Master's in International Human Rights Law (part-time)
Welcome to Oxford University’s Master's programme in International Human Rights Law. The course is offered jointly by the Department for Continuing Education and the Faculty of Law. It is conducted on a part-time basis over 22 months. It involves two periods of distance learning via the internet as well as two summer sessions held at New College, Oxford. The degree programme is designed in particular for lawyers and other human rights advocates who wish to pursue advanced studies in international human rights law but may need to do so alongside work or family responsibilities.
The aim of the degree programme is to train and support future leaders in the field of international human rights law. A central objective of the course is to ensure that participants not only know but can also use human rights law. The curriculum places roughly equal emphasis on the substance of human rights law, its implementation, and the development of human rights advocacy skills.
The part-time nature of the programme means that the often fragile human rights offices students work in will not lose key members of staff for an extended period of full-time study. A further advantage of the format is that the faculty is recruited globally and includes eminent human rights scholars and practitioners.
Around 30 students are admitted each year. Our students come from every continent and work in private practice and the judiciary, with the United Nations and other international organisations, non-governmental organisations, the armed forces, in universities, the media, medicine and other fields. The degree programme seeks to expand access to the offerings of Oxford University for human rights professionals who are not in a position to undertake full-time study.
The Master of Studies (MSt) degree is Oxford’s standard one-year master’s degree in the social sciences and humanities, including law. Oxford University does not offer an LLM degree in any field of Law. The MSt in International Human Rights Law involves somewhat more assessed work than most LLM degrees, including:
- A seven-month online course in the Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law
- A three-week residential course on any two of: International Humanitarian Law; International Criminal Law; Economic, Social & Cultural Rights; Transitional Justice
- A three-week residential course on any two of: Comparative Regional Human Rights Systems; International Rights of Children; Equality, Discrimination & Identities; International Rights of Refugees; International Rights of Women
- A 12,000 word dissertation
Few of our graduates would say this is an easy course. It requires about 15-20 hours/week when studying at a distance and is full-time for one 5-week and another 4-week residential session in Oxford. But if you take a moment to look at our students and their comments about the course, I think you will find that the effort involved is worthwhile. In addition to your course experience, you will become a member of a human rights community and network, which our students have found both enjoyable and professionally useful.
If you are interested in full-time graduate study in Law please visit the Law Course Guide. Or you may be interested in our Summer School in International Human Rights Law, online courses or other courses offered by the Department for Continuing Education.
We hope you will find this website and the degree programme of interest.
Dr Andrew Shacknove