Human Rights (Intensive) (LLM / MA)

Year of entry

2017

Start date

January 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Two weeks of classes in March/April and in June/July

Other entry years for this course

2018

Birkbeck's School of Law is proud to offer this exciting and innovative Master’s programme, leading to the award of an LLM or MA Human Rights. The distinctive focus of the programme is on theoretically informed and multidisciplinary approaches to human rights. It is also practical, setting out the impact of human rights on business, with some case studies. It aims to expose you to a critical and contextual engagement with the subject. You will study human rights in their political, legal, sociological, anthropological and philosophical contexts.

Human rights has emerged as the dominant discourse through which political, social and economic challenges are articulated. Is the rise of human rights as emblem of resistance and political horizon a reflection of the exponential rise of human need and suffering, or is it a convenient means of deflecting more radical political demands and transformation? What are the mechanisms through which various crises are made intelligible through human rights? What about the convergence of human rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the implications of the growth of 'business and human rights' in international media? These are among the questions taken up in this programme.

You will be introduced to a wide variety of approaches to research across a range of disciplines, and to the theoretical frameworks for advanced legal scholarship. You will also take specialist courses, choosing from a wide range of subjects in the area of human rights.

The programme has close ties to a number of leading human rights NGOs and is informed by critical engagement with, and analysis of, human rights practice.

This programme will be attractive to those who wish to develop a career in the human rights field. It is especially aimed at more established participants in human rights practice across the spectrum of professional, NGO, governmental and inter-governmental activity, as well as CSR professionals in the private sector, who wish to take time to reflect and to deepen their understanding.

Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

Find out more about studying law at Birkbeck and what is an intensive LLM?

Highlights

  • We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top three in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
  • The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
  • We use IT resources, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines, such as economics, politics and sociology. For example, it provides access to over 17,000 electronic journals, which are available online 24 hours a day. Find out more about our teaching and learning resources. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
  • Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU-based applicants only).
  • Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.
  • Find out more about why you should study law at Birkbeck.
  • Watch our videos and hear what our students have to say about studying law at Birkbeck.

Course structure

You take three compulsory modules, one of which is a dissertation, and three option modules.

Module groups

Core modules

Option modules

Dissertation LLM/MA Human Rights (Intensive)

Please note that the modules listed here are indicative; not all modules will be available every year.

The dual stream award (either LLM or MA) allows you to choose a qualification that best suits your existing and future career. The final award will be determined prior to completion.

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Intensives 17-18 Timetable FINAL 17_18.pdf — PDF document, 25 KB (25841 bytes)
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Good second-class honours degree in law, the humanities or social sciences; other good honours degrees will be considered.

    Degrees from overseas institutions must be equivalent to a UK second-class degree.

    Other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional training and experience are welcome and will be taken into account.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £3975 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £7950 pa
    Part-time international students: £7225 pa
    Full-time international students: £14450 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    A combination of materials and readings developed especially for this intensive programme, as well as face-to-face teaching twice a year.

    Each module consists of 20 hours of classroom teaching. This takes place over four weeks: two weeks in March/April and two weeks in June/July. Readings are available from January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Final assessment for each compulsory and option module is based on a 4000-word essay. You will be required to submit a dissertation of 8000-10,000 words.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in the legal profession, government and the public sector, and research or journalism. Possible professions include human rights lawyer, barrister, or human resources officer. This degree may also be useful in becoming a researcher, journalist, or trading standards officer.

    Find out more about these professions.

    Find more advice and information about law careers.

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Preliminary reading is sent to new students in January, with the first block of intensive, face-to-face teaching in March/April.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.