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Human Rights Law

LLM ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )

Overview

Applications for 2017 entry are now closed. They will re-open for 2018 entry mid-October.

The LLM in Human Rights Law programme is designed to enable you to form an advanced conceptual understanding of international law relating to the promotion and protection of human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.

Your fellow students will come from the UK and more than 80 other countries, each able to draw on prior academic and in many cases professional experiences from different jurisdictions to enrich discussion and debate in class.

Human Rights Collegium

The Human Rights Collegium at Queen Mary is the first association between a university and a non-governmental organisation established to provide scholarly expertise, research and teaching on national and international human rights. The Human Rights Collegium is based at Queen Mary, University of London and is a consortium of members of the School of Law and the British Institute of Human Rights. The collegium's aim is to focus on areas that are at the forefront of human rights to help contribute to its progressive development and to benefit the community. These rights include socio-economic rights; rights of women; international child rights and the rights of other vulnerable groups.

Internships

Queen Mary LLM students have the opportunity to apply for three summer internships with the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR).

Why study your LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary?

The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.

The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.

  • There is a very high rate of employment of our students within six months of graduation.
  • We have dedicated law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms.
  • Many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
  • We offer a Critical Thinking and Writing in Law programme designed to improve your writing and research in law skills.
  • You will be able to take part in networking and social events run by the Queen Mary Postgraduate Law Society and upon graduating join our extensive alumni network.

Facilities

You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. The Graduate Centre at Mile End campus will also provide work areas and social spaces tailored specifically to the needs and working patterns of postgraduate students.

As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases.

In addition, Queen Mary provides free access to extensive online databases and collections including:

  • Lexis
  • Nexis
  • Westlaw
  • Justis
  • Eur-lex
  • Hein-Online
  • Business Source Complete
  • Index to Legal Periodicals
  • International Court of Justice Reports
  • Kluwer Arbitration
  • Oxford Scholarship Online (Law)
  • Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases
  • UK Statute law database
  • United Nations Treaty Collection

In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.

  

Structure

The Master of Laws (LLM) is available to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.

Each of the LLM programmes follows a common format: you will take 135 credits worth of taught modules which may be assessed by essays or examinations (see module overviews for full assessment details and dates) and thereafter you work on a 15,000-word dissertation worth 45 credits (submitted mid August). You are required to balance your taught modules equally across the two teaching semesters – a full explanation of this process will be available during induction and before module selection.

What differs from programme to programme is the range of modules that you are required to choose from. If you wish to take an unrestricted range of modules and any approved dissertation topic you should apply for the Master of Laws.

Induction and choosing your modules

We run a comprehensive two-week induction period that includes an overview of the programme and advice on module selection as well as a range of other vital information sessions. You do not have to select your modules until you have had the opportunity to listen and learn about them in greater detail during induction. More detail of the induction programme will be made available online by early September each year.

LLM Year Planner

The LLM Year Planner gives you an idea of the structure of the programme and key periods for assessment and exams.

Full-time

Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly.

Part-time

The part-time LLM is essentially aimed at legal practitioners working full-time in the UK. You will attend the same modules and follow the same teaching timetable as full-time students.

The part-time programme is, however, spread over two academic years.

In year one, you will normally complete 90 credits of taught modules. In year two, you will normally take a further 45 credits of taught modules and submit the compulsory 15,000-word dissertation (45 credits). This can of course be changed if necessary, as the dissertation can actually be done in either year. However we would always advise part-time students to take 90 credits of taught modules in their first year if they are timetabled in a convenient slot.

Although not recommended, it is possible for part-time students, who are having difficulties in finding taught modules that fit in with their work timetable, to submit two 45 credit dissertations – one per year. This would then enable you to take only 45 credits of taught modules each year, one per semester.

Part-time students may also wish to consider the LLM Flexible Study programme.

For more information:

Visit the School of Law website.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you can't find the information you are looking for on these pages, take a look at our LLM Frequently Asked Questions.

Modules:

To specialise in this area, you must select 90 credits of modules from this list and do your compulsory dissertation in the field of Human Rights Law (45 credits). The additional 45 credits of taught modules can be in this area or can be unrelated and therefore selected from the full list of LLM available modules.

From the 2017/18 academic year, all LLM modules will be single semester taught 22.5 credits.

Note: Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year and semesters listed can be subject to change. Any modules not available in the forthcoming academic session will be marked as soon as this information is confirmed by teaching academics.

Certain combinations of modules may be restricted or required – see the individual module description for more details. These are also subject to change but will be confirmed prior to module selection.

Entry requirements

Law graduates

The usual qualification for entry to the LLM programme is a degree in law, or a degree with a substantial law content, of at least 2.1 honours (or equivalent). Law graduates with 2.2 honours who also have other legal qualifications and/or substantial professional legal experience may also qualify.

