Please note we are not recruiting for this on-campus MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights for entry in 2024. You can apply for the MA Human Rights by distance learning (MA, PGCert, and PGDip) with the University of London for entry in 2024.

Study Human Rights at the School of Advanced Study, University of London


This degree, offered by the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, is the longest-running interdisciplinary, practice-oriented human rights Master's programme in the UK. The MA was originally founded with staff from Amnesty International in 1995. Located in Bloomsbury, the intellectual heart of London, students have access to world-class libraries and facilities located within minutes, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum. Our priority is to equip students with practical skills, such as advocacy, research, and fundraising, essential to working in the field of human rights to enable them to build a human rights career. This Master's degree is therefore particularly suitable for individuals who are, or seek to become, human rights practitioners in the NGO, business, governmental and inter-governmental sectors. Our degree is praised by employers for providing the necessary practical skills human rights professionals need, making our graduates highly employable

Key benefits of the degree

1. Practice oriented training

We offer practice oriented training that equips students with vocational skills, such as human rights advocacy, activism, lobbying, research and fundraising, essential to gaining employment in the field of human rights.

2. Academic staff teaching

Academic staff teaching on the course combine their research and teaching activities with work as activists, advocates and consultants in the field of human rights, meaning the degree stays current with new developments in the field. Special lectures and classes are delivered by expert guest lecturers and human rights practitioners, enabling students to understand different perspectives and develop human rights networks.

3. Internships

We help students to organise internships for our students with one of the many human rights organisations based in the London area.

4. Research-oriented HRC

Students on this Master's participate in the intellectually vibrant, research-oriented Human Rights Consortium, so enriching their studies.

5. Study tour in Geneva

Our one-week study tour in Geneva provides the opportunity for students to learn from a wide range of human rights advocates based inside and outside the United Nations.

6. University of London

As a student of the University of London you will have access to nearly all of its federal libraries and, thanks to our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you will be within walking distance of the British Library, NGOs and human rights organisations.

7. Flexible study

We offer a special flexible study option allowing to take the degree on a part-time basis over 36 months (one module per term), enabling students to combine their studies with employment. You can also study the programme by distance learning.

This degree brings together insights and perspectives on human rights from a range of disciplines, including law, international relations and sociology. This unique interdisciplinary approach provides students with an extensive and diverse range of perspectives with which to understand contemporary human rights challenges. 

The nearly 800 graduates of the MA in Human Rights have gone on to work for an impressive range of organisations, including major international NGOs like Anti-Slavery International and Amnesty International, businesses like Primark and Sainsbury’s, and UN organisations like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Upon graduating, students will receive a degree awarded by the University of London.