Programme Specification for LLM Human Rights

 

Final award

LLM

Intermediate awards available

Post graduate Diploma in Human Rights; Post graduate Certificate in Human Rights

UCAS code

N/A

Details of professional body accreditation

N/A

Relevant QAA Benchmark statements

N/A

Date specification last up-dated

 November 2010

Profile

The summary - programme advertising leaflet

Programme content

The aim of the LLM (Human Rights) program is to provide a critical appreciation of human rights in the context of international and comparative developments. It aims to engender excellent research and writing skills that can promote a human rights culture on the basis of multi-culturalism and inclusion. The objective of the program is promote a human rights culture in which issues connected to colonialism, eurocentrism, racism, sexism are understood and form part of the future agenda.

The Aims and Objectives of the LLM Human Rights are to

  • Develop a critical awareness of, and an ability to employ, competing analytical frameworks within the human rights legal discourse.
  • Contextualise the issues of law, politics and morality to a given human rights question and read critical legal material and understand the socio-political issues.
  • Understand a broad range of issues and contexts related to the national, regional and international human rights doctrines and systems and their application.
  • Identify and deal with problems of implementation in domestic contexts and develop human rights strategies for specific situation
  • Develop the ability to analyse, articulate and write on the subject, by linking previous or current experience with an academic inquiry, particularly via the dissertation.

The LLM (Human Rights) offers a broad range of existing modules. In addition to the core module International Human Rights, a range of options including Law and Development, Islam and Human Rights, Women and the Law, Rights and Remedies, International Refugee law, International Environmental Law, International Trade Law, Law of Armed conflict and Contemporary issues in Police Studies are offered.

Human Rights at UEL

The LLM (Human Rights) at UEL will be a distinctive programme for the following reasons

  • The School has experts in the field whose research was rated as international recognized in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008;
  • The Law School is home to the Centre ion Human Right in Conflict an internationally recognized interdisciplinary research centre whose work contributes modules to the LLM Human Rights;
  • All LLM Programs adjudged the highest grade "commendable by the Quality Assurance Agency in 2003 The LLM in Human Rights would offer a wide range of modules and options;
  • The LLM in Human Rights has a distinctive focus offering fresh modules such as Islam and Human Rights, International criminal law and Law & Development not offered elsewhere;
  • The LLM in Human Rights is attractive because of the programme structure making it entirely research based while offering students the flexibility of choosing research areas within the modules and for their dissertation;
  • The LLM in Human Rights will be taught, as with the existing programme, through interactive lectures and seminars and day schools;
  • The LLM in Human Rights is supported by a strong library collection and the critical studies academic culture at the School of Law and UEL.

The LLM in Human Rights offers a combination of academic studies and practical/professional expertise which makes it an attractive student option

Admission requirements

Qualifications for admission are a good degree in law, the social sciences or the humanities or another appropriate degree. Professional qualifications will also be taken in account. Applicants whose first language is not English or who have not studied for the first degree in English medium require IELTS at 6.5 or its equivalent.

Students that apply to enter stages of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. Therefore such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.

Programme structure

Students undertake four modules and a dissertation. In addition to the core modules, International Human Rights and Current Issues and Research in International Law, candidates take at least one module from the following: Law and Development, Islam and Human Rights, , International Refugee law, International Environmental Law, Law of the World Trade Organization,  Minority Rights under International Law,  International Criminal Law, Business and Human Rights and War and Human Rights
Candidates may choose their fourth module  from any one of the above or from any other LLM module. The Dissertation must be deemed by the Dissertation committee to be in the Human Rights area.

Learning environment

Module Lectures/Seminar/s, workshops and human rights seminars with external experts, day school, optional placements, external visits by experts and proposed overseas study.

Assessment

All modules are research based involving coursework. Students take four modules of 30 credits each for which they submit their coursework of approx. 7,000 words at the end of the respective semester. The LLM dissertation accounts for 60 credits involving a 15,000 word essay. The full time students normally complete the 180 credits requirements in one academic year while part time students complete the same in two years.

Relevance to work/profession

Students are welcome to negotiate projects/assignments as work-based initiatives but the supervision offered is the same as for other coursework.

Thesis/Dissertation/project work

Day School and dissertation seminars provide the opportunity for students to develop their own ideas, research specific topics. Though classroom presentations involve joint study and research, the nature of postgraduate research (and concerns over plagiarism) does not provide scope for formal collaborative research projects.

Added value

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Your future career

Students graduating with a specialisation such as the LLM (Human Rights) can look to the expanding market and professional choices available in this field. A wide range of career paths opening up include specialised human rights practice, work in the public sector and government, international human rights and development agencies and organisations, grassroots advocacy and academics.

How we support you

Every student is allocated a personal tutor who provides support and advice, research methods training is available, special sessions on access to relevant learning materials are organised. Lecturers teaching on the LLM in Human Rights are available for module specific discussions as well as general human rights issues.

Bonus factors

The LLM in Human Rights programme will include placement opportunities, career advice, Day Schools and special seminar series led by experts in the field and the likelihood of an international study trip.

Outcomes

Programme aims and learning outcomes

What is this programme designed to achieve?

This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

  • Develop a critical awareness of, and an ability to employ, competing analytical frameworks within the human rights legal discourse
  • Understand a broad range of issues and contexts related to the national, regional and international human rights doctrines and systems and their application.
  • Develop the ability to analyse, articulate and write on the subject, by linking previous or current experience with an academic inquiry, particularly via the dissertation.

What will you learn?

General skills

  • Develop an extended and deepened understanding of law and human rights in a variety of contexts
  • Apply critical and contextual approaches across a wide variety of human rights subjects
  • Deal with different approaches and human rights systems and law
  • Explore the conceptual dilemmas and implementation problems related to human rights issues

Knowledge

  • Familiarity with the International human rights discourse
  • Working of human rights systems and procedures
  • Specific case studies and doctrines
  • Develop expertise by linking previous or current experience with academic enquiry, particularly via the dissertation.

Thinking skills

  • Read critical legal material and understand the socio-political issues
  • Ability to deal with these issues from a comparative, international and multicultural perspective
  • Critically analyse human rights doctrines
  • Ability to choose from and employ competing analytical frameworks within the field/discourses of human rights
  • Identify problems of implementation

Subject-Based Practical skills

  • Evaluate human rights record of countries, institutions and individuals
  • Contextualise the issues of law, politics and morality to a given human rights question.
  • Develop human rights strategies for specific situation

Skills for life and work (general skills)

  • Critical analysis of human rights issues and discourse
  • Ability to use human rights methodology in a range of disciplines
  • Develop the skills of advocacy and essay/report writing in general human rights areas.

Structure

The programme structure

Introduction

At the University of East London all programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed.

One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study).

Credits are assigned to one of 5 levels:

  • 0 - equivalent in standard to GCE 'A' level and is intended to prepare students for year one of an undergraduate degree programme
  • 1 - equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 2 - equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 3 - equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • M - equivalent in standard to a Masters degree

Credit rating

The overall credit-rating of this programme is 180 for LLM (Human Rights).

Typical duration

The typical duration of this programme is one year full-time or two years part-time. It is possible to move from full-time to part-time study and vice-versa to accommodate any external factors such as financial constraints or domestic commitments. Many of our students make use of this flexibility and this may impact on the overall duration of their study period.

How the teaching year is divided

The teaching year is divided into two semesters of roughly equal length. A typical full-time student will study two 30 credit modules per semester and a typical part-time student will study one module per semester. Dissertation of 60 credits is undertaken on completion of the four modules - during the summer for the full time student and in the second year for the part time student.

What you will study when

LLM in Human Rights is awarded to students who have accumulated 180 credits (with four modules and a dissertation). Full time students do so in one academic year while part time studies spread it over two years.

Full Time Students

-SEMESTER ASEMESTER BSUMMER

YEAR ONE

CORE MODULE International Human Rights 30 Credits

OPTION  ONE 30 Credits

DISSERTATION 60 credits

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CORE MODULE Current Issues and Research in International Law

OPTION  TWO 30 Credits

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Part Time Students

-SEMESTER ASEMESTER BSUMMER

YEAR ONE

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS - CORE MODULE
30 Credits

CORE MODULE Current Issues and Research in International Law
30 Credits

PT students begin
Dissertation work

YEAR TWO

OPTION  ONE
30 Credits

OPTION  TWO
30 Credits

DISSERTATION
60 credits

Note: PG diploma in Legal Studies is awarded to students who have completed 120 credits, having completed the modules but not the dissertation.

YearModule titlecreditstatus

1

International Human Rights

30

Core

1

Current Issues and Research in International Law

30

Core

1 (FT)2 (PT)

Option One

30

Option

1(FT) 2(PT)

Option Two

30

Option

1(FT) 2(PT)

Dissertation

60

Core

Option modules available include:

  • International Criminal Law LAM416
  • Islam and Human Rights LAM405
  • Democracy and the Rule of Law LAM433
  • International Refugee Law LAM403
  • Business and Human Rights LAM430
  • War and Human Rights LAM422
  • Law and Development LAM408
  • Critical Perspectives of Counter-terrorism LAM427
  • Critical Perspectives on Terrorism LAM419

One optional module can be taken from any LLM programme or MSc Terrorism Studies

Requirements for gaining an award

In order to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, you will need to obtain 60 credits at Level M.

In order to gain a Postgraduate Diploma, you will need to obtain 120 credits at Level M

In order to obtain a Masters, you will need to obtain 180 credits at Level M. These credits will include a 60 credit level M core module of advanced independent research.

Masters Award Classification

Where a student is eligible for an Masters award then the award classification is determined by calculating the arithmetic mean of all marks and applying the mark obtained as a percentage, with all decimals points rounded up to the nearest whole number, to the following classification

70% - 100%

Distinction

60% - 69%

Merit

50% - 59%

Pass

0% - 49%

Not Passed

Additional information ...

LLM (Human Rights) is modelled on the LLM (International Law) and approximates the LLM (Modular). It is based on existing modules but provides recognition to students who have chosen human rights options with the degree title of LLM (Human Rights) rather than the general LLM (Modular).

Assessment

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

The individual modules are delivered through lectures and seminar series involving both staff and student presentations.

  • Students prepare for classroom participation through reading and analysis of distributed material, readings from the indicative reading and their own research. This process develops the knowledge base of students, their thinking and analytical skills, the practical application of theories and doctrine and significantly contributes to the development of general skills in preparation for life and work.

Apart from class contributions, Students are expected to develop their ideas through research and preparation leading to a research based essay whose title is negotiated.

  • Negotiated essay titles and supervision involves one to one interaction with the tutor where the student's choice of research subject and proposed essay structure are discussed. This process develops the knowledge base of students as there is discussion of content, their critical thinking and analytical skills as students are expected to contribute original ideas, the practical application of theories and doctrines and in acquiring research methods and essay writing.

The LLM programme, in general, offers several avenues for development of knowledge, critical thinking, practical application and general skills for life and work. These include Day schools, guest seminar series and voluntary placement schemes.

In addition to the four modules, Students also undertake a long essay, the LLM thesis, which further develops the skills listed above and elaborated in the assessment criteria, below.

Assessment

As the LLM programme is designed as a researched based degree, the formal assessment method for most of the modules is the evaluation of an essay, approximately 7,000 words, submitted at the end of the semester. However, the titles and structure are negotiated by the student with the tutor which contributes to the research exercise.

  • The research essays develop knowledge in the chosen area while at the same time demonstrating the links with other doctrines and related subjects and the overall context.
  • As the essays are expected to be based on original research by students, the assessment criteria emphasises analysis and critical appreciation (as opposed to mere narratives).
  • The content of the modules and the choice of the essay titles are geared to the development of practical skills based either on practical application or appreciation of theories/doctrines or evaluation of contemporary trends and developments.
  • The essay writing process is a vital skill that is central to general ability to think, articulate and build ideas and projects- essential for life and work.

Quality

How we assure the quality of this programme

Before this programme started

Before this programme started, the following was checked:

  • there would be enough qualified staff to teach the programme;
  • adequate resources would be in place;
  • the overall aims and objectives were appropriate;
  • the content of the programme met national benchmark requirements;
  • the programme met any professional/statutory body requirements;
  • the proposal met other internal quality criteria covering a range of issues such as admissions policy, teaching, learning and assessment strategy and student support mechanisms.

This is done through a process of programme approval which involves consulting academic experts including some subject specialists from other institutions.

How we monitor the quality of this programme

The quality of this programme is monitored each year through evaluating:

  • external examiner reports (considering quality and standards);
  • statistical information (considering issues such as the pass rate);
  • student feedback.

Drawing on this and other information programme teams undertake the annual Review and Enhancement Process which is co-ordinated at School level and includes student participation. The process is monitored by the University's Quality Standing Committee.

Once every six years an in-depth review of the whole field is undertaken by a panel that includes at least two external subject specialists. The panel considers documents, looks at student work, speaks to current and former students and speaks to staff before drawing its conclusions. The result is a report highlighting good practice and identifying areas where action is needed.

The role of the programme committee

This programme has a programme committee comprising all relevant teaching staff, student representatives and others who make a contribution towards the effective operation of the programme (e.g. library/technician staff). The committee has responsibilities for the quality of the programme. It provides input into the operation of the Review and Enhancement Process and proposes changes to improve quality. The programme committee plays a critical role in the University's quality assurance procedures.

The role of external examiners

The standard of this programme is monitored by at least one external examiner. External examiners have two primary responsibilities:

  • To ensure the standard of the programme
  • To ensure that justice is done to individual students

External examiners fulfil these responsibilities in a variety of ways including:

  • Approving exam papers/assignments
  • Attending assessment boards
  • Reviewing samples of student work and moderating marks
  • Ensuring that regulations are followed
  • Providing feedback through an annual report that enables us to make improvements for the future

Listening to the views of students

The following methods for gaining student feedback are used on this programme:

  • Module evaluations
  • Student representation on programme committees (meeting 2 times year)
  • Student membership on the Law School Board

Students are notified of the action taken through:

  • circulating the minutes of the programme committee
  • a newsletter (introduced next semester) published twice a year
  • providing details on the programme noticeboard

Listening to the views of others

The following methods are used for gaining the views of other interested parties:

  • UEL teaching Staff on the LLM, associated with other universities teaching human rights or organisations working on human rights issues, have held informal discussions with experts. Human Rights seminars and day schools have been used as feedback.

Further Information

Alternative locations for studying this programme

LocationWhich elements?Taught by UEL staffTaught by local staffMethod of Delivery

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Where you can find further information

Further information about this programme is available from:

Alternative locations for studying this programme

All modules are taught at the Stratford campus of University of East London .

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