Non-law graduates

Non-law graduates with a minimum second class honours degree, that have also obtained a Merit (or 60 per cent) in the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) recognised by the UK professional bodies, may also qualify. Non-law graduates may also be considered on the basis of exceptional professional experience (of at least five years) in a legal area or an area directly related to their programme of study.

In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of full application documents.

A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.

International applicants:

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details of the English language entry requirements for postgraduate law programmes.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information you require, please contact the Admissions Office.

How to apply - one LLM programme only

You may only apply for one of the School of Law’s LLM London programmes at a time. This restriction does not include the LLM Law and Economics programme or the LLM in Paris programme,  which you may still apply for. You are permitted to apply for a maximum of two Queen Mary taught postgraduate programmes, so you may still apply for a further non-LLM London programme should you wish.

If you apply for one of the LLM London programmes, then later decide you would prefer to attend a different LLM specialism, please contact the Admissions Office Law Team at lawpgadm@qmul.ac.uk - prior to enrolment - to request a manual change of LLM programme. Do not submit a new application.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations and group exercises as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You will have a team of advisers to support you, including the LLM and Research Directors, your dissertation supervisor and tutors and your module convenors.

Where will my lectures and seminars be held?

Teaching is based at the School of Law's postgraduate centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields (nearest Underground station: Holborn). Depending on the courses you take, you may also have classes at the Mile End Campus (nearest Underground stations: Mile End and Stepney Green) or the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (nearest Underground stations: Russell Square, Euston and Euston Square) or Charterhouse Square (nearest underground station: Barbican).

The sample LLM teaching timetable will give you some idea of the different locations used for teaching. This is a sample only and venues and times/days can change from year to year. The LLM teaching timetable is given to students during the induction period (after enrolment).

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a mixture of formal examinations and coursework in the six taught modules, followed by more self-directed work on your 15,000-word dissertation.

Dissertation

You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000-words.

Teachers contributing to this programme include:

 

 

Fees

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full time £13,400

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full time £19,500

Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

School of Law scholarships

The School of Law offers a range of scholarships for Law Masters programmes each year. Full details are made available on the law funding page from October – November each year.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Read more about funding a masters

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country.

Detailed information about postgraduate funding options is available in our Postgraduate Funding Guide (pdf).

Read more about funding a masters.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Profiles

Amy Wedgwood, UK

LLM in Human Rights Law 2011-12

Prior to coming to Queen Mary I was at Manchester University, doing an LLB with an exchange in Singapore. I chose Queen Mary because of the breadth of subjects on offer, which was a huge advantage. I also wanted to be in London so I could take advantage of things like the Free Representation Unit (FRU) and other volunteering opportunities that aren’t always as plentiful outside of the capital.

I am mostly happy with how things have gone. Law is one of those subjects where the impetus is on you to do your research and ask for help when you need it, which I was used to from school and my undergraduate degree. Academics are so approachable and genuinely want to hear what your take is on things, always more than willing to help and flexible with when and where to see you. The extra classes on how to structure and write academic work have been particularly helpful as its one of those things you are never taught at undergraduate level. Now I have even bigger pieces of work to write, so understanding how to structure academic writing and conduct legal research efficiently is vital.  

Every time I go to a class I am being constantly challenged. Passivity really isn’t an option at postgraduate level. If you are just accepting the law for what it is then you aren’t doing your job properly! You build up a great relationship with your lecturers, as things are far more relaxed. Coupled with the smaller classes, which are conducted more like seminars; you get a better learning experience as you drill down into the interesting bits of law as we accumulated the basics earlier in our studies.

I work for an NGO one day a week in Islington. The European Human Rights Advocacy Centre helps individuals from Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan take cases to the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR). This has been amazing as without studying in London I would not have been able to take this opportunity.  Also, I am on the Human Rights Lawyers Association Student Sub Committee working with the main committee to put on human rights events throughout London, and careers events for students.


Ana-Maria Bucataru

LLM in Human Rights Law 2015-16

I studied the LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London with a focus on immigration and refugee law. I have attended most classes and events offered by the immigration law specialism, which I highly recommend. Not only did I get the chance to listen to amazing guest speakers and visiting professors during my time at QMUL, but I also received a lot of support from the immigration law specialism with my future career development.

At present, I am working at Kingsley Napley LLP in London - one of the leading Immigration Law firms in the UK. The internship was facilitated by the immigration law specialism which led to a subsequent placement within the firm. I am also interning for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

The best memories during my studies are definitely related to the LLM in Immigration Law and I would especially like to thank Professor Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax for her on-going support and commitment to encouraging students to develop their academic and professional skills.


Ann Ireland, France

LLM Human Rights Law 2008-2009

I have always lived in a multi-cultural environment. My BA was a double degree in French and Spanish law. Half of the course was taught at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, and the other half at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, France. In Paris, I studied with students from France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA.

