LLM International Human Rights Law
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 - 2 Year
Full time, Part time
GBP 19,100 *
Earliest start date
* international fee
The protection of human rights at the international and national levels is a relatively new branch of law. There has been a huge growth in the number and variety of human rights standards set out in international treaties, in national constitutions and so-called 'soft-law' documents.These standards are not always fully implemented and the mechanisms for trying to get them implemented are sometimes defective.
The LLM in International Human Rights Law provides students with an opportunity to gain an in-depth appreciation of global human rights standards and the interrelationship between international standards and national practice. In particular, we consider ways in which human rights could be protected more effectively so that human beings everywhere can realise their full human dignity.
World Class Facilities
Our facilities at Queen’s include a state-of-art Law building with superb teaching facilities, a moot court and study spaces. Queen’s has one of the most modern campuses in the UK, including the award winning McClay Library, one of the finest libraries in the world and home to 1.2 million volumes and over 2,000 reader places. Our Physical Education Centre was used as a training camp for the 2012 Olympics. Our Queen’s Elms Student Village and city centre student accommodation (built in 2018) are located within easy walking distance of the University.
Internationally Renowned Experts
Law at Queen's is taught by world-leading experts in the area of human rights. Our staff have close research links with the professions, government and civil society. Law at Queen's is in the top 150 Law Schools worldwide and we are ranked 19th in the world for global outlook. Research in Law was ranked 8th in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2021).
Human rights research and teaching has been carried out at Queen's since 1990. In addition to teaching, there is also a thriving Human Rights Centre at Queen's. The Centre has strong links with civil society organisations, statutory human rights bodies and international human rights institutions and networks. It organises a guest speaker series and a number of conferences annually. It participates in the Association of Human Rights Institutes and has extensive links with universities worldwide. The School co-ordinates field visits to institutions dedicated to human rights issues in Belfast from time to time, eg the NI Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. At Queen’s you will be part of a thriving postgraduate culture built on teaching excellence, leading-edge research, innovation, collaboration and engagement. These components are woven together in our Graduate School. It is here you will develop new skills and increased personal effectiveness that will enable you to stand out in the crowded and increasingly competitive global job market. Life at Queen’s is not just about the degree. We offer our students the opportunity to really enrich their studies. Whether you're into student societies, sports, music, dance, or just a coffee with your friends, Queen’s has exceptional facilities to cater for all interests. Queen’s was ranked 9th in the UK for university facilities.
Scholarships and Funding
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis. Students must complete five core modules (80 CATS points), two optional modules (40 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
The Masters is awarded to students who successfully complete all taught modules (120 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
- Human Rights in Practice
- International Human Rights Law
- Transitional Justice
- Dissertation (Maximum 15,000 words)
(Students who secure a summer work placement of at least 8 weeks can complete a Dissertation in Practice Module including 12,000 word dissertation and 3,000 word reflective journal of the learning experience)
The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic.
- Approaches to Legal Research
- Theories of Human Rights
- Business and Human Rights
- Comparative Human Rights
- Climate, Justice and Human Rights
- Advanced Issues in Medical Law and Ethics
- Social Injustice
- Corporate Environmental Law
- Crimes of the Powerful
- Restorative Justice
Please note this is not an exclusive list of the optional modules available. Optional modules are reviewed each year and subject to staff availability
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below :
The Law School at Queen's is ranked as one of the top 10 Law Schools in the UK.(Complete University Guide 2023). There are 850 undergraduate students enrolled in the School, 200 postgraduates, 50 PhD students and over 60 members of academic staff. You will be taught by scholars from all over the world, many of whom have international reputations in their fields and all are committed teachers and researchers. Students will also have access to an excellent law section in the library and extensive IT facilities.
The School operates a proactive system of student support. Advisers of Studies are allocated to each degree programme tasked to guide and support you throughout your time with us, together with the School's experienced and helpful administrative staff. We place considerable emphasis on facilitating good communication between staff and students. To this end, a Staff-Student Consultative Committee, comprised of elected student representatives, the Director of Graduate Studies and other members of academic staff, meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year. This Committee provides students with a forum in which to raise matters of concern to them and also enables the School to keep students informed about matters affecting the School and wider university.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enables our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, life-long learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Information associated with lectures and assignments is communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the programme through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in project- based work etc.
Lectures provide information about topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s Law student when important private reading and research, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
- Assessed Coursework
Program Tuition Fee
Graduates have found jobs in the UN, the EU and the Council of Europe, as well as statutory bodies and a wide range of international and national NGOs. Others have found the LLM to constitute an extremely valuable addition to their work as legal professionals. Furthermore, this Masters provides an excellent basis for further study towards a research degree such as a PhD, which in turn may lead on to an academic career.
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
English Language Requirements
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