The protection of human rights at the international level is a relatively new branch of law. Since World War Two, there has been a huge growth in the number and variety of human rights standards set out in international treaties, in national constitutions, and in other so-called 'soft law' documents. These standards are not always fully implemented and the mechanisms for trying to get them implemented are defective.
This LLM 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.
The School has more than 25 years' experience in delivering an LLM in Human Rights Law. The focus is on international and comparative human rights law (including at regional levels in Europe, Africa and the Americas) with a concentration on the practice of human rights, especially in the contexts of discrimination, armed conflicts, terrorism and migration.
The School's joint expertise is harnessed so as to provide a vibrant and relevant course which will stimulate the hearts as well as the minds of students who are taking it.
Human Rights Law highlights
- The Centre has strong contacts with local NGOs and other human rights institutions and can assist students with internship/voluntary work.
World Class Facilities
- The new Law school at Queen's offers students access to world class facilities such as a fully interactive Moot Court room, various seminar rooms and a wellbeing room.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Law at Queen's is taught by world-leading experts in the area of Law. Our staff have close research links with the professions, government and Civil Society. Research in Law was ranked 15th in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment (2014). Over 95% of Research Activity in the School was judged to be of international quality and above.
- Human rights research and teaching has been carried out under the auspices of the Human Rights Centre at Queen's since 1990. The Centre has strong links with civil society organisations, statutory human rights bodies and international human rights institutions and networks, and organises a speaker series and a number of conferences annually. It participates in the Utrecht Network of Human Rights Centres and the Venice-based Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation and also has links with universities worldwide. The Centre co-ordinates field visits to institutions dedicated to human rights issues in Belfast, eg NI Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. During the summer, the Centre organises a field trip to human rights institutions abroad, eg the European Court of Human Rights and the UN (Geneva).
The LLM in Human Rights Law provides students with stimulating insights into how fundamental principles concerning rights and justice are applied (or not) in the world today. Adopting an international and comparative approach, the programme focuses on contemporary issues and considers provocative questions about the appropriateness of relevant policies and initiatives.
Professor Christopher McCrudden
Compulsory Modules Human Rights in Practice
International Human Rights Law
Dissertation (15,000-20,000 words)
Course Details The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic. Methodology Mini-Modules Approaches to Legal Research
Theories and Methods of Human Rights
Optional Modules Equality and Discrimination
The Legacy of Conflict
Comparative Human Rights
Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
Business and Human Rights
Climate, Justice and Human Rights
Ethnic Conflict and Consensus
Philosophy Conflict and War
People teaching you
School of Law
Contact Teaching Hours
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
8 (hours maximum)
In addition, students should set aside 10-12 hours per module for reading and preparation
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 base for further study towards a research degree such as a PhD, which in turn may lead on to an academic career.
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 Schools in the UK and Ireland. Teaching quality within the School was judged to be 'excellent' and our research was awarded a 5B (excellent) by the UK Higher Education Funding Bodies. There are over 800 undergraduate students enrolled in the School, 190 postgraduates, 70 PhD students and almost 50 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 new 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 Queen’s Online. 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.
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:
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline.
Exemption from these requirements may be considered for those applicants who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) OR for those applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) along with a minimum of 2 years relevant experience.
Admission under the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be considered for this course. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £5,900 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £5,900 Other (non-UK) EU £5,900 International £16,400
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Human Rights Law costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.
Fees and Funding