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Master's Programme in Human Rights Policy and Practice (Erasmus Mundus)

The Erasmus Mundus Master's Programme in Human Rights Policy and Practice is an international education with studies in Sweden, England and Spain. The programme has a unique interdisciplinary approach, bringing together legal, sociological, political, and practical perspectives. Students are supported from the classroom to the job market, preparing you for human rights work in civil society organizations, governments, the public sector, and business.

Students will earn 120 ECTS during the 24-month programme leading to a Joint Master's Degree administered by the University of Gothenburg. To apply, you should have a minimum of two years’ practitioner experience in the field of human rights (employment, internships, or voluntary work).

About the Programme

Human rights is an interdisciplinary field, involving legal and political processes, globalization, social structures and civil society, methodologies needed to ensure reliable data, and the cultural and ethnic boundaries that challenge human rights implementation.

One programme - three universities

The Erasmus Mundus master's programme in Human Rights Policy and Practice is organized by a consortium of three partner universities: Roehampton University, London, UK; University of Deusto, Bilbao/San Sebastian, Spain; and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden (lead partner).

The first semester is studied at the University of Gothenburg, the second semester at the university of Deusto, and third semester at the University of Roehampton. Teaching modules will be complemented with a Professional Seminar Series, field visits, and an internship during the third semester with a human rights organization in London. During the fourth semester, you are required to write a dissertation, supervised by academic staff from the three partner universities.

Immersive learning and joint teaching

The programme's cohesive curriculum structure is guided by four central strands, highly pertinent to study and work in the field of human rights: human rights theory; research; practice; and professionalization. They offer a uniquely joint approach to teaching and learning as you build your skills, knowledge, and practical experience in an immersive fashion, and prepare yourself to be a confident professional in human rights. In this programme, great emphasis is placed on co-teaching and staff mobility across all four semesters.

Through lectures, group teaching, seminars, and field visits, you will learn about these main subjects:

  • human rights theory
  • human rights in the context of politics and the market economy
  • research methods and methodologies
  • human rights defenders
  • social movements and nongovernmental organizations

Preparing you for professional work in human rights

Our programme has an enhanced focus on employability and professionalization. Particular attention is paid to endow you with a range of core skills for employment, such as report writing, project management, campaign creation, and public speaking, embedded throughout the various modules.

Furthermore, the Professional Seminar Series will give you additional opportunities to practise what you learn. Associate Partners from academia and the public, corporate, and third sectors are involved in the design and delivery of the seminars, and in organizing study visits throughout the duration of the programme. Lastly, during the third semester there is an internship possibility with a human rights organization in London. These various forms of integrated collaboration will prepare you for the challenges of building and enhancing your career after graduation in the field of human rights.

Who Should Apply?

Do you have practical experience in human rights work and want to broaden your skillset and deepen your understanding?

Do you want to gain critical knowledge of human rights as an interdisciplinary academic discipline in three or four diverse countries?

Are you interested in how human rights can be interpreted from different academic disciplines?

If you think this profile reflects your interests and ambition, then apply for this unique programme.

Structure and Content

The first semester in Sweden lays the foundation for the programme by introducing human rights as an interdisciplinary field and begins to examine where responsibility for human rights should lie through two modules:

  • Human Rights as an Interdisciplinary Field
  • State, Market and Human Rights

The second semester in Spain prepares you to produce and access quality human rights knowledge and evidence and examines the relativism of cultural and ethnic diversities through two modules:

  • Researching Human Rights
  • Human Rights Defenders: Contexts, Policies and Practice

The third semester in the UK gives you the opportunity to practise what you’ve learned through an internship at a human rights organization in London, the Professional Seminar Series, and the following modules:

  • Theorizing Human Rights
  • Social Movements and NGOs: Understanding Social Change

The fourth semester consists of writing your master's thesis in Human Rights Policy and Practice.

For further information on programme content and structure, please see: Programme Syllabus 2020

Please be aware that the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Great Britain might affect the programme structure. More information will be posted here as soon as we know more about the outcome of these negotiations and their effects on the programme.

After Graduation

Graduates receive the degree Master of Science in Human Rights Policy and Practice. It is a joint master's degree administered by the University of Gothenburg.

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be prepared to:

  • work professionally and effectively with the protection, promotion, and implementation of human rights in a changing global context;
  • begin careers in human rights work in different sectors within civil society organizations, governments, the public sector, and business;
  • utilize analytical skills and expertise in human rights perspectives, contexts, organizations, policy-making, and practice;
  • evaluate and apply these skills to different cases and environments;
  • and develop human rights-based policies, programmes, and projects with professionalism.

Many of our alumni work for nongovernmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and Save the Children. They also work within various UN agencies, or as lawyers, researchers, and teachers.

How to Apply


Erasmus Mundus logotype

Apply to the programme at the University Admissions website

Meet former student Bruna De Castro E Silva

Meet Joseph Anderson - former student

Student interviews


Please contact: emhrppugot@gu.se

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Page Manager: Education coordinator |Last update: 2/21/2020

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