LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law | Middlesex University London
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LLM/PG Dip/PG Cert Human Rights Law

Learn about the course below
Code
PGM192
Start
October 2019
September 2020 (EU/INT induction)
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,100 (UK/EU) *
£13,900 (INT) *
Course leader
Elvira Dominguez-Redondo
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This course is designed to enable students to specialise in subjects related to human rights law, equipping them with comprehensive knowledge of international and regional human rights regimes and mechanisms, and critical assessment of their suitability to address contemporary challenges, such as the impact of business on the enjoyment of rights.

Why study LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law at Middlesex University?

You will deepen and broaden your knowledge of law as an academic subject; acquiring a systematic understanding of legal processes, methods and concepts, of the social and political context in which legal processes take place and of appropriate theoretical conceptions of law.

By maximising your academic potential and refining your problem-solving skills in a transnational context through the acquisition of systematic and critical understanding of complex legal, economic, cultural, ethical and political issues informing the creation of international and regional human rights frameworks, institutions and practice you will enhance your professional development and horizons.

The research and writing skills you gain will be transferable to a variety of professional sectors, including the legal profession, policymaking, corporate sector, governmental bodies or academia.

With a strong sense of social justice at its core, Middlesex University School of Law is home to some of the world's foremost figures in the fields of human rights law, including genocide and death penalty authority Professor of International Law William Schabas, former journalist at the BBC World Service and human rights expert Senior Lecturer Dr Alice Donald, and the Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) Professor of Human Rights Law Philip Leach. In 2015, Professor Leach was named the Law Society's Human Rights Lawyer of the Year.

When Professor Leach is not taking human rights cases to the European Court of Human Rights with EHRAC, which is based on campus, he is teaching on our postgraduate programmes.

Course highlights

  • Learn from experts who are actively engaged in improving human rights around the world, including Elvira Dominguez-Redondo who worked to protect human rights defenders in Mexico and led the creation of the first LLM in Human Rights In Iraq, at Duhok University, Kurdistan
  • Take advantage of the opportunities available to undertake extra-curricular research activities
  • Take part in the European Law Moot Court Competition or the European Human Rights Court Competition by being selected for the Middlesex School of Law team
  • There may also be internship opportunities in national and international organisations such as the United Nations or in the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre on campus.

Find out more

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What will you study on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law?

Full-time LLM (1 year, 180 credits)

  • Four core plus two optional modules are completed over terms one and two, with a Dissertation period in term three.

Part-time LLM (2 years, 180 credits)

  • Four core plus two optional modules are completed over four taught terms, plus a Dissertation period
  • Two modules in term one, two modules in term two, and two modules in the first term of the following academic year.

PG Diploma (1 year, 120 credits)

  • Four core plus two optional modules completed over four taught terms
  • Two modules in term one, two modules in term two, and two modules in the first term of the following academic year.

For all pathways, attendance may be required during the day and/or evening, depending on your choice of modules.

Modules

Each module is typically worth 20 credits, except the Dissertation and Work Integrated Learning modules which are worth 60 credits each. The Work Integrated Learning module may be chosen to replace the Dissertation with prior agreement.

Additional optional modules available in international politics, criminology and sociology

In addition to the law modules listed below, students can study one of the following modules from international politics, criminology and sociology either in term one or two.

Term one: Sustainable Development and Human Rights; Environmental Law and Governance; Migration Theories and Approaches.

Term two: Politics of Globalisation; Migration Politics and Policies.

Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year. Module availability is dependent on staffing and the number of students wishing to take each module.

  • Core modules

    • Business and Human Rights (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      The Bophal disaster, the tragedy of the Niger Delta and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory are all examples of what appears to be systematic corporate human rights abuses which are not being adequately prevented or remedied. This module enables students to understand how the sub-discipline business and human rights challenges State-centred architecture of international human rights law and delves into the responsibility of non-state actors such as multinational corporations in the area of human rights. It also challenges the idea that only individuals can commit international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes looking into corporate criminal and civil liability for human rights violations.

    • European Human Rights Law and Practice (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module engages you with the legal, political and philosophical perspectives of the legal frameworks, institutions and remedies available to protect fundamental rights in Europe, both under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.

