The MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights is annually reviewed by external examiners; in addition, we receive feedback about the MA from partners in NGOs and other organisations and from guest lecturers from universities nationally and internationally. This page showcases recent feedback the MA has received.
I think this model - inviting practitioners to speak about their experiences - is an excellent one, and I find that the students react really well to it. They love getting to grips with a real life human rights problem and working on it in groups. And often they come up with some really great ideas, because they are not thinking within the usual organisational culture that tends to inform how we do things. I always come away from those [guest] lectures with a feeling of great optimism about the next generation of human rights advocates.
Chris Chapman - Indigenous Rights Researcher/Adviser, Gender, Sexuality and Identities Team, Amnesty International - International Secretariat
Thucydides suggested that “the society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools”. As one of the practitioners invited to contribute to the course, I appreciate the opportunity to offer students a perspective from the often messy battlegrounds of NGO campaigning, and am keen to balance that with seeing how academic research can support my work. The study of campaigning is perhaps hampered by it as a discipline cutting across disparate academic fields from political science to communications and even psychology. Being able to explore it holistically as we can in the module to which I contribute is therefore refreshing. I’m always impressed, and often challenged, by the quality of the discussion with students and the campaign ideas they generate. It’s notable how many bring their own practical experience, and I’m reassured that the current and future campaigners who’ve been through this course are far from being anyone’s fools.
Martin Clark, NGO advocacy consultant
I’ve had the pleasure of being an external NGO guest presenter on this course for several years now. I’ve always been struck by the great diversity of backgrounds that the students bring to the course. There are recent graduates learning about human rights alongside students who are taking the course after some years’ experience as human rights defenders, campaigners and researchers in their own right. The course also draws students from all over the world, and what they all share is a passionate commitment to the subject. This means that the course is just as much about the sharing of knowledge and experiences among the students as the presentations, reading and research that they do while pursuing it.
Carl Söderbergh, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Minority Rights Group International