Postgraduate study

Human Rights Law LLM

With innovative module options, this course will enable you to engage with the latest ideas and developments in international human rights law.

 

 
  
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) in law, humanities or social sciences
IELTS
6.5 (no less than 6.5 in writing and reading, and 6.0 in speaking and listening)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September
UK/EU fees
£8,865 - Terms apply
International fees
£17,910 - Terms apply
Campus
University Park
School/department
Law
 

 

Overview

You will be provided with a thorough grounding in human rights law, as well as the opportunity to pursue more specialist interests such as economic and social rights, business and human rights, or imprisonment and human rights.

The School of Law has a particular strength in human rights law, and many academic staff are internationally recognised for their research in the area. They have advised governments, collaborated with various international organisations including the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and joined forces with NGOs in their human rights advocacy work. This blend of academic endeavour and practical work is often brought to the classroom, so you can see how human rights law can have an impact on the ground.

The school is also home to the Human Rights Law Centre, one of the world's most respected academic human rights institutions. It carries out its work through research, training, publications and capacity building, collaborating with governments, inter-governmental organisations, academics, students and civil society, alongside implementing programmes in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The centre is a focal point for student activity in human rights. It hosts an annual international student conference and human rights film series, as well as internship bursaries and research assistance opportunities.

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. A specialist law course is available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts

  • Top 100 worldwide in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • 81% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 96% of law postgraduates in work or further study within six months of graduation
  • Dedicated resources including legal skills advice through workshops and one-to-one sessions, computer room, and a full range of legal study and research materials online and in the Hallward Library
  • Links to leading firms in London and the regions, private industry and consultancies, and governmental institutions and non-governmental organisations across the UK and wider world
 

Full course details

You will complete a minimum of 90 credits of specialist optional modules. The remaining 30 credits can be chosen from the full selection of optional modules available on the LLM programme. You will also undertake a 60-credit dissertation.

Guidance and support on choosing a human rights law dissertation topic and designing your project will be provided through bespoke workshops and one-to-one support.

Teaching

We teach in small-group seminars where possible, allowing for an integrated, interactive learning experience. You are encouraged and expected to prepare for, and participate in, seminars so that you get the maximum benefit from them.

Assessment

You will be assessed by examination or essay, or a combination of both. All assessments take place at the end of the spring term.

Practice assignments, guidance on exam techniques, time management workshops, and one-to-one legal skills advice sessions are offered throughout the academic year to prepare you for these assessments.

 
 

Modules

Core modules

Dissertation

Written work on a legal topic of the your choice resulting from individual research and normally based upon material falling within the area covered by the degree for which you are registered.

 

Qualifying module options

An Uncensored History of International Law

This module consists of an examination of the major theoretical approaches to public international law and aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the diverse theoretical approaches to public international law and to discern the influence of these approaches on the practical development of public international law.

 
Business and Human Rights

This module considers how business increasingly conducts its operations with responsibility to its stakeholders and to society at large. It examines the emergence of the business and human rights regime, which forms the basis for addressing both legal developments and voluntary initiatives across a spectrum of business and industry sectors and different types of firms operating both globally and locally.

The module content is diverse and wide-ranging, and draws on case studies in order to foster knowledge about the impacts of business on human rights protection. It considers key issues in the current business and human rights regime, including states' obligation to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, human rights due diligence and access to remedy for human rights violations by corporations and other business entities.

 
The European Convention on Human Rights

The module covers articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), together with the procedural provisions of the ECHR.

 
Imprisonment and Human Rights

This module covers:

  • human rights in prison
  • place of imprisonment in the penal system
  • conditions of imprisonment
  • medical treatment of prisoners
  • the prison regime and rights
  • civil rights of prisoners
  • security, order and discipline
  • external control and supervision
  • release of prisoners
  • the future of imprisonment
 
International Criminal Law

An introduction to international criminal law issues, with particular emphasis on institutions (such as Nuremberg and Tokyo IMTs, the ad hoc Tribunals and the International Criminal Court) as well as substantive and procedural aspects of international criminal law.

The module focuses on the institutional developments in international criminal law as well as the definition and application of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. Principles of liability, defences and elements of international criminal procedure will also be covered.

 
International Human Rights Law

This module will introduce you to the law and practice related to international human rights. You will be encouraged to explore the foundations of international human rights law. The global, regional and national mechanisms of human rights protection will be introduced and evaluated. A selection of substantive human rights will be examined and contemporary challenges to human rights protection will be discussed.

 
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.

 
Law, Development and the International Community

This module examines some of the relationships between law and development. After examining both the notion of development per se and the right to development as a human right, the module moves on to cover a number of individual issues where the relationship between law, development and human rights can be explored.

Subjects covered include:

  • the concept of development and the role of international law in promoting "development"
  • the regulation of aid
  • the WTO and developing countries
  • intellectual property and access to medication
  • the protection of traditional knowledge
  • agriculture
  • food aid and food security
  • sustainable development
  • gender and development
 
Mental Disability and International Human Rights

This module will examine the application of international human rights law, including both relevant UN conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights and its jurisprudence, to persons with mental disabilities.

 
Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights and Criminal Justice

A broadly-based introduction to the philosophical foundations of human rights and criminal justice, emphasising the moral and political underpinnings of legal rules, doctrines and principles.

The module first tackles perennial conceptual and methodological issues relating to the nature of "philosophical" inquiry and the challenges of scepticism. Thereafter, the model reconsiders key issues and questions in contemporary debates surrounding human rights and criminal justice through the contrasting lenses of two rival philosophical perspectives, utilitarianism and liberal deontology.

 
Principles of Public International Law

The module is primarily concerned with those customary and treaty rules governing relations between States. This module aims to give candidates a thorough grounding in the principles of PIL. The basic topics include:

  • nature of international law
  • sources
  • actors in the international legal system
  • jurisdiction and state responsibility
 
Religion and International Human Rights

The module aims to provide a thorough grounding in the application of international law standards to religion. There is a strong focus on the decisions of international and European courts and international human rights bodies.

 
Rights, Humans and Other Animals

This module covers:

  • changing perspectives on the status and treatment of animals
  • developments in the field of protection of the human person
  • philosophical foundations of human rights and applicability to other species
  • the current regime governing the protection of animals under international law
  • the notion of rights and implications of its extension to other species
 
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.

 
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
 

 

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

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers and professional development

Our graduates move into a wide range of careers. Many go into the legal profession or return to their previous legal careers with specialist knowledge and enhanced prospects. Others successfully seek employment with international organisations as well as international and local NGOs. Recent graduate destinations include BAE Systems, Clifford Chance, London Stock Exchange and Simmons & Simmons.

Some graduates further their academic career by progressing onto our PhD programme. These students often choose to stay at the University of Nottingham beyond their doctorate, with a number of academics becoming members of staff after completing their LLM/masters and PhD with us.

With an advanced law degree from the University of Nottingham, you will be well-placed to pursue your career ambitions and realise your goals.

Employability and average starting salary

96% of postgraduates from the School of Law who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £19,800 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. 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.

 
 
 

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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