Human Rights in Criminal Justice

This programme is designed to emphasise the inter-relationship between what have traditionally been taught as the two distinct disciplines of human rights and criminal justice. Students will be provided with a comprehensive knowledge of this ever developing field of law and encouraged to assess the merit of mainstreaming human rights within the criminal justice system. Covering key areas such as policing and human rights and law of the European Convention on Human Rights, the programme aims to foster general and specific skills with respect to the modern criminal justice system both in Ireland and internationally.

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally have a second class honours degree, grade 2 (2.2) in law or in a relevant social science (Primary degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).Applicants with a primary degree in law will be awarded an LL.M., whereas all other applicants will be awarded an M.A.

In exceptional circumstances an applicant who cannot satisfy the undergraduate requirement may be accepted on the basis of relevant work experience in accordance with UL's Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning.

Applications from those with practical experience in either field are particularly encouraged.

What to Upload with your Application
•Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable)
•English language qualification(s) (if English is not your first language)
•A copy of your birth certificate or passport
•A one page supporting statement, which should demonstrate: (1) our motivation, enthusiasm and a clear understanding of why you are making the application to the Human Rights in Criminal Justice master's programme, and to UL; (2) how your academic background and other relevant experiences have shaped your decision to apply and how the programme of study contributes to your career plans; (3) Evidence that you have the ability, experience, skills and motivation to successfully complete the programme of study.
•Two letters of recommendation on institutional letter-headed paper. The reference letter should comment on the applicant's academic achievements (or relevant professional achievements, if applying under UL's Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning, for more details see:, your suitability for postgraduate study, and any other information you consider to be relevant.

English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:
• Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved.
• Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
• TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
• IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.
• English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
• GCE 'O' level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
• University of Cambridge ESOL –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade A
• GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.


1 year full time or 2 years part time.

MAHRCJTFAD: Full-Time MA Programme
MAHRCJTPAD: Part-Time MA Programme
MLHRCJTFAD: Full-Time LLM Programme
MLHRCJTPAD: Part-Time LLM Programme

Careers or further progression

Graduate Profile
This masters programme will prepare graduates for work in the field of international human rights and criminal justice/policing, domestic and international organisations, non-governmental organisations and as individual advocates incorporating human rights and criminal justice theory into practice.

Further enquiries

Course Director
Dr Ger Coffey
Tel: +353 (0) 61 202574

Subjects taught

Semester 1
- LA6001 Advanced Legal Research Skills

Three electives from:
- LA5153 Comparative International Protection of Human Rights
- LawLA6111 Criminal Justice Processes and Sentencing
- LA6121 Law of the European Convention of Human Rights
- LA6052 Penology and Victimology

Semester 2
- LA6002 Dissertation Methodology

Three Electives from:
- LA6132 International Criminal Law
- LA6142 Policing and Human Rights
- LA4052 Criminology
- LA6062 Comparative and European Criminal Justice


Application date

Application Deadlines

Taught Programmes
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basies but specific programmes have individual closing dates which can be found on our on-line prospectus

Research Programmes
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for research programmes. The applications for Research programmes are review each month by the Postgraduate Research Committee.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 09/Sep/2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!