Programmes

MSc Human Rights and Politics

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Sociology
  • Application code L3UL
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • UK/EU part-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Overseas part-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Human Rights and Politics provides a rigorous year-long academic engagement with critical political issues faced by international human rights today.

The programme covers the multiple challenges that human rights theory, institutions and activism are facing in the current period, a period during which many states, movements and political figures are turning towards populist nationalism and anti-minority discrimination. It introduces key problems with the foundations of human rights and considers the possibilities for new political foundations for human rights in a period of accelerating economic inequality and technological change.

Interdisciplinary in nature, it draws on sociology, political theory, political sociology and philosophy to investigate international human rights. The subject matter is international in scope. This master's is intended to appeal to those who want to study the politics of international human rights but who do not necessarily want to pursue a legal route to a human rights or related career.

The MSc Human Rights and Politics aims to equip you with interdisciplinary academic knowledge of the main challenges and problems affecting human rights theories, institutions, movements and practice in the world today. You will engage in a rigorous way with key human rights areas, including the many crises facing human rights thinking and human rights institutions. A key aim is to move away from explication of international law and the UN Charter Regime and concentrate on the sociology and politics of human rights in the world.

The programme links theoretical and empirical issues in human rights with political sociology and political philosophy using a variety of critical and analytical perspectives. Substantive themes covered in the programme may change from year to year, but indicative areas in the core course include: power and human rights institutions; the problems with foundations; the rise of authoritarian populism; wars and self-determination; cosmopolitanism and humanism; sex, gender and human rights; identity politics and human rights; human rights and the failures of liberalism; the threats to human rights; renewing human rights, justice and dignity. You will also undertake an independent graduate dissertation.

The programme is closely connected to LSE Human Rights in the Department of Sociology. In addition to research, LSE Human Rights 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 will also benefit from masterclasses and guest practitioner seminars organised for students on the programme.

Programme details

Key facts

 
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2018 New programme for 2019
Intake 2018 New programme for 2019
Tuition fee UK/EU: £16,656
Overseas: £24,264
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in a 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.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Human Rights and Politics

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in a 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.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

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)
- statement of academic purpose
- 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. 

Programme structure and courses

You will take a compulsory course on the contemporary politics of human rights, and will choose courses from a range of available options in anthropology, development, gender, politics, international relations, sociology, and more. You will also complete a dissertation on an approved topic. 

Contemporary Politics of Human Rights
This interdisciplinary course examines many of the sharp tensions and contradictions in the contemporary politics 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

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page. 

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 mentor 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: politics and government; foreign policy; human rights and related campaigning organisations; international and domestic human rights NGOs; development; civil liberties; welfare; work in specialised human rights agencies.

Further information on graduate destinations

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.

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 2020/21 for MSc Human Rights and Politics

UK/EU students: £16,656
Overseas students: £24,264

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.

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.

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 £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate 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: 27 April 2020.

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. 

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

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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