MA Applied Human Rights

Study Mode Full-time
Year of Entry 2024/25
Several students in barristers' robes


Applied Human Rights

Full-time Law

Apply human rights principles to real-world challenges with our hands-on master's course, equipping you with the practical skills to make a difference.

Everything you need to know...

  • Pound sign

    What is the fee?

    Home: £10,310 for the course
    International/EU: £17,205 for the course

  • Time

    How long will I study?

    1 Year / 20 Months

  • Location

    Where will I study?

    City Campus

  • Date

    When do I start?

    September 2024
    January 2025

Where will I study?

This course is moving into one of our new buildings at City campus. Teaching will mainly be delivered at our Collegiate campus until December 2024 while we get our new facilities ready. From January 2025 you will study in brand new facilities at City campus.

Course summary

  • Gain expertise in international and domestic human rights. 
  • Explore topics like gender equality and sustainability.
  • Make a positive impact at our Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice.
  • Work alongside practitioners to prepare for a rewarding career in the field.
  • Develop critical thinking and practical skills in dynamic and collaborative environments. 

The course builds on your existing credentials, providing a thorough understanding of the human rights and social justice challenges we face today, while increasing your employability and preparing you for a rewarding career. You’ll graduate with the skills and knowledge you need to become a skilled and knowledgeable human rights advocate/activist

Postgraduate open day

Come to an open day

Find out more at our postgraduate open days. Book now for your place.

Learn more

How you learn

Watch lecturer Jamie Grace talk about Law at Sheffield Hallam University.

All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive.

This course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of human rights, theory, policy, and practice – developing your practical skills in applying human rights knowledge in the real-world. 

The course is underpinned by a commitment to ethical and inclusive practice and is informed by ongoing research and industry practice.

You’ll benefit from a variety of teaching methods, whether you’re studying full-time or part-time. You can also tailor your learning by choosing to complete either an applied project or a dissertation.

You learn through:

  • In-person teaching
  • Remote learning
  • Case studies and group work
  • Guest speakers 
  • Student presentations
  • Independent learning
  • Applied learning

Course Topics

This course offers you the opportunity to develop a deep understanding and practical skills in human rights.

You'll delve into the foundational aspects of human rights – exploring emerging issues like gender equality, discrimination, refugee rights, environmental sustainability and climate justice. After examining the intersection of global health and human rights, you’ll apply your knowledge in your own project or dissertation.

Our teaching philosophy prioritises active and collaborative learning – encouraging you to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to apply your knowledge to real-world situations.

Course Support

You’ll be supported in your learning journey towards highly skilled, graduate level employment through a number of key areas. These include:

  • Access to an Academic Adviser for the duration of the course.
  • Regular formative feedback.
  • Feedback on summative assessments.
  • Support from the Careers and Employability Service.

Our student and staff-led steering group, Manifest Diversity, ensures the promotion of minority student voices. Through it, you’ll be able to attend events such as UK Black Business Week and take on projects to improve inclusion within our course and University offer.

Applied learning

This course offers you the opportunity to apply your learning in practical settings through a variety of case studies, live projects and industry links. We’ve established strong relationships with domestic and international human rights stakeholders – providing you with valuable networking opportunities and access to real-world experiences.

Work Placements

You’ll have the opportunity to arrange a 6 months or 12 months placement in between your second and third years. This gives you valuable work experience to prepare you for your future career – and allows you to graduate with an Applied Professional Diploma to add to your CV. 

Networking Opportunities 

You’ll have access to a network of key professionals, researchers and industry specialists – they all support learning and knowledge generation nationally and internationally. Through this network you can attend seminars, internal/external speaker programmes, and guest inputs – further enhancing your understanding of applied human rights in the real world.

We believe our focus on applied learning is essential for preparing students for successful careers in the field of human rights. You’ll have access to the Helena Kennedy Centre’s Justice Hubs – collaborative spaces between staff, students and external networks which specialise in contemporary human rights and social justice issues.  

Live Projects

Through our industry links and live projects, students gain invaluable experience and develop key skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

Our focus on applied learning prepares students for successful careers in the field of human rights, equipping them with the skills and experience needed to make a difference in the world.

Field Trips 

Previous students have participated in a field trip to Lesotho, a transformative experience conducted in partnership with Africa's Gift. This trip immerses students in a rich culture, providing a real-world canvas to explore human rights theories learned in the classroom. By engaging with local communities and contributing to sustainable development projects, students witness the tangible impact of human rights practices. This trip not only amplifies the learning experience but also fosters a deeper understanding of global human rights issues, creating lasting memories and professional networks that extend beyond the classroom.

Students have also participated in an insightful field trip to the United Nations in Geneva. This visit grants students a rare glimpse into the daily operations of human rights work at the UN level, alongside the chance to interact with representatives from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs). 

Experiencing first-hand the dialogues, negotiations, and advocacy efforts that shape global human rights policies, students are better positioned to envision their future roles within this crucial field. This trip to the heart of international human rights governance is more than just an educational venture; it's a stepping stone towards becoming successful human rights advocates.

Future careers

This course prepares you for a career in human rights and social justice, with skills applicable to global organisations such as the United Nations, or to organisations within the UK. Aligned with the United Nations Capability Framework, the degree equips you with the tools you need to succeed in the competitive job market and advance your career. 

This course prepares you for a career in:

  • Human rights law
  • Human rights advocacy 
  • Policy or development work 
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Local and central government services
  • Research and development organisations
  • Academia or teaching

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for:

  • Red Cross
  • Refugee Council
  • Law firms 
  • Academia (such as lecturers specialising in human rights)

Equipment and facilities

Our department provides modern and well-equipped teaching spaces that support interactive learning. 

On this course you have access to:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard which facilitates flexible and remote learning.
  • The Helena Kennedy Centre’s Justice Hubs – a place for staff, students, and external stakeholders to collaborate on project work and research.
  • Hallam Facilities Online – including Study Skills, Library Gateway, and student support services.
    Our facilities are designed to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed in your studies. 

    We have invested over £100 millions in new facilities to help you study how and when you want. This includes 24-hour libraries and study spaces designed by our students. 

Entry requirements

All students

Typically a 2.2 honours degree or above in human rights, law, social science, politics, international development or a related humanities disciplines.

We also welcome those who have relevant professional experience and those who wish to apply the practical realisation of human rights within their professional field.

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS 6.5 score with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other skill areas or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.5 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.

Modules studied may differ depending on when you start your course.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Modules studied may differ depending on when you start your course.

Final year

Compulsory modules

Foundations Of Human Rights
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Human Rights And Emerging Issues
Credits 30
Assessment Practical(100%)

Elective modules

Applied Project
Credits 60
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Credits 60
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Environmental Rights, Sustainability And Climate Justice
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Gender, Equality And Discrimination
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Global Health And Human Rights
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Refugee Rights
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £10,310 for the course. The tuition fee displayed above is for the full course. If the full course is more than one year in duration, the fee will be divided into annual payments which will then be rounded. This may mean the total fee you pay is slightly higher than the fee stated above. If you take a break in study or have to re-take part of the course, you may also be charged an additional fee and will be notified of this at the time.

If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £17,205 for the course. The tuition fee displayed above is for the full course. If the full course is more than one year in duration, the fee will be divided into annual payments which will then be rounded. This may mean the total fee you pay is slightly higher than the fee stated above. If you take a break in study or have to re-take part of the course, you may also be charged an additional fee and will be notified of this at the time.

Students sat on a sofa

Postgraduate student loans

Up to £11,222 available for Home students on most masters courses.

Learn more

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Law courses (PDF, 261KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.

Student success story
Matt Morgan

‘I loved the way my course was structured. We were allowed to write freely on topics of our choice, while at the same time applying the basic principles and theories of human rights.’

Matthew Morgan, MA Applied Human Rights, graduate 2016

Find out more about his experience.

Where will I study?

You study at City Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

City Campus

City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.

City Campus map | City Campus tour 

City Campus map

Howard Street
S1 1WB

Get directions
students working on computers in the library
Adsetts library

Adsetts Library is located on our City Campus. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.

Learn more

Learn more about your department

Take a tour around the School of Law facilities with student Ellie. 


How do I apply?

You apply for this course via our online application form.

You can also use the application form above to apply for future years of entry.

Not ready to apply just yet?

Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

Come to an open day Ask a question

Why choose us?

A trophy icon


We are Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for the outstanding quality of our teaching and student outcomes

A bed icon


We guarantee to find you an affordable place to live that’s close to campus and comes with all bills included

A head and shoulders icon


95% of our UK graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating (2020/21 Graduate Outcomes Survey)

Where next?

Find out more about Sheffield Hallam's postgraduate opportunities and community.

Two attendees wearing coats, speak to a member of staff at a stand within the University's atrium

Come to an open day

You can chat to teaching and admissions staff, view our facilities and learn more about your funding options.

Book now
A crowd of attendees browsing stalls in the Sheffield Hallam atrium during an open day

Sign up for updates

Receive emails about postgraduate study, including application reminders and alerts for open days.

Sign up
Three female and one male student sat together around a table drinking hot beverages in a cafe.

Information for international students

Information for international students including entry requirements by country and funding.

Learn more

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?