International Human Rights

LLM International Human Rights
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
On this programme you will acquire specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. The programme is interdisciplinary thus building on the strengths in this area of the Sutherland School of Law and the School of Politics and International Relations. Members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law have engaged in major research in this area spanning the full range of international human rights law from asylum law and practice, the EU and fundamental rights to the law of privacy in Ireland.
• To understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations that come to the fore in the study of human rights
• To apply their knowledge and understanding of human rights law, political theory and international relations to real and hypothetical factual situations
• To conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers.

Course Description
The Sutherland School of Law offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:
International Human Rights will consider the theoretical underpinnings and development of contemporary international human rights law. It will critically examine the institutional architecture developed by the UN system and regional systems to implement human rights norms as well as national methods of implementation of human rights law. The course will also consider key themes and challenges facing those systems in securing effective protection of human rights.

Law of the ECHR involves a critical examination of key aspects of the operation and substantive law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In particular this course focuses on the incorporation of the ECHR into domestic law; the individual-complaint procedure and the operation of the European Court of Human Rights; methods of interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); as well as in-depth analysis and critical evaluation of the ECtHR's jurisprudence across a representative selection of rights in the ECHR.

Theory of Human Rights: Human rights play a peculiar role in contemporary national and international affairs. They are, first and foremost, moral rights that all human beings should be guaranteed, but they also require implementation in positive law and institutions. This module will examine some of the most prominent theories of rights and examine some of the problems that arise from human rights talk and human rights implementation. These include various challenges to the idea of human rights, conflicts between rights, human rights and democracy and the relation between human rights and distributive justice.

Politics of Human Rights: By examining recent political science scholarship on human rights, this module will facilitate understanding of how human rights norms spread and what effects they have on state behavior. After a brief theoretical and historical overview of international human rights, the course will turn to perspectives that seek to explain how and under what conditions human rights norms would be expected to influence state conduct. Topics covered include the role of transnational activist networks, legalization and legal norms, transitional justice, trade and economic sanctions, and the role of domestic institutions.

The Comparative International and European Law (CIEL) programme is an exchange programme for registered full-time LLM students. The programme includes joint thesis supervision with academic colleagues at both the home and host institution. Upon successful completion students are awarded the CIEL certificate in addition to their LLM award.

Maastricht University (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
Universität Mannheim (Courses through German: German as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
Université Toulouse 1 Capitole (Courses through French: French as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)
University of Antwerp (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
University of Zagreb (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)

Students admitted to LLM programmes holding a 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree and relevant language results are eligible to apply in late September/Early October when they have begun their programme. Spaces are allocated on a competitive basis. Open to September start students only.

LLM Exchange to the University of Melbourne
Sutherland School of Law will offer one full-time registered LLM, September start, student the opportunity to spend Semester Two of their full-time LLM programme in the University of Melbourne. This is open only to students admitted to an LLM programme holding a high 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree. Allocation will be based on academic performance to date and interview. Application to this will open in October.

Additional Notes for Applicants:
• Please note that the Part Time programme has the same timetable as the full time programme but is held over 2 years rather than 1 year.
• January start full time students will be expected to submit a dissertation title as soon as they have registered for the programme, January, and will have to submit a proposal and poster within the first weeks of their first semester.
• There will be dissertation seminars in weeks 1-4 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11-1pm (Jan-May term)

NEW Double Degree Masters in Law with University Western Australia located in beautiful Perth.

This 1+1 Double Degree consists of two separate awards: a UCD SSoL one-year taught Masters Degree followed by a UWA Law School one year taught Masters Degree.

The UCD SSoL degree will be from one of the following programmes
• LLM General,
• LLM International Commercial Law,
• LLM in Criminology & Criminal Justice,
• LLM in IP and IT Law,
• LLM in International Human Rights,
• LLM European Law and Public Affairs,
• MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice,
• MSc International Law and Business AND

The UWA Law School one year taught Masters Degree can be taken in one of the following fields:
• Master of International Commercial Law,
• Master of International Law,
• Master of Taxation Law,
• Master of Law, Policy and Government,
• Master of Commercial and Resources Law, and
• Master of Mining and Energy Law.

More details on the UWA programmes available

The academic calendar at UWA extends from February to June (Semester 1) and July to November (Semester 2). So the first entrants from UCD will take place in February 2020

Students transferring from UCD will be required to meet normal overseas admission standards before being admitted to the UWA Masters programme i.e. the equivalent of a Weighted Average Mark of 60% overall in the first year of their UCD Masters study

Each student shall pay the full annual fees for the programme to the institution they are studying at for the year of payment.

Each year, UWA may award full or partial tuition fee scholarships to the best qualified UCD candidates who commence the UWA Masters programme. The number of these full or partial scholarships and eligibility for them may be determined by UWA in accordance with the number of students entering the programme and/or their academic performance.

It is expected that these will be as follows:
• For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 70% (UCD GPA of 3.08) or greater a fee waiver of $A5,000 per annum.
• For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 75% (UCD GPA of 3.38) or greater a fee waiver of $A8,000 per annum.
• For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 80% (UCD GPA of 3.68) or greater a fee waiver of $A10,000 per annum.

Vision and Values Statement
The programme gives students, who already hold an undergraduate law degree or have practised law for a significant period, specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. It qualifies student to work in the human rights field in Ireland or abroad, as lawyers, policy-makers, advocates, researchers or academics. Career opportunities exist in intergovernmental organisations, government departments, international and domestic non-governmental organisations and in law firms.

Students are challenged to understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations that come to the fore in the study of human rights. The understanding thereby acquired is also relevant to their contribution as citizens in an increasingly wide range of areas.

Subjects taught

The LLM requires the completion of 90 ECTS. The dissertation is worth 30 ECTS and there is a dissertation seminar in semester 2 for 2 hours per week with the dissertation being completed in Semester 3. The typical enrolment for a full-time student is 3 modules in Semester 1 and 2. Although all modules are available, students on this programme usually choose from the following modules. Part-time students, taking the degree over two years, should note that classes are as for those taking the full time option, but will take less credits per semester as they have 2 years to complete this programme.

For January start Full Time students the Dissertation seminars begin straight away and the dissertation will take place during the summer.

Stage 1 - Core
• Human Rights Law and Equality - EQUL40070
• Dissertation - LAW40290
• Law of the ECHR - LAW40780
• Politics of Human Rights - POL41020
• Theory of Human Rights - POL41030

Stage 1 - Option
• Gender, Conflict-related Harm & Transitional Justice - GS40100
• International Economic Law - LAW40140
• International Competition Law - LAW40150
• NGOs: Law, Governance and Social Change - LAW40760
• Law and Governance of the EU - LAW41040
• Climate Change Law and Policy - LAW41090
• Online Regulation - LAW41150
• Data Protection and Privacy: National and International Perspectives - LAW41270
• Asylum and Refugee: Law, Politics and Rights - LAW41310
• International Tax Law - LAW41450
• White Collar Crime - LAW41500
• Patent Law - LAW41610
• Comparative Corporate Governance - LAW42010
• Law of Armed Conflict - LAW42020
• Culture, Heritage and Human Rights - LAW42040
• United Nations Human Rights Practice - LAW42130
• Regulatory Investigation - LAW42180
• Politics of Development - POL40100
• Advanced Disability Studies - PSY40640
• Disability Policy Legislation - PSY40890

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements
Degree Requirements
• Applicants must hold a Law degree, or an inter-disciplinary degree in which law was a major component. Applicants must have achieved at least an upper second class honours or equivalent.
• Applicants holding a Graduate Diploma in Law (60 ECTS Credits) may be considered but will normally be admitted only where they can show an exceptionally strong performance in both their undergraduate degree and diploma.
• Exemption from these requirements may be given to those with significant, relevant, practical experience or those with a graduate qualification at Masters level or higher in a relevant discipline. Such applicants should state clearly in their application why they feel their qualifications/experiences are appropriate for admission to the programme.
• These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

English Language Requirements
• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit satisfactory evidence of competence in written and spoken English, i.e. overall IELTS 6.5 (including a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing parts and no part below 6.0) or 90 in the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum of 22 (reading) and 24 (writing) and no part below 20.) The test results must be less than 2 years old.
• The School encourages all applicants whose first language is not English to attend the pre-sessional English programme offered by the UCD Applied Language Centre, details of which are available at
• Students meeting the programme's academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD's Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master's Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information
• International applicants should visit the UCD International Office website ( for information regarding our campus, location of UCD, visa information, registration and orientation.

Application Procedure
Applicants should indicate which programme they are applying for. All applicants should note:
• Official transcripts must be submitted as proof of examination results by all applicants except UCD graduates.
• The personal statement is an important component of the application. It should contain information demonstrating your capability to undertake the course successfully. You should detail any relevant research and practical experience including any publications and major essays/projects.
• Applicants must nominate two academic referees (name, position, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number). If an applicant has been in employment for more than two years, one of the referees must be your employer.

Please note: If you are offered a place on the LLM programme, accepting that place is a two-part process. You must submit an on-line acceptance and you must also pay a non-refundable deposit (normally €500) within 15 working days of the date of your offer letter.

Letter Of Recommendation

Application dates

How to apply?
LLM International Human Rights FT (B440)
Deadline Rolling *

LLM International Human Rights PT (B441)
Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No




B440: 1 year full-time
B441: 2 years part-time
Mode of delivery: Face-to-Face


LLM International Human Rights (B440) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 9320
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

LLM International Human Rights (B441) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4660
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

We also offer scholarships for EU applicants. All applicants who apply before May 31st will be included. Further details at

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
The programme qualifies you to work in the field of human rights, either internationally or in Ireland, as a practising lawyer, legal adviser, policy-maker, advocate, researcher or academic. Career opportunities exist in inter-governmental organisations (United Nations, Council of Europe, European Union, Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe), government departments, international and domestic nongovernmental organisations, and law firms including McCann FitzGerald and Allen & Overy.

Several UCD careers events are held throughout the year, including dedicated law careers fairs which are attended by top employers. For specific careers advice, the UCD Sutherland School of Law has a dedicated careers advisor on its academic faculty.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

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    Course provider