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LLM in Human Rights Law

LLM or PGDip

Key facts

Start dates

September 2020 / September 2021



Course length

Full time: LLM: 12 months, PGDip: 9 months

Part time: LLM: 24 months, PGDip: 18 months


School of Law


Our LLM in Human Rights Law gives you a critical understanding of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of international human rights and international and regional human rights systems.

You will gain advanced knowledge in the areas of:

  • international criminal law
  • the laws of armed conflict
  • humanitarian intervention and post-conflict reconstruction
  • international development and globalisation
  • refugee and migrant law
  • the promotion and application of human rights as part of legal reform in the developing world.

Our teaching staff are active in original and internationally-recognised research. They encourage you to get involved in their respective areas of expertise by teaching specialist modules and by supervising dissertations in their specialist subjects.

The course is ideal if you intend to pursue a career in:

  • international governmental and non-governmental organisations
  • government
  • academia.

Our recent course graduates have gained positions in international organisations such as UNICEF.

Man in court

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Students will normally be required to have (or to be expecting) a good honours degree, or an equivalent degree awarded by a university outside the United Kingdom. The degree may be in Law or in a related discipline. We welcome applications from both non-Law graduates and work experience-based candidates.

If you are new to the academic study of law you will be advised to read a number of recommended texts by way of induction before the course begins. You are also encouraged to attend the induction sessions provided in the week prior to the beginning of the course.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

An IELTS minimum score of 6.5 (with 6.0 in reading and writing) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£7,250 (Masters); £6,250 (Diploma)

Home/EU part time

International full time

Home/EU full time
£7,700 (Masters); £6,700 (Diploma)

Home/EU part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£7,250 (Masters); £6,250 (Diploma)

Home/EU part time

International full time

2021 / 22
Home/EU full time
£7,700 (Masters); £6,700 (Diploma)

Home/EU part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

There are International Student Scholarships available for 2020 and other scholarships and funding options for postgraduate international students.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Learning and assessment

In Semester 1 you will take three compulsory modules and one elective modules.

In Semester 2 you will take one compulsory module and two elective modules.

You will complete your studies by completing your LLM dissertation. This is an extended and supervised piece on work on a particular aspect of international law, chosen in consultation with your course tutors. It is an opportunity for you to:

  • gain knowledge through systematic academic enquiry
  • demonstrate your ability to explore and present legal arguments.

The style of research may range from empirical investigation to textual analysis. You will develop transferable skills in research and information and project management.

Two girls studying

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip award your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Theory of Human Rights

This module introduces the foundations and principles that underpin the theory and practice of human rights. In addition to their historical evolution and philosophical foundations, their contemporary legal and political meaning and use is examined through relevant debates in domestic and international law. The module includes critical and non-western perspectives on contemporary human rights.

International Human Rights Systems

This module introduces international human rights law, the institutions and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. You are invited to critically examine arguments and ideas about human rights, their philosophical underpinnings, and their contemporary legal and political meaning through an examination of the relevant law, contemporary debates and case studies.

Advanced Legal Research Methods

This module introduces you to the legal research methods in preparation for your dissertation.

Law and Practice of Human Rights

This module examines international human rights law through key, wide-ranging case studies. This includes the right to development, group rights, self-determination and human rights in wartime, considering how contemporary legal and political contexts affect IHRL today. Using primary documents, case law and academic commentary, each topic is appraised from a practical perspective, underpinned by theory and principles.

Optional modules

Inequality, Diversity and Human Rights

This is a brand new module, the description will be available soon.

Principles of International Law

This module focuses on the law and legal framework governing the international community. We examine the philosophical underpinnings of international law including the nature, origins and basis of international law; the main sources of international law, including the importance of customs, treaties, general legal principles and international case precedents in interpreting international law; the basic rights and obligations of international actors (such as state responsibility, governmental obligations not to interfere with other, immunities and jurisdictional powers). The International Court of Justice is studied in relation to the judicial settlement of international disputes. The module builds on case studies and group exercises to assist the learning experience.

International Criminal Law

This module focuses on the development of international criminal law following the establishment of the International Criminal Court, under the Rome Statute 1998. It will focus on the remit of the Court which is to try those responsible for serious crimes under international law, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of aggression. Drawing on the experiences of the Yugoslavia and Rwandan Criminal Tribunals, actual cases will be examined in depth, exploring the degree to which the new court will be bounded by such decisions. The notion of individual responsibility and the issue of universal jurisdiction will also be examined.

International Refugees and Migrants

This module provides an understanding of the issues and debates surrounding nationality, forced and economic migration at International and European law. It encourages a critical assessment of existing laws of nationality and migration in their political, social, historical context and encourages research skills in relation to your individual chosen topic. It also focuses on the main issues in relation to human trafficking and globalisation and development.

War Law

This module develops themes introduced on the compulsory module in International Law, and complements themes addressed in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law. The three main aims of this module are to introduce you to the international norms and institutions concerning the use of force (jus ad bellum), the law of armed conflict or international humanitarian law (jus in bello) and transitional justice (jus post bellum). The module will develop your legal and analytical skills, promote human rights and humanitarian law and values, and encourage high quality discussion and research in this field.

Final project

Compulsory modules


Your LLM dissertation is an extended and supervised piece of work on a particular aspect of international law, chosen in consultation with your course tutors. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge through systematic academic enquiry and for you to demonstrate your ability to explore and present legal arguments. The style of research may range from empirical investigation to textual analysis. You will develop transferable skills in research and information and project management. 

You will be encouraged to choose an international law topic of personal interest or one related to your occupation. Full-time students will normally begin preliminary work on the dissertation in Semester 1 and formalise the topic and structure of the dissertation in Semester 2. The main work on the dissertation will normally take place from June to mid-August.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You'll experience high-quality learning through the diversity of methods used throughout the LLM courses. These include:

  • lectures
  • seminar discussions
  • individual and small group tutorials
  • case studies
  • group presentations
  • individual presentations
  • moots.

You will acquire and practise legal reasoning as well as research and IT skills. Particular emphasis is placed on skills training.


Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment methods include:

  • coursework
  • individual presentations
  • group presentations


Our LLM course team consists of researchers working within the following research groups:

  • international law
  • critical approaches to law
  • fundamental rights and equality.

You can attend the programme of research seminars and other events that underpin the research culture of the School of Law. You will have the opportunity to become involved in research through specialist modules in which teaching staff have expertise. They also supervise your dissertations in their specialist subjects.

Student studying in a quiet space

After you graduate

Career prospects

Graduates from the LLM succeed across an impressive range of careers from policy makers and human rights activists through to high flying diplomats and commercial lawyers. LLM staff can advise you and direct you to possible careers and employers depending on your particular needs and ambitions. 

"The LLM offered by Oxford Brookes has already helped me very much. It has given me that international profile that is required by all the bodies and agencies of the United Nations. Without this course I would not have had the opportunity to undertake an internship with the UN and finally understand what path I want to follow in my professional career."

Stefano Consiglio, LLM International Human Right Law graduate

Student profiles

Our Staff

Professor Lucy Vickers

I welcome applications for doctoral supervision in the area of Equality Law, particularly relating to religion and age equality.

Read more about Lucy

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.