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Human Rights

MSc Human Rights
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
The MSc in Human Rights is a one-year intensive course that prepares you for a career in human rights research, policy or advocacy in international organisations, governmental and non-governmental bodies, or academia. 

-You will explore the theory, politics and law of human rights and examine the mechanisms and limitations of national and international action to protect human rights.

-You will either complete a research dissertation or undertake a monitored internship.

Vision and Values Statement
The progressive realisation of human rights represents perhaps the most challenging political issue of our times. This programme aspires to develop and nurture the skills in studnets that would allow them meet that challenge and controbute constructively to both policy and practice in the field of human rights.

Programme Outcomes
-develop student's research/writing skills

-allow students participate constructively in topical debates on human rights

-facilitate students' professional development to work in HR policy

-develop oral presentation skills

-enhance group work skills

-develop methodological research expertise

-To thoroughly familiarise students with cutting edge issues in the broad area of human rights

Entry requirements

A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law. 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.

-Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.

-English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Careers & Employability
Graduates work with international private-sector employers, government agencies and NGOs as:

Human Rights Specialist
Field Officer
Human Rights Consultant
Child Protection Adviser
Public Information Officer

Recent graduates of MSc in Human Rights now work in:

Front Line Defenders
United Nations, New York and Geneva
Amnesty International
Médecins sans Frontières
PLAN Ireland
Irish Aid

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Katarzyna Glosnicka
Contact Number: +353 (0)1 716 8182

Subjects taught

The MSc in Human Rights is a 90-credit programme, including 60 credits of modules taught by staff in the School of Politics and International Relations and the School of Law, and a 25 credit thesis of approximately 10,000 words. As part of their thesis preparation, students take a compulsory 5 credit module on dissertation design. Students are assigned an academic supervisor to help them choose their topic and guide their research.

Full time students must take three 10-credit modules and a 5-credit Dissertation Design module in the first semester, and three 10-credit modules in the second semester. Students must also submit a thesis worth 25-credits. In the first semester, these include the political theory of human rights, the European law of human rights. In the second semester, these include the politics of human rights, the international law of human rights. Elective modules change from year to year but typically include such topics as the Northern Ireland conflict, international political theory, comparative ethnic conflict, Africa in crisis, political economy, and issues in international relations.

Stage 1 - Core
Law of the ECHR

International Human Rights

Research Design

Politics of Human Rights

Theory of Human Rights

Stage 1 - Option
Disability and Equality

Asylum and Refugee: Law, Politics and Rights

Theories of International Relations

Politics of Development

International Political Theory

Comparative Public Policy


Africa: Crisis and Opportunity?

International Political Economy

Comparative European Politics

EU Foreign, Security, and Defence Pol.

Governing the Global Economy

Politics of European Governance

SPIRe Internship

The Global Political Economy of Europe

Gender in Peace and Conflict

The Economics of Sust. Devel

The Politics of Inequality

Theories of International Relations – Stream 2

Political Violence

Political Behaviour in the Middle East and North Africa

Psychology of Conflict in the Middle East

Gender and Security

Peace & Conflict Studies

Ethnic Conflict

Political Theory and the EU

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Human Rights FT (W035)
1 Years

Full Time

Rolling *

MSc Human Rights PT (W110)
2 Years

Part Time

Rolling *

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

Course fee

MSc Human Rights (W035) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 8225
nonEU fee per year - € 19200

MSc Human Rights (W110) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 5405
nonEU fee per year - € 9600

***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.

SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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