The MA in Human Rights is a two-year master's degree that offers students the opportunity to engage with a wide range of subjects including: rights, international law, critical approaches to rights, third world critiques of international law, human rights in Islamic law, human rights in the Arab World, human rights in Palestine, and comparative constitutional law. Each module of the program aims to develop the students' abilities to apply the knowledge and insights gained about human rights in a variety of contexts. This will be delivered through a range of teaching methods (including role-play simulations, case-study analysis, joint practitioner and academic-led seminars and lectures, and special guest workshops and student research and presentations).

The primary goals of the program include:

1. To provide students with a high-quality education concerning different themes in human rights.

2. To equip graduates with the necessary analytical skills to engage in basic research and apply it to solve a range of debates and dilemmas and examine existing gaps in knowledge.

3. To enhance the quality and increase the quantity of reflective human rights-minded scholars in the region.

4. To contextualize human rights, historically and politically, in order to address the challenges and issues that exist in the Arab region, and work toward establishing critical and suitable theories, explanations and policies.

5. To prepare graduates to assume careers relevant to human rights, and/or to pursue doctoral training in human rights or related professions/academic disciplines.


Program Structure

The master's degree in human Rights would consist of four semesters (14 weeks each) over two years. Students will be required to take 42 credit hours comprised of eight core courses (24 credit hours), 4 electives (12 credit hours), and 6 credit hours for a 12,000-18,000 words dissertation.


First Year

Term 1:

- MHR601: Introduction to Human Rights (3 credit hours)

- MHR602: Introduction to Public International Law (3 credit hours)

- MHR603: Human Rights and Islamic Law (3 credit hours)


Term 2:

- MHR604: Human Rights in the Arab World: Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)

- MHR605: Critical Approaches to Rights (3 credit hours)

- MHR606: International Law and Colonialism (3 credit hours)

Second Year

Term 1:

- MHR607: Palestine, Law, Human Rights (3 credit hours)

- MHR608: Comparative Constitutional Law (3 credit hours)

- Elective (3 credit hours)


Term 2:

- Elective (3 credit hours)

- Elective (3 credit hours)

- Elective (3 credit hours)

- Dissertation (6 credit hours)


Electives (12 credit hours):

Relevant courses currently offered at other departments that can be taken as electives:


Electives offered by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities:

  • - HIST 643 Arabs and Current History: Protest M movements in the Arab Countries (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 622 Comparative Politics in the Middle East (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 671 Theories of Democratic Governance (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 672 Mass Violence, State Failure and International Intervention (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 673 International Organizations and Global Governance (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 674 International Conflict and Negotiations (3 credit hours)

  • - POL 675 Women, War and Violence in the Middle East (3 credit hours)

  • - SOC 673 Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism (3 credit hours)

  • - PSYC 641 Political Psychology (3 credit hours)

  • - PSYC 643 Psychology of Collective Action and Non-Violence (3 credit hours)

  • - CMHA 613 Conflict Transformation and Peace Processes (3 credit hours)


Electives offered by the School of Public Administration and Development Economics:

- MDE 615 Political Economy: Institutions and Development Issues (3 credit hours)



Dissertation (6 credit hours):

Students will need to write a dissertation of 12,000-18,000 words, on a topic relevant to the themes discussed in the Human Rights Program. The dissertation will demonstrate the students' ability to pursue an independent research project, utilising the skills acquired in the Program. The proposed topic of the dissertation will need to be approved by the potential supervisor, prior to commencing the research, who will assess its feasibility and make suggestions concerning structure, scope, or readings. A faculty member will supervise the dissertation. Two faculty members will mark it: the supervisor as a first marker and a second faculty member as second marker. The markers will comprise a panel in which the student will defend the dissertation orally. The oral defence will assess the student's ability to defend his or her ideas and will be satisfied that the dissertation is the student's own work.