Human Rights Law (LLM)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Develop your knowledge and expertise in the theory and legal rules of international and domestic human rights laws.
Demonstrate your knowledge
Undertake in-depth research in an area concerned with Human Rights Law that interests you.
Applicable to your profession
Suitable for those seeking a career in human rights litigation or policy making.
Our LLM Human Rights Law programme critically analyses the domestic and international impact of the major UN and European Conventions – both civil and political rights as well as socio-economic and cultural rights. It considers the importance and impact of human rights on specific groups such as refugees and those with disabilities.
Since the end of the Second World War, global and regional human rights treaties have infused domestic legal codes, reconfiguring many civil law and common law principles. Human Rights are now integral to many areas of law and policy. This programme aims to provide you with a critical exploration of the theory and legal rules applicable to international human rights treaties and their domestic counterparts.
The LLM Human Rights Law programme is very flexible and offers a wide range of modules providing you with the ability to customise the programme to meet your own professional and/or employment needs or interests. Example modules include Human Rights, International Refugee Law, Health and Disability, Consent to Treatment, International Humanitarian Law and Global Justice.
Where you'll study
Our vibrant student body combined with highly qualified academic staff provides the perfect environment to explore the dynamic and fast-paced fields of law, politics and international relations.
In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.
With your online application you will need to provide:
- A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in law, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
- A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.
We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
You must select at least two of your four taught modules and complete the dissertation in the area of Human Rights Law. You may also select up to two modules from those listed in any other LLM programme or from a combination of LLM programmes.
The programme is delivered in two stages. Stage One (the taught component) comprises four 30 credit modules. Stage Two comprises the dissertation. Two of the Stage One modules will be taught and assessed in the first semester and the remaining two in the second semester. You will progress to the dissertation upon successful completion of Stage One.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.
Year One comprises four taught modules totalling 120 credits. Upon successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to the 60 credit dissertation.
Modules related to the Human Rights Law focus:
- International Humanitarian Law
- Human Rights and Global Justice
- International Refugee Law and Asylum
- International Disability Human Rights Law
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
How will I be taught?
Study for an LLM is intensive and challenging and it is important that you take full advantage of the teaching that is provided in order to succeed. Attendance at classes and dissertation supervisions is compulsory and we will expect you to be well prepared.
Our teaching is very flexible and your modules may be delivered through seminars or a combination of lectures and seminars. Other teaching methods include the online use of discussion boards, self-access study packs and formative quizzes and activities.
Modules may be diverse in content to cater for the fact that for some LLM programmes there may be a high proportion of overseas students or students with previous qualifications other than in law. Modules are typically led by experienced staff actively engaged in research relevant to their subject area.
How will I be assessed?
We make use of both formative and summative assessment.
Formative assessments do not count towards your degree but are designed to give you the opportunity to practice for your summative assessments and enable you and your tutors to assess your progress in your modules. Formative assessments will normally involve written coursework or a class test or may comprise individual student presentations.
Summative assessments count towards your degree. Your marks in these assessments count towards your formal progression from stage one (taught modules) to stage two (the dissertation), and towards the determination of your final award. Summative assessments in stage one will vary by module but will typically involve written coursework (5,000 word essays), unseen examinations or pre-release examinations. The dissertation (up to 15,000 words) comprises the stage two summative assessment.
How will I be supported?
We have created a specially designed research and study skills module which is studied by all LLM students at the beginning of the programme. We also offer writing skills support for students whose first language is not English.
Your learning will be supported through e-learning. All modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules.
You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme. We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops within the School with an in-house Law Careers Consultant and a Pro-bono Scheme Co-ordinator. A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres.
Feedback is available through oral feedback during seminars and you will receive written feedback on both your formative and summative assessments. Individual feedback on formative work will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well how you might improve your performance in summative assessments. Written feedback will be made available no later than four weeks from the submission of your assessment.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You are expected to assume a greater responsibility for your education as you undertake your postgraduate studies. Through the LLM, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic employability skills. During the programme you will be able to extend your communication and presentation skills, both oral and written. You will also be able to develop collaborative skills, take leadership roles and enhance skills of disciplined and independent study.
You will be encouraged to work independently to seek out legal materials for yourself, to read and analyse these materials critically and to present structured and reasoned argument under the guidance of your tutors and supervisors. You will be provided with training in postgraduate research skills to develop your independent legal analysis, research and writing.
Outside the curriculum you will have the opportunity to develop wider “employability” skills through participation in the School’s Law in Action pro-bono schemes run with partner organisations, in which student volunteers assist real people in their dealings with the law. The schemes currently include:
- Law in Justice: the Innocence Project, (dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice);
- Law in Healthcare: the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme, (challenges to NHS healthcare funding assessments);
- Law in Sport: the Rugby Union Project – (providing legal advice and legal newsletters to rugby clubs).
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
A law degree doesn’t restrict graduates to careers within the legal profession and law graduates enter professions as diverse as finance, sales and marketing, digital communications and recruitment.
We are committed to extending extracurricular opportunities to our students, helping to enhance their CVs in a competitive graduate job market. We work in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations to give students the opportunity to practise and extend their skills and we run several Pro Bono schemes and provide advice to members of the community on different legal issues.
Students successfully completing the LLM programme may have the opportunity to continue their legal study through the School’s PhD programme or through the Centre for Professional Legal Studies professional programmes (the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course).
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.