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Law - International Human Rights - LLM

Your Course
This programme is offered at the Irish Centre for Human Rights within the School of Law. This centre is one of the world's premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. This course prepares you for work in the international human rights field and is a foundation for those who wish to pursue PhD study in the field. While the course's emphasis is legal, suitably qualified candidates from other backgrounds are accepted. It develops skills in the area of human rights protection, and knowledge of the philosophies and theories that underpin it.

Coursework begins with a general introduction to the systems and documents of international human rights law, and proceeds to a series of specialised courses in such areas as minority rights law, regional human rights systems such as the European Convention on Human Rights, criminal prosecution by international tribunals of human rights violators, gender and child rights, refugees and asylum seekers, and international humanitarian law. The course emphasises the analysis and critique of international human rights law and legal regimes. Completing a research thesis of 20,000 words is also a requirement.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
It is preferred that applicants hold a degree in law. However, the Centre for Human Rights also welcomes students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than law. In cases where applicants come from a non-law background, the Centre for Human Rights will consider academic background, relevant work experience, references and a personal statement. Applicants must normally have attained at primary degree level a result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 or equivalent. However, those falling short of this standard may be considered where they can demonstrate other appropriate academic accomplishments as well as relevant work experience.


2 years, part-time.

Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
Students who have successfully completed the programme tend to fall into one of four categories: those who work within UN or UNaffiliated organisations; those who work in NGO and quasi-NGOs – both human rights and development; those who work in academic institutions or pursue a PhD/JD; and those who work in diplomatic or government-based work (in the human rights unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs, for example).

Further enquiries

Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh
T: +353 91 493 799


1. During the course of their studies, students at Master's level are encouraged to put into practice the foundational work provided by the LLM by undergoing internships with international institutions and non-governmental organisations working in the field of human rights.

2. The Centre for Human Rights offers advice in finding suitable opportunities and some financial support to offset travel expenses for internships.

3. Graduates will enjoy excellent career prospects.

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