After that, my aim was to become specialised in a specific area of law, human rights, and to do so in the UK. I was aware of the excellent worldwide reputation of the University of London's Colleges and had noted that Queen Mary is one of the top-rated for its variety of human rights subjects. Furthermore, my father graduated at Queen Mary in 1981, with a First in European Studies (French); he gave me the flavour of this University and strongly recommended me to apply.

What I most enjoyed at Queen Mary was the fact that the lecturers were close to the students, knew them personally and always tried to be available for them if they needed any help.

In my case, I was regularly informed of conferences and events on human rights which I could attend. I was also given guidelines for applying for internships with human rights organisations and NGOs, in and outside London, and had a lecturer offering to be my referee in my applications.

Something else I enjoyed about Queen Mary is that it allows students to course, if interested, one of their taught subjects at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). This can be an interesting way to sharpen one's expertise.

In addition, Queen Mary offers very useful and easy to use online facilities, allowing students to access law journals and decisions, amongst other materials.

Also, the University campus has been built up in a way that makes it a community, where all the first-need facilities are gathered, making student life much more pleasant and easy.

Now that I graduated (December 2008), my plans are to gain more practice in my field. I would like to do some fieldwork and work with a human rights organisation. After that, I am still not sure whether I want to continue on the path of NGOs and other organisations, or receive some training in order to be a human rights solicitor. I guess that experience and time will help me decide.


Antoine de Bonnières France

LLM in Human Rights Law, 2011-12

Studying abroad had always been one of my personal aims. I wanted not only to expand my horizons, but also to advance my studies in preparation of my future professional career. After completing my A-levels, I did a Bachelor Degree in Law and English at the Free Faculty of Law and Economics (FACO) in Paris, with the intention of specialising in Criminal Law. I then went on to study for a Masters in International and European Law of the FACO and I took courses at the Criminology Institute of Paris (Université Paris II Assas).

With this ever-increasing desire to study abroad, I began to look for postgraduate programs in England. I chose Queen Mary, University of London for several reasons; Firstly, Queen Mary appeared to be one of the top Universities in UK renowned for its high quality of teaching, the wide range of the modules offered and its modern infrastructures in the very heart of London. Moreover, Queen Mary forms part of the University of London, which enables students to access a vast network of resources. Furthermore, one can benefit from extensive links with Law firms and legal professionals, seminars and conferences organised for students. These factors help to build good foundations for a future career.

More specifically, the LLM in Human Rights has many strengths. The way in which the modules are taught is exciting and intellectually stimulating. Besides the readings the students have to prepare, the courses are subject to interactive debates between the professor and the class. As the class is comprised of people from different countries, the views expressed in class are often diverse. In fact, the latter point is the most important: the classes are a way to share different experiences of Law, and I had always sought after a broader view of Law.

My module choices included Law of Economic Crime, International Criminal Law and the International Law of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force.

I have found that it is the impeccable standard of teaching which has made the modules so engaging and interesting. The teachers’ experience, both academic and professional, reflects the high quality of the LLM. They are always ready to help and to push you forward, and their support has been invaluable.

Lastly, I greatly enjoyed the fact that the LLM  is perfectly designed for both studying and enjoying London. The city welcomes students with many cultural events and impressive venues. Studying in London is an extraordinary experience on an intellectual and social level.

This year spent at Queen Mary will have a lasting impact on me. Thanks to my course at Queen Mary, I now feel fully equipped for the Bar exam which I am due to sit next September.


Karine De Carvalho Guimaraes, Brazil

LLM Human Rights Law, Department of Law - Taught Students Scholarship Winner 2014-15

I graduated from the Federal University of Bahia and during my first year in law school I dedicated myself to volunteering at a project designed to provide legal aid to needy people. After my graduation, I deepened my knowledge attending a postgraduate course in Public Law.

Since 2008, I have assumed the position of Federal Public Defender with the mission to provide legal assistance to needy citizens and assist victims of violence, discrimination, or people in vulnerable situations. The pursuit of this noble cause has inspired me to pursue a LLM in Human Rights.

I have decided to apply for Queen Mary University of London because of its outstanding reputation and because the Human Rights course is broad and interesting. My chosen modules, including International Human Rights Law, International Law on the Rights of the Child and International Refugee and Migration Law, have surpassed my expectations. I am pleased with the depth with which the themes are covered and also with the level of debates in class involving discussions on not only technical issues, but ethical ones. Moreover, the distinguished academic profile of the professors was decisive in my decision to apply for Queen Mary. Finally, the LLM in Human Rights will be very useful in terms of improving my professional practice when I return to my country.


Keshri Soochit

LLM in Human Rights Law 2015-16 (Mauritius)

I am a public prosecutor in Mauritius. The criminal justice system in Mauritius is much inspired by the UK model. I chose to undertake postgraduate study because I want to enhance my skills in order to contribute to constructive change in the criminal justice system and the democracy of my country. I believe that my study in the UK will help me bring positive changes to the Mauritian criminal justice system.

When I first arrived in the UK, support was offered by QMUL in different areas, from welcoming and meet-and-greet to induction. In 2015, Queen Mary School of Law topped the list of London universities. I chose my courses here because of the competent lectures who have contributed a lot to international human rights law both academically and in practice. I am happy with the standard of teaching and truly enjoy the genuine interaction in seminars, which eventually helps each of us in our path.


Lina Johansson, Sweden

LLM in Human Rights School of Law Scholarship Winner 2013-14

After having studied the International Baccalaureate in Sweden I wanted to continue studying in English and I therefore pursued an LLB at the University of Westminster. I had the opportunity to study the UN system for the protection of human rights and that is what brought me to apply for an LLM in Human Rights.

Having looked at most of the renowned universities in London, I ended up only applying to Queen Mary. This was mainly due to its outstanding human rights modules, the teacher-student interaction and the way the modules are taught.

The university offers a vast number of different modules within each field and some of them are particular to Queen Mary. The module, International and Comparative Social Justice is one such module and it really captured what I wanted to explore, namely how to protect social and economical rights. My expectations for all my modules, namely International Human Rights Law and International Law on the Rights of the Child, have been surpassed.

The student-teacher interaction is one of the most important aspects of a university to me. I found speaking to previous students helpful, as they praised the teachers' style and approachability. I have personally experienced this through doing work and then sharing it and my opinions with the teachers. As the teachers are leading scholars in their fields, this is not only academically helpful but also personally gratifying.

My modules are taught in a seminar style and it has enabled me to challenge all my academic beliefs and knowledge during classes. I believe that the interactive teaching style is truly the most efficient way to exceed academically and furthermore challenge my comfort zones. Moreover, the multicultural classroom environment is a key aspect to this experience as it provides varying perspectives and opinions.


Marc Cebreros

LLM Human Rights Law 2015-16 (Philippines)

Prior to studying at Queen Mary, I was working as an Executive Director of a government agency in the Philippines. I decided to undertake postgraduate study because it had been five years since I was an undergraduate and I felt I was losing out in terms of knowledge and professional development.

I was attracted to Queen Mary because of their top-notch reputation in commercial law, which I wanted to combine with a human rights perspective. I’m inspired by my teachers and they’ve all been very helpful. What I enjoy most about my course is the weekly seminars.

The advantage of Queen Mary being a campus university is integration and connectivity; everything and everyone is within reach. It has been easy to make friends because everyone’s so outgoing and eager to get to know each other.


Seifemichael B. Terefe, Ethiopia

LLM Human Rights, 2009-10

Before I came to Queen Mary, University of London, I had my LLB from the Addis Ababa University of Ethiopia and had a few years of experience working as a legal expert and serving as a judge back home. As I was searching for a postgraduate study program on International Human Rights Law, I realized that Queen Mary was consistently ranked as one of the world top Universities for its LLM taught and research programmes. The reputation of the lecturers coupled with the fact that Queen Mary is a University at the heart of the great city of London made me choose to pursue my LLM study here. The faculty of law offers a wide array of specialization programs with flexible choice of course selection. Moreover, the courses are taught by leading practitioners and academics known for their thematic expertise and cutting-edge research work.

The LLM specialization programme in Human Rights Law provides the legal and conceptual framework of the international, regional, sub-regional and domestic human rights protection systems in contemporary context. It also familiarises students with current and cross-cutting issues and challenges in the field.

My choice of modules includes International Protection of Human Rights, Comparative Immigration and Nationality Law, and the International Law of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force. On top of that, I am also auditing International Environmental Law and the Law of Treaties.

Queen Mary has an exciting and welcoming academic environment for international students in particular. The academic and administration staff are always more than ready to help whenever we seek their assistance. The unrivalled diversity of the academic staff and the student community makes the university a microcosm of the world. Getting to know people from all parts of the world and all backgrounds has undoubtedly been a thrilling and enriching student experience for me. Situated at the centre of the most vibrant and multi-cultural cosmopolitan city, Queen Mary has simultaneously offered me the best of both academic and city life.

The easy access and availability of world-class research facilities at Queen Mary is of tremendous help for research work and study. Other than access to Queen Mary libraries, one can also benefit from the collection of books and the electronic research data base at the International Advanced Legal Studies Library. As Queen Mary is a member of the University of London, we have additional access to the intercollegiate library resources. I have also taken advantage of the rich collection of the British Council Library in London.

I will be eternally grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have at Queen Mary. Upon completing my LLM study, it is my ardent desire to pursue a PhD research at Queen Mary as well.


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