International Relations and Human Rights


Explore how governments, non-governmental organisations and international institutions interact in their efforts to protect human rights.

Areas of study

You will study how the United Nations and international courts promote human rights, and how governments and other actors can help or obstruct this. Topics include: the historical evolution of human rights concepts, movements, and policies; the formation of the United Nations and the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the powers and limitations of the UN Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Council, Human Rights Committee, and the High Commissioner on Human Rights; the Just War Doctrine and case studies of humanitarian intervention; the work of the special courts trying violations of international humanitarian law; the establishment of the International Criminal Court; the recent adaptation of the International Court of Justice to address human rights issues.

You can study International Relations and Human Rights in the following programmes:

What you will learn

You will sharpen your research, political analysis, and presentation skills and broaden your information horizons, thus enhancing further study prospects and career options. Through lectures, oral reports and research essays, the programme allows you to explore the interaction of governments, non-governmental organisations, and international institutions in their efforts to protect human rights.

Career opportunities

International Relations and Human Rights will sharpen your skills in research, political analysis and presentation. Our graduates have careers in NGOs, government service, the media, teaching and law firms. Recent graduates have also been recruited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Amnesty International.

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