Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Human Rights LLM

Awards: LLM

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

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, such as the relationship between human rights and conflict resolution.

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

The University is home to a number of research centres and networks in the areas of justice, health, development, environment and society, and agriculture and food security. Each of these contribute to the ways in which we address crucial global challenges that span the ambit of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. These centres offer opportunities to further develop your understanding of different aspects of human rights or to peak your interest in new areas.

Opportunities for extra-curricular engagement – such as additional one-off seminars, lectures or discussion groups – are offered by centres across the Law School and broader University, such as:

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 various centres.

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.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLMHuman Rights1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
LLMHuman Rights2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, 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.

In evaluating your application for postgraduate study, greater emphasis may be placed upon results of prior learning in subjects relevant to the intended degree programme.

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

Supporting your application

Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.

Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

Students from China

This degree is Band A.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in writing and 23 in all other components.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 185 in writing and 176 in all other components.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 70 in writing and 62 in all other components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Deposit

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 (within 28 days of receiving your offer) to secure your place on the programme.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fee

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLMHuman Rights1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLMHuman Rights2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 21 June 2024

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 13 November 2023 14 December 2023
2 04 January 2024 20 February 2024
3 04 March 2024 29 April 2024
4 01 May 2024 25 June 2024
5 21 June 2024 17 July 2024

Please note that the deadline for meeting the conditions of an offer is 18 August 2024.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted and complete, i.e. all required documents uploaded, by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered in that round. Your application will still be considered if you have not yet met the English language requirement for the programme.

You must submit one 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