Our LLM International Human Rights Law is the oldest established human rights law course in Europe, and reflects our University’s global reputation as the leading centre for human rights research, practice and education. In 2009 the University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its excellence in the advancement of human rights.
We provide an advanced conceptual understanding of the international law on the promotion and protection of human rights, at the international, regional and national level, informed by the latest practice and scholarship.
Our course sets international human rights law in its philosophical and historical contexts, enabling you to understand international human rights law as it applies in various situations including states of emergency or acute crises, development and transition.
At Essex, we specialise in business law, public law, criminal justice, health law, law and technology, socio-legal studies and human rights law. We are 3rd in the UK for research power in law (THE research power measure, REF2021) and we are ranked 47th for Law in THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
We attract some of the most experienced and academically qualified students from around the world, and we aim to produce graduates who will be leaders in the field of international human rights law as advocates, field officers, legal advisers or researchers with governments and international and non-governmental organisations.
There are a range of fellowships and bursaries available for LLM study. Please see our Fees and Funding pages for more information.
This course is also available on a part-time basis.
We strongly encourage those without previous human rights experience undertake at least a one-month internship with an intergovernmental or non-governmental organisation in London, Geneva or elsewhere. We offer up to 10 bursaries a year to help LLM students wishing to undertake placements.
This can be accommodated while studying for your dissertation, and extensions are available for those wishing to pursue this option full-time (for students who do not require a visa to study in the UK).
Students have previously interned with Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Article 19, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the Council of Europe, JUSTICE, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Service for Human Rights, INTERIGHTS, Minority Rights Group International, REDRESS and UNHCR to name a few organisations.