Postgraduate study

Human Rights

Awards: LLM

Study modes: Full-time

Placements/internships

Programme website: Human Rights

As a field of academic study, human rights cuts across a wide variety of disciplines. It sits at the heart of law, political science, theology and history. This programme is designed to provide you with a theoretical and practical understanding of international human rights law in its broader political context, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between human rights and conflict resolution.

You will be able to explore the role of human rights globally and the international and domestic machinery that promotes and enforces rights, while focusing on how academic debates connect to the practice of human rights.

The University is home to five closely cooperating Global Academies in the areas of justice, health, development, environment and society, and agriculture and food security, which together address crucial global challenges that span the ambit of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

As a student on this programme, you will have the unique opportunity to draw on the academic space for learning human rights created by the activities and research of these Academies.

You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation or work-placement scheme and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses.

You will experience a range of teaching styles on these courses, led by members of the Law School academic community and experienced legal and industry practitioners. You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation will be assessed.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

You will have the exciting opportunity to apply for our work-based placement scheme as an alternative to the written dissertation.

This programme offers ideal preparation for a range of employment opportunities and specialised academic work, which may include: government legal advice, international governmental and non-governmental organisations, private legal practice, advocacy work in a range of advocacy organisations or human rights consultancy.

2019 entry:

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

If you do not have a law background, we will take into advanced academic study in international relations and relevant professional or voluntary work.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

2020 entry:

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in law.

We will also consider candidates with a degree in a non-law subject if they can demonstrate advanced academic study in international relations and/or relevant professional or voluntary work.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 30 April 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL