Law - Gender Conflict & Human Rights

Ulster University - Belfast

Law - Gender Conflict & Human Rights

The LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights draws on the established research excellence of the Transitional Justice Institute to deliver a world-leading Master programme in the field.

This programme has been developed to enable you to:
• Gain a systematic understanding, in-depth knowledge, and critical awareness of the differential experiences women and men have of human rights norms and institutions, especially in conflict and post-conflict situations

• Understand foundational concepts in gender theory and their application to human rights, international law, and transitional justice

• Gain knowledge and skills in carrying out research projects from design to write-up

• Enhance skills in critically appraising published and commissioned research

• Develop skills highly relevant to legal practice, and to gender policy, research, and advocacy roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

Successful completion may also lead to a range of further study and research options.

Work placement / study abroad
The Transitional Justice Institute works closely with a range of human rights organisations that regularly offer internship opportunities to our LLM students – including the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Consortium, Law Centre (NI) and Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM).

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Foundations of Transitional Justice
This module aims to equip students to critically engage with the emerging field of transitional justice. Students will relate the dilemmas of societies in transition from violent conflict and/or from authoritarian regimes to the imperatives of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Students will gain a critical understanding of the political and legal dilemmas that confront societies emerging from conflict and authoritarianism, and will critically reflect upon a wide range of transitional justice mechanisms. They will be invited to apply that legal and structural knowledge to contemporary situations of armed conflict and transition.

Dissertation Research Methods
This module provides a full range of skills which students need to be able to produce rigorous pieces of research as part of their dissertation, and prepare for professional stages and a career in human rights law and/or transitional justice. It attempts to bridge the gap between academic and practical law. The understanding of sources of public international law and study techniques including transferable skills in areas such as performing UN- research and time-management is a fundamentally skill. This understanding can then be applied to help support a practical approach to learning.

This module allows students to apply the research skills acquired and explore the issues broached in the taught modules, by conducting an effective critical investigation of an area of concern or interest in human rights law and transitional justice, and to write a report on that investigation.

Gender and Human Rights
This module examines the international legal instruments for the guarantee of women's civil and political rights and economic and social rights will be examined for students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the basic texts and the international monitoring mechanisms. Detailed attention is accorded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1979. The impact of certain conceptual assumptions within international law, and human rights law in particular, that militates against the adequate protection of women's rights are considered.

Gender and Transition
This module offers a singular introduction to the interplay between human rights, humanitarian law and feminist theory. It explores the gendered experiences of women in times of conflict and repression, emphasizing in particular the harms which women may experience. It then follows-through with an exploration of the role and visibility of women in the contexts of peace-making, peace-enforcement and transition. The module explores the absence of women in key decision-making and representative contexts, and examines the extent to which transitional justice accountability processes are gender sensitive. The module is also focused on identifying mechanisms which would improve accountability, visibility and gender equality for women in situations of transition.

Using Film for Human Rights Research and Advocacy
This module is optional
This module will examine the role of documentary film in advocacy and activism; the range of films that have been used human rights research and advocacy; and the practical challenges of using film to raise awareness of the need for a human rights investigation or policy change, including ethical considerations, managing expectations, the campaigning process, and budgeting.

Memory, Transition and Conflict
This module is optional
Memory, Conflict and Transition' is an optional module which seeks to encourage socio-legal and social science analyses surrounding the out-workings of political violence in transitional societies with the emphasis on divided societies. Key issues will include the legitimisation of political violence, the construction of victim hierarchies, theories of social memory, collective memory and conflict resolution and political transformation, and the interplay between memory, identity and conflict in transitional societies. The module will also advance knowledge in a developing pillar of transitional justice policy making and academic analysis, the use of commemoration and memorialisation.

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
This module is optional
Day 1. ESCRs: Nature, Concepts and Measurement

Session one: On the Nature of ESCRs

Session two: Progressive Realization of ESCRs: Concept and Measurement

Day 2. Domestic and Regional Protection of ESCRs

Session one: ESCRs in Domestic Legal Systems

Session two: ESCRs in Regional Human Rights Systems

Day 3. Selected Substantive ESCRs

Session one: The Right to Health

Session two: The Right to Work and Education

Equality Law
This module is optional
This module introduces the students to core principles of equality law, with a focus upon the law of Northern Ireland but in the context of British, European, comparative constitutional and international law. It examines a spectrum of non-discrimination and equality law concepts and their enforcement over the key grounds and considers the future development of equality law.

Transitions from Conflict: Law and Politics
This module is optional
This module explores the ways law is politicised and the rule of law is (re)introduced to political life during transitions from conflict. It analyses the often competing political factors that influence international and national post-conflict law formation, in the forms of UN Security Council resolutions, international conventions, peace agreements and transitional constitutions to deal with legacies of mass violence. In addition, the module considers the extent to which legal actors, such as legislators, judges and lawyers, are influenced by political factors. This course complements the core Foundations of Transitional Justice module.

Transitional Justice in Comparative and Regional Perspectives
This module is optional
This module gives students the chance to explore how the myriad conceptual, legal, social and political challenges of truth, justice, reparations, reconciliation and memory interact and play out 'on the ground' in a particular region or set of countries around the world. Techniques of comparative and case study methodology drawn from social science as well as law are explored and then applied, to allow development of critical insight alongside in-depth specialist knowledge of one region or set of cases. The differences between post-authoritarian, post-conflict and ongoing conflict transitional challenges, the relationship between global and local TJ dynamics, the articulation of regional with national and international legal and political institutions, the bottom-up, civil society-driven nature of much transitional justice change, and the importance of contextual knowledge and historical, including post-colonial, sensibility for today's transitional justice scholar and practitioner will all be emphasised. This module will focus, in any given year, on one of: Latin America/ Africa/ Europe/ the Middle East

International Humanitarian Law in Transitional Justice Contexts
This module is optional
This module considers the international law rules which govern whether and when States are entitled to use armed force, including the prohibition of the use of force contained in the UN Charter as well as the exceptions to that prohibition. In particular, we will examine the arguments on the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect doctrine. The main part of the course examines the law that applies during an armed conflict. We begin by considering the distinction between the law applicable to international armed conflicts and that applicable to non-international armed conflicts. In this part of the module, we will gain an overview of the "Geneva law" relating to the humanitarian protection of victims of armed conflict and the "Hague law" relating to the means and methods of warfare. In particular, we will examine the distinction between combatants and civilians and the obligation to protect civilians.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

A second class Honours degree or above or equivalent recognised qualification in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline. Allowance may be made for special qualifications, experience and background, and students with other academic backgrounds will be considered, where applicants can demonstrate their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) or accreditation of prior learning (APL).

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit for more details.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

How to Apply
You can download and complete the application form below.

•The application form must also include your university transcripts and contact details for two referees.

•In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

Pay the application fee* and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

*Pay your application fee (EU: €33; non-EU: €55) using Realex system. Please note down the payment reference number, make a screenshot or print a copy for your own records.

Post Course Info

Career options
Successful completion of the LLM.

Previous graduates have gone onto positions in the local human rights sector and public sector in Northern Ireland, to legal practice in areas related to the LLM and to PhD research. Further, previous graduates have secured work in the United Nations and in international non-governmental organisations.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider