Postgraduate study
This course explores recent changes to the global cultural and political landscape, and what these mean for individuals and groups accessing their human rights.
MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights
MA: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGDip: 9 months full-time, 18 months part-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September or January
UK/EU fees
MA: £8,235; PGDip: £5,490 - Terms apply
International fees
MA: £17,910; PGDip: £11,940 - Terms apply
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Demand for various forms of expertise on human rights, citizenship and identities is rapidly expanding as governments, international agencies, non-governmental 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? This course investigates critical global issues such as war, migration, climate change, credit crunch, nationalism, global media, sex tourism, modern slavery, gender and sexuality, and contemporary racism.

Student profile

Magnolia Zavala

Key facts


Full course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules. You will also be encouraged to undertake voluntary work with a non-governmental organisation.

MA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and an appropriate dissertation supervisor will oversee your progress.

Previous 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


Modules are typically assessed through a 5,000-word essay or report (or two 2,500-word essays or reports), usually on a topic of your choice.



Core modules

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.

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.

Refugees and Human Rights

This module introduces you to sociological and anthropological theories, concepts and perspectives on population displacement within historical, contemporary and global contexts. Debates on displaced people regularly raise complex and broader sociological questions about citizenship, belonging and human rights, especially the rights to protection.

In principle, everyone is in favour of promoting and protecting the human rights of displaced people, yet in practice, ideas of and understandings about and/or even definitions of who qualifies as a displaced person impact on how and whether individuals are categorised as deserving the rights to protection.

Research Methods and Research Management

This module provides a general introduction to a range of key issues in the design and conduct of social research, plus guidance on writing both a dissertation proposal and a dissertation. The module combines more formal taught sessions with practical exercises, some of which are group-based.

By the end of the module you will be equipped with the methodological and practical skills to carry out independent research using a variety of research designs and methods.

Dissertation in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights (MA only)

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


Optional modules

You will choose 40 credits of optional modules from the below list, or schools/departments across the University, subject to approval.

Contemporary Issues and Debates in Criminology

The module engages with a range of issues and debates in contemporary criminology.

Contributions to the module will be made by a number of guest speakers with experience in the criminal justice system and related areas of practice as well as from members of staff in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and other schools in the University. 

The issues and debates covered in the course of the module will vary from year so the following list is provided for illustrative purposes only: 

  • The political economy of crime and justice in an age of austerity
  • Defining and responding to 'hate crime'
  • Pluralised policing
  • Prosecuting complex cases
  • Mental health in prisons
  • State crime, human rights and transitional justice
  • 'Whole life' sentences
Dynamics of International Social Policy

This module introduces you to comparative analyses of different welfare state models and approaches to social and public policy; institutions, issues and debates in international social and public policy; and methods of cross-country comparative analysis.

Topics include:

  • perspectives of international social policy
  • welfare state typologies and cross-national comparisons
  • international institutions, standards and goals
  • EU policy
  • welfare in less developed countries
  • globalisation and welfare states
  • international migration and the boundaries of welfare
  • discrimination in a multicultural world
  • international cooperation, policy learning and policy transfer
  • comparative research methodology
Globalisation, Europeanisation and Public Policy

This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of the concepts and processes of globalisation and Europeanisation, and the impact of globalisation and Europeanisation upon governance and public policy.

In particular, it examines the impacts of globalisation and Europeanisation upon the governance of and the making of public policy in Britain and other countries.

Information Age Management in Government

The module will examine a range of themes and issues within the domain of electronic government and democracy. It will aim to demonstrate the embeddedness of information and communications technologies, including the internet, in the everyday managerial life of government administration. As such it will locate information and its communication as crucial resources for management in government, including for the establishment both of new working practices and for new relationships in and around government, particularly those with citizens.

Leadership, Strategy and Performance in the Public Sector

This module will examine the role of leadership in the public sector. It will discuss different concepts of:

  • leadership
  • organisational culture and change
  • performance in the public sector
  • the use of knowledge and information in organisation learning
  • performance improvement in public sector organisations
  • the use of strategy in the public sector

You will study different models and approaches to these concepts, how they are affected by and interact with the policy environment, and how they influence each other.

Policy Analysis: Concepts and Theories

This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of policy-making and policy analysis in government.

It examines key concepts, models and theories of policy-making and policy analysis, and illustrates them by examining policy-making in Britain and other countries.

Political Theory and Social Policy

As an academic subject social policy is underpinned by a wide variety of social, political and economic theories. Without an understanding of these theories our analyses of both society and of welfare systems are likely to be inadequate. For instance, we may overlook the extent to which policies and welfare reforms are sometimes based upon weak theoretical foundations and assumptions.

This module explores a range of both traditional and contemporary themes and concepts, including liberty, equality, citizenship, needs, class, old and new welfare ideologies, as well as recent developments in welfare theory.

Theoretical Frontiers in Criminology

This module considers a range of theoretical and conceptual issues in criminology relating to the nature and scope of criminology as a discipline as well as recent developments in criminological theory. The work discussed during the course of the module will be at the forefront of the discipline.

Welfare Policy

The module will examine theories of welfare, the funding of the welfare state and key changes in welfare policies, such as the increasing focus on markets and consumer choice, partnerships, the personalisation of service delivery, and the increasing role of the not for profit sector in service delivery.

It will use developments in health service, social care and social security to explore wider issues in the development of welfare services. Although focused on the UK, other countries will be examined as a way of further understanding the developments in the UK and as a form of policy learning for UK reform. It will look at the obstacles and issues associated with these changes.



The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

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

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

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

This course is particularly beneficial if you wish to pursue a career in non-governmental organisations, academia, civil service or journalism, as it provides advanced-level sociological knowledge of debates on human rights, citizenship, globalisation and identities.

It also offers opportunities to develop specialist understanding of post-conflict cultures, human rights law and/or of media and globalisation, rights and identities.

Our graduates move into a wide range of careers following their time in the school. Studying at postgraduate level can give you a head start in the job market by helping you to gain new knowledge and develop vital skills.

Employability and average starting salary

96.3% of postgraduates from the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £27,900 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £31,000.*

* 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.


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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