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LLM PgDip in Human Rights Law

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements Applicants will normally hold a first- or second-class Honours degree from a UK university or college (or an equivalent qualification), or relevant professional qualifications.
  • Academic Title
    LLM PgDip in Human Rights Law
  • Course description
    This Master’s programme in Human Rights Law offers law graduates, graduates in related disciplines and those with relevant professional qualifications the opportunity to develop a detailed understanding of human rights law at the UK, European and international levels.

    Protection of human rights is now a global concern. The ‘war on terror’ has put human rights under pressure. International, regional and domestic human rights instruments are increasingly influential and controversial. These trends will intensify in future years as international human rights law continues to expand, the impact of the European Court of Human Rights grows, and the Human Rights Act 1998 affects new areas of UK law. The LLM and PgDip is therefore intended to provide invaluable training and insights for those who have either a professional or academic interest in this evolving human rights culture.

    Course Structure

    The Human Rights Law programme may be completed over two years, taking one module per semester, or over one year taking two modules per semester. In each semester, for full-time study there will usually be two seminars per week and for part-time study one seminar per week. The academic year operates on a two semester basis: October to January, and January to June.

    There are 3 potential exit points from the course, certificate, diploma and masters. Assuming satisfactory performance, it is possible to change between these so that, for example, a student who initially registers for the certificate may opt to continue studying to the diploma or masters qualification. Likewise, a student originally registered for the masters may be transferred to the certificate or diploma stream.

    Students who wish to acquire the LLM qualification study four modules from the list, and write a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with their supervisor. Successful completion of four modules will qualify students for the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) is awarded upon completion of two modules.


    In addition to the provision of postgraduate masters level human rights law education, academics from both Strathclyde and Glasgow universities have developed the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law (CSHRL). This brings together academics from both institutions who teach and research in the area of human rights and human rights law, its aim to develop and promote the teaching and study of human rights law practice and activism. The Centre undertakes human rights research and consultancy projects at the local, national and international levels, as well as hosting human rights conferences and seminars, and is a member of the British-Irish Human Rights Centres Network. It aims to bring together a wide spectrum of academics, practitioners, policy-makers and activists to discuss and research human rights issues in Scotland, the UK and internationally.

    For the LLM, students must select at least two of the following core modules. These modules are normally offered in the evenings only (6-8pm) in both semesters.

    LLM students also choose any two additional modules from the complete list of core and optional modules. Optional modules include those offered as part of other Strathclyde Law School postgraduate programmes and those offered by Glasgow University Law School within its LLM programmes. The Glasgow modules are normally offered in the daytime only on the Glasgow University campus. Optional classes may not be run in any year and may be subject to class size limits*.

    Core Modules

    European Human Rights

    The European Convention on Human Rights is the most influential regional human rights treaty. This module looks in depth at the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and evaluates the substantive guarantees of the ECHR in areas such as fair trial, privacy and freedom of expression.

    International Human Rights Law

    Human rights protection is a global concern. This module examines civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights, and assesses the range of international monitoring and supervision regimes. Topics covered include the major international treaties and bodies, protection of children, women and minorities, and the role of NGOs.

    Human Rights Protection in the UK

    The Human Rights Act 1998 is a major constitutional development in the UK. This module examines the ongoing transformation in legal culture, the expansion in judicial power and the value of human rights litigation in achieving social change.

    Human Rights in Comparative Perspective

    The proliferation of Bills of Rights in modern democracies has generated a variety of human rights standards as national courts adopt different approaches to rights conflicts. This module examines comparative perspectives on topical issues such as freedom of expression law and environmental law.

    Optional Modules

        * Institutions and Policy Making in Europe (Glasgow University)
        * International Criminal Law (Glasgow University)
        * Globalisation, Constitutionalism and Human Rights (Glasgow University)
        * United Nations Law (Glasgow University)
        * UK and EU Environmental Law (Strathclyde University)
        * Human Rights and Immigration Legislation (Strathclyde University

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