    • International Human Rights Law (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      Provides an in-depth understanding of the international human rights law framework under the United Nation organisations and ability to assess its efficacy engaging the complementary American, African and Asian regional systems of promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

    • Legal Research Skills (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips you with essential research skills necessary to complete a master's of law successfully, including the technical and conventional systems governing academic writing and the principles and practice followed in legal reasoning.

  • Plus one of the following:

    • Dissertation (60 Credits) - Optional

      The Dissertation module is taught in term two, and assessed by a 15,000-18,000 dissertation. Students demonstrate expert-level knowledge and advanced-level legal research skills by writing a dissertation paper, supported by a supervisor, on a topic proposed by the student and approved by the module leader, Dr Lughaidh Kerin.

      Eligible LLM students can replace this module with the Work Integrated Learning or Practicum in International Organisations module with prior approval.

    • Work Integrated Learning (60 Credits) - Optional

      The module aims to enable you to apply theoretical knowledge and research to anticipate and respond to challenges in a selected workplace experience. You can undertake this workplace experience as an internship that you negotiate yourself or in your current workplace or an existing voluntary role. It also aims to help you foster sustainable long term learning by requiring that you take responsibility for your own learning, design and negotiate learning goals and make informed judgments about your performance across the programme of study. The module will ask you to engage as active subjects in the assessment process, thus enhancing your capacity for transformative learning. By selecting a topic of interest grounded in your workplace experience you’ll be expected to demonstrate reflexivity, self-regulation and self-assessment in your journey towards personal and professional development.

  • Optional modules

    • Comparative Corporate Governance (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module equips students with critical understanding of the major theories concerning the nature of corporations, their role and function in society, the concerns surrounding corporate governance and corporate responsibility, and the laws and practices governing directorial conduct and company operation in selected countries.

    • Contemporary Issues of European Union Law and Governance (20 Credits) - Optional

      An in-depth look at a range of contemporary issues of EU Law and governance enabling students to critically analyse and evaluate the European Union's institutional structures and methods of integration as well as their underlying tensions.

    • Dismissal Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Gain a comprehensive understanding of the common law and statutory principles governing the termination of contracts of employment in the UK.

    • English Commercial Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Understand and analyse contemporary issues, legal problems and emergent changes to legislation governing the conduct of trade, business and financial services.

    • European Union Law in Action (20 Credits) - Optional

      Gain an advanced knowledge and understanding of the European Union's policy and legislative making processes, and the mechanism and tools by which the European Union seeks to promote participatory democracy. Attractive to students interested in making an impact on the contemporary and controversial policy and legislative issues governed by the EU.

    • European Union Free Movement, Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy (20 Credits) - Optional

      Acquire detailed and wide-ranging knowledge of EU laws on free movement of persons, immigration, asylum and border management, and learn how these laws are implemented in practice.

    • Foundations and Principles of International Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Enable students to analyse, critically evaluate and provide authoritative commentary on how international law impacts international relations and contemporary concerns such as globalisation, the use of armed force, terrorism, poverty, governance and the regulation of ownership over territory.

    • Individual Employment Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Focus on contractual employment relationships and the practical impact of the statutory rights on the operation of employment relationships in the UK.

    • Intellectual Property Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Equips students with systematic understanding of the relevant national and international regimes governing intellectual property focusing on English and EU law including case law, as well as the measures specified by the agreements on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

    • International Commercial Litigation and Arbitration (20 Credits) - Optional

      Gain the knowledge necessary to deal with contemporary and emerging challenges in the practise and management of transnational commercial disputes with a focus on the increasing use of arbitration for expediency and cost savings by medium and large-scale enterprises operating in multiple jurisdictions.

    • International Criminal Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Develop an understanding of the international body of law prohibiting international crimes viewed as atrocities (genocide, crimes against humanity, aggression and war crimes) and to make perpetrators criminally accountable for their perpetration under national and international jurisdictions.

    • International Humanitarian Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Gain advanced knowledge of the laws restricting the means and methods of warfare and protecting the victims of armed conflicts.

    • International Maritime Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Equips students with detailed knowledge and understanding of English and international normative frameworks regulating the carriage of goods by sea and the laws governing maritime causalities and their aftermath, such as collision, oil pollution, salvage and general average.

    • International Organisations and the International Dispute Resolution (20 Credits) - Optional

      Get advanced conceptual insights into the legal, political and structural issues that underpin dispute resolution within international organisations through a thematic focus on issues such as labour, trade, title to territory and international peace and security. You will learn to think strategically about different means of settlement of disputes and their applicability to existing or potential conflicts.

