Studying LSE

LSE Human Rights courses




LSE Human Rights teaching includes the multidisciplinary MSc Human Rights and a series of short Certificate courses examining different aspects of human rights principles and practice. Each course runs once each year.

Certificate courses

War Human Rights

Law, War and Human Rights 
Registration is closed
2 day course (15 - 16 February 2018)

This course examines the laws of war and international criminal law from the perspective of international human rights law. It confronts the crucial questions: are human rights law, the laws of war and international criminal law three distinct disciplines? Have they now become so entwined that it is not possible fully to understand one without some knowledge of the other?


International Law in the Cyber domain
Intensive two-day course
Registration is closed
Dates: 1-2 March 2018

This course will explore the relationship between different legal regimes – public international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law – and show how they work together and complement each other in the cyber domain.  The final session of the course will require participants to work on a group exercise involving the application of the law to a series of digital incidents. 

Law and practice

International Human Rights Law and Practice
Registration is closed
10 Monday evening classes, (next scheduled Michaelmas Term 2018)
Email to register interest 

Run in collaboration with leading practitioners in the human rights field, this ten week course provides a comprehensive understanding of human rights principles, their origins, the institutions responsible for their enforcement and how their content is determined.

Women human rights

Women's Human Rights
2 day course (2018 dates tbc)
Email to register interest

This unique and original two-day course examines the international human rights law framework that guarantees the rights of women and critically evaluate its potential to challenge core obstacles undermining the effective protection of women’s rights in the world today.

Human rights advocacy

Human Rights Advocacy
Dates: 2018 dates to be confirmed
2 day course

Email to register interest

This course will provide you with the latest academic analysis of the theory and practice of human rights advocacy. The course considers tools of advocacy: lobbying to change laws and policies, litigation and human rights documentation, social media campaigns, and street protests and demonstrations.  Participants will learn how to select effective advocacy tools and targets, the usefulness (or otherwise) of framing a problem as a human rights issue, the identification of key objectives for change, and the tricky business of measuring success.

Business human rights

Business and Human Rights 
Email to register interest
2 day course (2018 dates tbc)

This short course on Business and Human Rights (BHR) has been designed to provide a practical introduction to business and human rights that enables participants from different backgrounds and a diversity of experiences to acquire a solid understanding of the key concepts of BHR and their functioning in practice. Through a mixture of lecture, role plays and group discussions, this course offers participants a unique opportunity to engage with the course teachers who are leading professionals from business, multilateral organisations and civil society in the business and human rights field.

Children Human Rights

Understanding Children's Human Rights
2-day course (Not currently scheduled)
Email to register interest

This practically-focussed two day course places in perspective international human rights law as it affects children.

The next date for this course is not yet scheduled. 

Certificate courses - Frequently asked questions

How do I register for a course place?

Follow the link to the LSE online shop and book and pay securely.

Are there any discounts for LSE alumni?

LSE alumni, current staff and students are eligible for a 10% discount on the standard course fee. In order to claim the discount, please contact us from your staff or student email account or, if Alumni, with the year of your graduation and programme of study. Once your eligibility has been verified you will be provided with a discount code that you can use when booking online.

Can I pay in installments?

Please note that there is no option to pay in installments.

Are there any subsidised places?

Yes, a number of subsidised places are available on each short course, for the benefit of those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Applications for these places are competitively assessed, on the basis of merit and financial need. The Centre is unable to offer any financial or practical support in relation to travel and accommodation.

When should I register?

Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis, and the registration process will be closed once all places on the course are taken. You are advised to register early, to avoid disappointment.

What is your cancellation policy?

You may make a substitution without charge at any time before the start of the course, but all cancellations must be confirmed in writing. If your cancellation is received more than four weeks before the start of the course, you will be eligible for a full refund. If your cancellation is received between two and four weeks before the start of the course, 50% of the course fee will be retained and, if you cancel less than two weeks before, the course fee is entirely non-refundable. If written notification is not received and you do not attend, the full course fee will be retained as a cancellation charge.

What materials will I be provided with?

A full course pack, together with supplementary materials, will be provided at the first session in a large file and on USB storage device. In addition:

- Participants on two-day courses will be sent executive summaries of all papers in advance of the course.
- Participants on Monday evening courses will have access and borrowing rights at the LSE Library for the duration of the course.

What will I get at the end of the course?

The certificate of attendance will be awarded to all those who attend at least nine of the ten course sessions in the case of the ten-week certificate programme, all sessions in the case of the six week course or all sessions in the case of the two-day courses. 

Certificate in International Human Rights Law and Practice

Who is the course suitable for?

The course is designed to attract professional participants who are or will be leaders in their fields. This includes civil servants, judges, barristers, solicitors, legislators (or those involved in the legislative process), business people and NGO representatives. Interested members of the general public who want to improve their knowledge of human rights are also welcome. A university degree will normally be required as a condition of acceptance on the course.

What will the course cover?

The ten core components of the course are as follows:

  • Human rights: philosophy, politics or law? Background, history and foundational principles
  • Regional mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights
  • The international institutional framework for promoting and protecting human rights
  • Defending civil rights: prohibiting torture, protecting life, guaranteeing a fair trial and preventing arbitrary detention
  • Economic, social and cultural rights and how they are enforced
  • Human rights as democratic values: participatory rights in practice
  • The relationship between international human rights and rights of refugees
  • Equality and minority rights: the enforcement of protection from discrimination
  • People’s rights: indigenous people, the right to self-determination and third generation rights
  • Rights in the private sphere: non-state actors, paramilitary organisations, regulating business and other private relationships    

Who is teaching on the course?

This course is taught by a team of leading barristers and distinguished academic experts. In 2017 they include: Dr Louise Arimatsu (Convenor), Iain Byrne, Professor Christine Chinkin,Jonathan Cooper OBE, Dr Kathryn Cronin, Dr James Irving, Professor Philip Leach, Professor Aileen McColgan, Dr Kai Moller and Professor Sandesh Sivakumaran.

Where and when is the course held?

The course sessions are held on consecutive Monday evenings from 6.00-8.00pm, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE (click here for a How to get to LSE)

Two optional discussion seminars will be held at 6.30-8.30pm on other days during the ten-week course.

Is the course accredited for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points?

The short courses are accredited for CPD purposes by the Continuing Professional Development Certification Service.

What is the cost of taking the course?

The course fee is £1,970.

Why take this course?

  • Delivers a comprehensive understanding of internationally recognised human rights instruments and standards
  • Explains how human rights standards work and shows how they can be applied in practice
  • Offers access to leading human rights practitioners and academics
  • Provides a coherent account of international human rights institutions
  • Shows the relevance of international human rights law to domestic law
  • Identifies how human rights standards influence the development of law and policy
  • Improves critical awareness of key issues in contemporary human rights

MSc Human Rights

MSc Human Rights, run by the Department of Sociology, is a unique multidisciplinary programme that provides a concentrated year-long engagement with the foundations of human rights and key human rights issues.

Find out more about MSc Human Rights