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International Politics and Human Rights MA

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  • Academic Title
    International Politics and Human Rights MA
  • Course description
    This programme presents a broad assessment of contemporary international politics and the impact of human rights on the international stage. By developing a coherent and balanced mixture of theoretical approaches with a study of cases and global issues, the programme enables students to view world events from an informative and knowledgeable position. Graduates will be equipped with the types of knowledge and skills necessary to be effective human rights workers and/or advocates within governments, NGOs and/or organisations more generally. This pathway will offer stronger understanding of human rights issues at the global level, rather than the country level.

    The MA in International Politics and Human Rights is for those students who want to understand global events within an ever-changing dynamic political environment. This highly popular programme allows students to combine their study of human rights with a systematic understanding of global political processes and power politics. The core modules provide analytical skills for thinking about global politics in general and the role of human rights in particular. Students can then choose from a range of modules that cover key facets of human rights, international politics, human rights law and related issues.

    The last few years has seen a large increase in the demand for human rights expertise of one kind or another as the UN, national governments and NGOs have increased their sensitivity to and involvement in human rights. London is a major centre for both British and global NGOs. Indeed Amnesty International’s office is situated close to the campus, and is therefore an ideal location to pursue an interest in human rights.

    This programme, along with other human rights programmes at City University, has expanded rapidly, recruiting a diverse range of students from all corners of the world.  Given the location in, the Department of Sociology, and the interests of staff in the diverse dimensions of globalisation, the programme is particularly appropriate for those who are interested in debates about the relationships between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights.

    Modules: MA International Politics and Human Rights

    Students complete six taught modules from a combination of three compulsory core and three elective modules. Students also take part in a dissertation workshop and produce a dissertation over the summer period.

    Core Modules (compulsory)

    IPM006      NGOs, Human Rights and the United Nations system
    SGM222    Approaches to Social Research
    IPM003      Governments and Civil Society in Global Politics
    SGM111    Dissertation
    Elective Modules (choose at least two from List A)
    List A

    LMM029    International Human Rights Law (double module)
    IPM005      International Organisations in Global Politics
    SGM008    International Communications
    SGM101    Globalisation: Challenges and Transformations
    SGM106    The Sociology of Human Rights
    SGM108    Comparative Gender Rights
    SGM109    Rights, Multiculturalism and Citizenship
    SGM116    Introduction to Refugee Studies
    SGM117    Refugee Rights and Refugee Settlement
    IPM001      War, Justice & Global Politics
    SGM224    Media and Human Rights
    List B

    SGM001    Media Information Markets
    SGM002    Developments in Communications Policy
    SGM003    Social and Political Context of Communications
    SGM004    Political Communications
    SGM005    Mass Media: Production and Representation
    SGM009    Democratisation, Information and Communication
    SGM011    Media Audiences
    SGM012    Communications, Politics and Society
    SGM102    Social Action & Participatory Methods
    SGM104    Culture and Identity
    SGM225    Transnational Communications & Transcultural Studies
    SGM226    Political Sociology

    NB. Elective modules choices are subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

    Optional Modules (Non-Assessed)

    -Essay Writing Workshop
    -Campaign Skills Workshop
    -Cumberland Lodge Dissertation Residential
    -Speaker Series


    Teaching is delivered in the format of lectures, classes and seminars, taking place in the first and second academic periods (September-April).

    Full-time students will normally attend for two or three days a week, and complete their dissertation in the third academic period.

    Part-time students will normally attend for one or two days each week for two years. They will take three modules in each of their two years, plus a dissertation in the summer of their second year.


    The dissertation of 15,000 words is worth 60 of a total of 180 credits for the MA degree. Full time students should present their dissertations by September of the year following entrance.

    The weighting of the marks is as follows:

    Continuous assessment (coursework) 120 credits

    Dissertation 60 credits

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