    • International Whistleblowing Law and Practice (20 Credits) - Optional

      Gain an understanding of the different legal approaches to protecting whistleblowers and the theories used to explain why some people choose to whistleblow while others remain silent.

    • Law and Policy of the World Trade Organisation (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of global trade regimes through an overview of globalisation and contemporary international economic relations; the regulation of international trade by the WTO; and the relationship between international trade, harmonisation of the law and trade-related issues.

    • Law of the International Sale of Goods (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module presumes familiarity with the principles of contract law and extends these into the international arena in the field of international sale of goods. It deals with the English law governing trade in wet and dry commodities and international law, principally the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. It aims to enhance the student's ability to tackle the practical, policy and economic implications of legal regimes enabling trade and transactions between parties divided by or purposely straddling legal and geographic boundaries.

    • Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples in International Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module enables students to understand, analyse and comment upon the international law framework on minority rights and indigenous peoples under the United Nations, American, European, African and Asian systems, assessing their efficacy in dealing with violations.

    • UK and European Anti-Discrimination Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Understand, analyse and asses the relevant regulations at national and European level governing discrimination as well as the practical, historical, social, economic, ethical and philosophical context in which these operate.

    • Migration: Theories & Approaches (20 Credits) - Optional

      In this module you will look at the relationship between migration, politics and policies from a comparative and European perspective. This relationship is both ‘top down’, with migration becoming an object of contention amongst political parties and migration policies being largely shaped by political divisions, and ‘bottom up’, with the growing presence of NGOs campaigning for migrant rights and migrant activism. First, you will be asked to comparatively examine migration policies, their regulatory role in the attempt to manage and control migratory flows, and how they have been affected by political debates over migration.

      Secondly, you will look at the growth of anti-immigration politics and how anti-migrant mobilisations have become a constant feature at European level, not only for marginal groups but also for mainstream government parties. During this part of the module you will also investigate the growing conflicts between migrants and natives over the uses of space and the distribution of welfare resources. Thirdly, you will look at different forms of migrant participation in the public sphere, from self-organised migrant protest around issues such as freedom of circulation, citizenship rights and labour rights to more institutionalised forms of participation through unions and NGOs.

    • Sustainable Development and Human Rights (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will help you critically explore the key institutions and frameworks that govern human rights at the international level and of the international policy context that promotes sustainable development, to examine how the two interact. You will examine the notion of rights as competing, contested and co-opted and question their ability to function in crisis situations. It focuses on issues of inclusion/exclusion and reflects on how the rights and ‘development’ of three ‘marginalised groups’ have been promoted. You’ll focus in particular on indigenous peoples, the caste system and gender inequality. The aim of this part of your studies is to question if current legal approaches to human rights are sufficient to bring sustainable development to groups currently marginalised.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of environmental governance and the central theoretical approaches on which its principles are based. The module introduces the idea of the governance spectrum ranging from a coercive mode and legal instruments to approaches that rely on the agency and knowledge of environmental resource users themselves.

    • Politics of Globalisation  (20 Credits) - Optional

      In this module you will be asked to consider the implications in International Relations of the forces of globalisation, looking at international political processes and institutions at the level of politics, economics and culture. You will analyse the relevance of international organisations, and look at transnational politics and issues of global importance. Additionally, you will explore theoretical debates surrounding these issues and learn to critically evaluate the effectiveness of international policy. The aim of this module is to provide you with a platform to work constructively in groups, gain leadership skills and formulate arguments and coherent debates in a diverse international environment.

    • Postgraduate Legal Work Experience (0 Credits) - Optional

      Postgraduate Legal Work Experience is a non-credit bearing module and provides students with an opportunity to gain law-related work experience in a support role supervised by experienced legal advisors. Module leader of Law4500 as well as the Employability Service provide information and guidance on finding work experience, but students must be pro-active in finding suitable work experience.

    • Citizenship, the Right to Nationality and Statelessness (20 Credits) - Optional

      The module will analyse how international law addresses the nexus of statelessness and human rights, and the importance of citizenship and the right to a nationality for the enjoyment of human rights. It will span the standards, recommendations and jurisprudence of UN and regional human rights systems as they pertain to statelessness, focusing on its causes and consequences and the measures that can be taken to prevent and remedy it.

