations become increasingly sensitive to and interested in questions about rights and identities.

In the current global context national versions of citizenship have reached crisis point. Yet what does it mean to think of yourself as a global citizen? The MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights aims to find out by investigating critical global questions such as war, migration, climate change, the credit crunch, the rise of nationalism, the impact of global media, sex tourism, modern slavery, the transformation of gender and sexuality and, of course, contemporary racism.

You will explore what recent changes to the global cultural and political landscape mean for individuals and groups in terms of their ability to access human rights (social, economic and cultural, as well as political and civil).

This course is particularly suited to social science and arts graduates who wish to pursue careers in the NGO sector, academia, civil service or journalism, as it:

  • provides advanced sociological knowledge of debates on human rights, citizenship, globalisation and identities
  • offers opportunities to develop specialist knowledge and understanding of post-conflict cultures, human rights law and/or of media and globalisation, rights and identities

Student profile

Magnolia Zavala speaks about studying the MA Global Citizenship and how this determined her decision to do a PhD in Sociology.

Key facts

  • In the latest Research Excellence Framework, 78% of our research was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent

Course details

This course consists of taught modules totalling 120 credits (which are taken during the autumn and spring terms) and a 60-credit dissertation (undertaken over the summer period).

You will take modules addressing sociological debates on human rights, citizenship, globalisation and identities, which will give you a critical understanding of their application in a range of discourses (political, legal, academic and popular). They are assessed by written work of either one 5,000-word or two 2,500-word assignments.

The 15,000-word dissertation is a key component of this degree. It affords you the opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of your choice under the supervision of sociologists who are nationally and internationally known for their expertise on citizenship, national and ethnic identities, globalisation, human rights and children's rights.

Past dissertation topics have included:

  • To what extent do the campaigns carried out by international non-governmental organisations reflect the social model of disability?
  • Building global citizenship and awareness of education: the role of the NGO
  • British Pakistani Muslim mothers perceptions post 7/7 living in the city of Nottingham
  • The internet as a realm of civic engagement: how the internet has impacted the participation of women in the public sphere in Egypt and Jordan from 2006-2011 and why internet and accessibility is essential for their employment
  • Understanding treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Britain and what steps can be taken to better protect their human rights

Students are also strongly encouraged to undertake voluntary work with an NGO.

We also offer a PGDip Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights.




Between Europe and the Middle East: Critical Questions of Citizenship and Identity

This module will focus on two geo-political regions: Europe and the Middle East in order to explore and analyse a set of relevant discourses that pertain to understandings and experiences of citizenship and the political conditions for full citizenship. 

Discourses of freedom, human rights, democracy, gender and multi-culturalism will be of particular concern. These discourses will be situated within the specific regions of Europe and the Middle East and the module will end with the case example of Turkey as a country which perhaps bridges the Middle East and Europe.

Dissertation in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights

You will undertake a supervised dissertation of 15,000 words on a topic of their choice (subject to the approval of the course director).

Globalisation, Citizenship and Identity

This module considers the following key debates in the contemporary study of citizenship, identities and globalisation:

Block one:

  • Global and cosmopolitan citizenship
  • Globalisation, identity and violence
  • Gendering globalisation and citizenship, and globalising gender
  • Minorities, multiculturalism and politics of difference
  • Intimate/sexual citizenship

Block two:

  • From 'imagined communities' to the 'shock of denationalisation'
  • Ethnicity: culture politicized
  • Globalisation and 'resistance identities'
  • Transnationalism and diasporas
  • Theories of (contemporary) racism
Human Rights and Critical Modern Slavery

This module critically interrogates dominant liberal discourse on human rights and modern slavery.

Drawing on academic, popular and policy debate on human rights and case studies of phenomena that are deemed to constitute contemporary human enslavement - such as human trafficking, prostitution, domestic servitude, worst forms of child labour, forced labour and bonded labour in a number of sectors and regions - the module offers an opportunity to critically deconstruct the theoretical and political assumptions that underpin this discourse. 

The module ultimately aims to draw your attention to the deep connections between human rights and social, economic and political inequality on the basis of gender, class, race, sexuality, age and other identity markers under contemporary conditions of globalisation.

Researching Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights

This module provides a general introduction to a range of key issues in the design and conduct of social research, explores the interplay between philosophical, methodological and ethical issues in research on global citizenship, identities and human rights, and provides guidance on writing both a dissertation proposal and a dissertation.

The module is taught by means of seminars and workshops. By the end of the module you will be equipped with the methodological and practical skills to critically evaluate research evidence on global citizenship, identities and human rights and to carry out independent research for your dissertation.



You will need to choose a further 40 credits of optional modules. This includes modules from other courses within and outside the School of Sociology and Social Policy (subject to approval).

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.



The Graduate School website has information on funding sources. The school also has information on funding.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



The MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights will be particularly beneficial if you wish to pursue a career in the NGO sector, academia, the civil service, or journalism, as it both provides advanced level sociological knowledge of debates on human rights, citizenship, globalisation and identities, and offers opportunities to develop specialist knowledge and understanding of post-conflict cultures, human rights law and/or of media and globalisation, rights and identities.

Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school. The level of study fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market, allowing you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.

A postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,031 with the highest being £40,800.*

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Get in touch
+44 (0)115 951 5559
Make an enquiry


School of Sociology and Social Policy
Law and Social Sciences
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Social Science videos

Social Science videos


Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry