European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

LLM/PgDipHuman Rights Law

Why this course?

This programme offers graduates in law and other disciplines, or those with relevant professional qualifications, the opportunity to develop a detailed understanding of human rights law at UK, European and international levels.

The programme is intended to provide invaluable training and insights for those who have either a professional or academic interest in an evolving human rights culture.

There are three potential exit points from the course: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters. Assuming satisfactory performance, it's possible to change between these exit points. 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 can transfer to the Certificate or Diploma.

You’ll study

The Human Rights Law programme may be completed or over one year (full-time) or over two years (part-time).

The LLM is awarded on successful completion of six modules and a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor.

Successful completion of six modules will qualify you for the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip). A Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) is awarded on completion of three modules.


The dissertation is written over the summer and submitted in August or September.

Field dissertation

An innovative feature of this programme is the opportunity for a select number of students to undertake a field dissertation within a governmental or non-governmental organisation with an international focus (currently our focus is on providing placements in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia). LLM students have travelled to countries such as India, Peru, and Guatemala to undertake projects in areas including right to water, law reform, developing sexual harassment policy and freedom of assembly.

This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis and typically lasts for up to 12 weeks. It's delivered through our partnership with Challenges Worldwide, an organisation with extensive international experience in volunteer work placements.

Work completed for the placement will focus on a specific area of law relevant to, or actually form the subject of, your dissertation.

The University provides comprehensive travel and health insurance for all participants in the Field Dissertation. We also pay for the costs of your placement. Students are responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have been in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student.

Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law (CSHRL) is a hub for human rights law teaching, research and knowledge exchange. The CSHRL holds events and undertakes collaborative initiatives. We have strong links with a number of other universities in Scotland, and with a number of non-academic organisations.

As a student here, we will support you to become involved with the work of the Centre. We aim to facilitate interaction between students and staff, involve students in the work of the CSHRL and provide administrative support for events proposed by students.

One of the initiatives supported by the CSHRL is the LLM in Human Rights Law dissertation prize. The author of the highest-ranking dissertation in a year will receive a prize and be invited to attend the Law School’s annual prize-giving event. Visit the Centre’s homepage for news, including of previous prize-winning dissertations.


Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series, houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information sources which can be accessed from anywhere, including all the major legal databases.

Course content

Core module

You'll study the following core modules:

  • International Human Rights Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights Protection in the UK
  • International Migration Law

Compulsory module

  • Legal Research (LLM /PgDiploma only)

Optional modules

You'll undertake one optional module (LLM /PgDiploma only) which will be available from a timetable at the start of the second semester, including both daytime and evening modules. You may choose a class from other Law Masters programmes and/or relevant classes from non-law Masters programmes. Choices include modules from:

  • LLM/MSc Criminal Justice & Penal Change
  • MSc Mediation & Conflict Resolution
  • MSc/LLM International Relations, Law & Security
  • LLM in Internet Law & Policy
  • LLM in Global Environmental Law & Governance
European Human Rights Law
The European Convention on Human Rights is the most influential regional human rights treaty. This class looks 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 class examines civil and political rights along with economic, social and cultural rights, and assesses the range of international monitoring and supervision regimes. Topics covered include the major international treaties and bodies. It also looks at the challenges to human rights in transitional societies as well as the right to self-determination.

Human Rights Protection in the UK

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

International Migration Law

International migration is a global phenomenon that raises multiple complex issues. This class examines the international legal framework governing international migration. Topics include protection of migrant workers, international refugee protection, the EU asylum policy, and internal displacement.

Learning & teaching

This course is taught mainly through face-to-face teaching. Each class is delivered through two-hour weekly seminars, which students are required to attend.

Full-time students are required to take three modules per semester, with part-time students taking three modules over two semesters. The face-to-face seminars will normally be held in the evening from 6pm to 8pm. A few classes may be held during the day. Although coordinated by a module leader, these will be student-led and interactive.

The teaching and extracurricular activities on the LLM are supported by the Law School’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

In addition to regular Law School staff, external staff teach on the programme including:

  • Professor Alan Miller, Special Envoy of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and former Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Professor Tony Kelly, Summary Sheriff and solicitor-advocate with experience in high-profile human rights cases

Both are visiting professors in the Law School. The Faculty includes experts in migration, policing and security, family law, Scottish and UK constitutional law, equality, employment and labour law.


Classes will be assessed by a mixture of written exams, presentations and course work comprising research essays, typically of 3,500-4,000 words

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class Honours degree in any discipline (some law content recommended). Entry may be possible with other qualifications, especially where the applicant’s work experience is relevant to the course.

English Language Requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding



  • £7,600

Rest of UK

  • £7,600


  • £15,700

How can I fund my course?

There are several scholarship opportunities available for students applying for this course. Opportunities include:

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Strathclyde Law School is offering a £700 fee reduction for applicants to the LLM Criminal Justice & Penal Change or LLM Human Rights Law degrees who are working at one of our community partner organisations. Apply now for the Strathclyde Law School Community Bursary

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni Discount

10% tuition fee discount is offered to all Strathclyde alumni completing a full-time postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Our graduates can, and have progressed to research studies such as MPhil and PhD in Human Rights Law leading to an academic career.

Students may also go on to work with international non-governmental organisations, eg Amnesty International, in the area of human rights advocacy, practice and promotion.

The qualification is also relevant to careers in international human rights organisations, like UN agencies for example.

Where are they now?

Job titles include:

  • Contracts Manager
  • Judicial Assistant
  • Procurator Fiscal Depute
  • Research & Policy Officer
  • Solicitor

Employers include:

  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Supreme Court
  • The Scottish Government

Contact us


In order to leave enough time for visa processing, international students are advised to apply as early as possible and preferably by the end of July.

Human Rights Law

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Human Rights Law

Qualification: PG Certificate, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Human Rights Law

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Human Rights Law

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Human Rights Law

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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