      The module will promote an interdisciplinary approach focused on practical solutions to statelessness.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How will the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law be taught?

You will gain knowledge and understanding through a stimulating combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, professional internships and self-directed studies and use a variety of resources, including audio-visual media, library books and e-learning materials.

Lectures, seminars and presentations are used to communicate core information, develop themes and ideas, and seek to encourage student participation through interactive exercises and opportunities for peer and self-assessment. You will also be required to engage in intensive programmes of structured reading and research, and to present your findings orally and in writing.

Skills training, particularly through our Legal Research Skills module, will equip you with the intellectual tools necessary for postgraduate work, including the identification and location of appropriate materials, critical and analytical reading, writing skills and conventions.

Several sessions within each module and a substantial part of the Dissertation are designed to provide guidance on identifying a suitable research question, carrying out research, writing a literature review and planning and writing a dissertation.

Learning and teaching on all modules is informed by a critical approach that encompasses relevant aspects of the ethical, social, professional, historical and cultural contexts within which the law operates. Ethics are specifically embedded in some modules and students are provided with the opportunity to understand the ethical dimensions of their own research and within which the law operates at each level.

Eligible students who enrol on the Practicum in International Organisations or Work Integrated Learning modules will engage with decision makers in our partner organisations and develop new skills in research, writing, IT and networking.

Assessment

Student's practical skills are assessed by oral presentations, coursework, peer-marking, exams, literature reviews and, where appropriate, dissertation, diary and report writing.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law support your career?

In-depth knowledge of human rights law equips students with skills across several legal disciplines and opens career possibilities in public and private bodies working in sectors concerning public law, family law, discrimination, immigration, housing, actions against the police, employment or business law. This programme is particularly aimed at students who are interested in human rights-related work and/or who wish to influence policies to ensure the enjoyment of human rights at national, regional and international level. Many have also continued their higher education studies via a PhD.

As well as access to the University's Employability Service students are offered specialist advice by the Programme Leader and other contributors to the programme, including guidance on how to enter and pass recruitment processes for national and international organisations. Students have access to the support services offered by the Clinical Legal Education programme and are invited to attend career-focused workshops, skills sessions and events.

Our team of world renowned lecturers will provide the latest thinking and practice on legal issues. Our students benefit from their considerable network of contacts and connections within their sectors, notably for internship opportunities within international and domestic organisations, such as the United Nations, our on-campus litigation centre, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), the Legal Advice Centre, and a range of local companies providing professional legal services.

Dr Elvira Dominguez-Redondo
Programme Leader

Dr Dominguez-Redondo is actively engaged in improving human rights around the world, including working to protect human rights defenders in Mexico and leading the creation of the first LLM in Human Rights In Iraq, at Duhok University, Kurdistan. You can find out more about her work and research as well as her contact details, should you wish to discuss any aspect of the LLM programmes, by visiting her staff profile.

  • Matteo Zamboni

    LLM Human Rights Law

    I chose to study an LLM at Middlesex in order to expand my capacity to work internationally. I have been working at an Italian human rights law firm for the past six years working mainly on cases for the European Court of Human Rights and UN treaty bodies. At Middlesex I have had the opportunity to study human rights mechanisms other than the European regional system and the UN and have been able to enrich my network of human rights lawyers.

    A benefit of studying at Middlesex is being in direct contact with renown human rights scholars and practitioners such as Philip Leach and William Schabas, in addition to meeting other foreign human rights lawyers (eg Wolfgang Kaleck, ECCHR) who have been invited to conferences and events. I already knew these people by name, often studied their books and articles and perhaps exchanged some emails with them, but it was very interesting to be able to meet and talk to them in person.

    I have chosen to do the Work Integrated Learning Module and have taken up an internship at Minority Rights Group International. The internship is giving me the opportunity to explore the professional area where I would like to work – public interest litigation in an NGO legal team. It is also giving me a more precise understanding of the skills and the abilities needed to be part of such a team as well as of the final purpose of a strategic litigation program. Not least, the internship is giving me network opportunities to pursue the next step in my career.

Other courses

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Law (General)

Start: October 2019, September 2019 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGM302

LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Minority Rights Law

Start: October 2019, September 2019 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGM196

Start: October 2018, September 2018 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGL405

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