Programmes

MSc Human Rights

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Sociology
  • Application code L3U9
  • Starting 2018

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

Human rights are not just an object of study, but also a matter of policy, intervention and practice. The programme links theory and practice in a multidisciplinary way and aims to equip you with knowledge of the key legal, sociological and philosophical issues relevant to human rights.

During the programme, you will engage in an academically rigorous way with some of the most compelling issues in contemporary human rights. The programme is unique in linking legal, philosophical, sociological and political perspectives on human rights though a rigorous and analytical approach.

The programme serves as an introduction to the core standards and structures of human rights and discusses a range of key issues in the current, ongoing debates about the role of human rights. While these may change from year to year, thematic issues that the compulsory course covers include: genocide, humanitarian intervention, militarism, war and warfare, religion, culture and human rights and transitional justice.

The programme is run by the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. In addition to teaching and research, the Centre runs a very active public events programme which includes public lectures, visiting speaker seminars and conferences involving world-leading human rights academics and practitioners. You also benefit from masterclasses and guest practitioner seminars organised throughout the year exclusively for students on the programme.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Human Rights
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2016 296
Intake 2016 56
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open
Tuition fee UK/EU: £15,384
Overseas: £22,440
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 26 April 2018)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in law or any social science subject, or a degree in another discipline with demonstrable interest in human rights or relevant experience as a practitioner
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

The compulsory multidisciplinary core course will provide you with an overview of the philosophical, sociological and legal approaches to this subject. Thematic issues covered by the core course have included in the past: genocide, humanitarian intervention, militarism, war and warfare, religion, culture and human rights and transitional justice.

You will also choose further courses from a range of options offered across departments and institutes, and will write a 10,000 word dissertation on an approved topic of your choice. For the dissertation, a wide range of human rights topics and approaches is welcome; from the theoretical to the practical, either an interdisciplinary approach or one that is more sociological, legal or philosophical, using original research or secondary sources.

(* denotes half unit)

Approaches to Human Rights
Examines a range of disciplinary perspectives on the subject of human rights.

Dissertation
An independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

Courses to the value of two units from a range of options

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns and will advise on your dissertation topic.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Careers

This programme provides an excellent foundation for a variety of academic and non-academic careers, including in: law, especially international law and advocacy (albeit usually with other qualifications); foreign policy; working for activist organisations in the humanitarian sector; international and domestic human rights; development; civil liberties; welfare; as well as in specialised agencies concerned with, for example, refugees; women's rights; torture victims or children's rights. 

During the programme, you will have opportunities to meet alumni of the MSc Human Rights who are working in a range of international, government and non-governmental organisations.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Azminar Dhrodia

MSc Human Rights
Campaign, Projects & Networks Coordinator, Amnesty International

Azmina-Dhrodia-170x230

I gained a sound understanding of the International Human Rights Framework and human rights advocacy during my degree. In my role now, I coordinate Amnesty’s global campaigns around women’s rights and gender equality, sexual orientation and gender identity, and indigenous people’s rights. I work on strategy to ensure human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Alecia Maragh

MSc Human Rights
Kingston, Jamaica 

Alecia_Moragh_170x230

LSE’s consistently high ranking, its interdisciplinary approach and the fact that there is a fully-equipped human rights centre right here on campus really appealed to me. The MSc Human Rights demands independent and critical thinking; it challenges the status quo and examine complex and intractable issues with an object lens. It encourages students to ask better questions and delve deeper. The diversity of students here allows you to learn from your peers as well as the lecturers. 

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Human Rights

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in law or any social science subject, or a degree in another discipline with demonstrable interest in human rights or relevant experience as a practitioner.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc Human Rights

UK/EU students: £15,384
Overseas students: £22,440

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to gradaute students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

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