Human Rights & International Politics MSc

Woman in a refugee camp

This programme offers a thorough academic analysis of one of the most salient and pressing issues in the contemporary world: the place of individual human rights in a system of international relations in which states’ rights have traditionally been paramount.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • If you plan a career with non-governmental organisations, in related domestic, European and other global institutions, or in higher education, or want to learn more about human rights and international politics, this programme is designed for you.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in a 5-day study trip to Geneva to visit the UN and non-governmental human rights organisations.
  • The interdisciplinary degree is designed to ensure you will encounter both legal and political perspectives, unlike most other human rights programmes which are exclusively focused on law. You can choose to focus on one domain more than the other.
  • The programme draws on recognised expertise in international institutions, security, gender, political philosophy, theories of rights, and ethics and normative theory, as well as a wide variety of country and regional expertise.
  • You will benefit from access to a number of organisations within and beyond the University, including the Glasgow Human Rights Network; The Glasgow Refugee, Asylum & Migration Network; The Glasgow Centre for International Development; and the annual International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.
  • If you wish to combine the study of this subject with additional advanced training in research methods, you should consider the closely-related MRes in Human Rights & International Politics..

Programme structure

You will take four core and two optional courses. Courses will be delivered via lectures and seminars. Some courses contain an exam. You will also submit a dissertation at the end of the programme.

Core courses

  • Critical perspectives on human rights (Politics)
  • Fundamentals of international law (Law)
  • Human rights and global politics (Politics)
  • Qualitative research methods OR Research design.

Optional courses

  • China's international politics
  • Chinese politics and society
  • Comparative public opinion
  • Environmental policies and problems in China
  • EU in international politics and development
  • Foreign policy of the United States 
  • Humanitarian intervention
  • International human rights law
  • International organisations
  • International relations and development
  • International relations research
  • International relations theory
  • International security and strategic thought
  • Internet and civil society 
  • Media and democracy
  • Political institutions communication
  • United Nations law.

What our students say

Boel Marcks von Würtemberg, Sweden (MSc, 2012-13)

Boel Marcks von Wurtemberg

'The programme provided me with theoretical subject knowledge in global politics and international law, which has worked well as a complement to my more practical undergraduate degree in journalism, and really helped my career develop. After the programme I was accepted to the Department for International Development’s graduate development scheme, as a result of presenting a rights-based approach to development. This position introduced me to the practical side of delivering overseas development and humanitarian assistance, and the critical perspective I had gained from my master’s degree proved very useful for identifying programmatic challenges and risks. After the graduate scheme I was offered a permanent contract with DFID, and I have since then been seconded to the Stabilisation Unit, which is a civil-military operational unit for coordinating and implementing the government’s work in fragile and conflict-affected states.'

Mark Girvan, UK (MSc, 2013-14)

‘My experience of the programme has been overwhelmingly positive. Over the course of the last 12 months, I have been challenged by the course material and by the teaching staff to push the boundaries of my understanding in an encouraging environment. The curriculum examines the relationship between the theoretical perspectives upon which the human rights movement is founded, the global structures intended to promote human rights, and the "grassroots" contexts in which human rights play a vital role.

A pleasant surprise from this year had been the way in which I have learned from my student peer group. Through discussions inside and outside of the classroom, my perspective on human rights issues has been broadened in a way that would not have been possible had I conducted my research in isolation. This was something that was encouraged by the teaching staff from day one. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone who wishes to broaden, or deepen, their understanding of human rights.’

Andrew Marshall, UK (MSc, 2013-14)

'My time here so far has been fantastic. I chose the MSc Human Rights and International Politics as it is ideally suited to my academic interests and tailored to the fields of employment I’m hoping to build a career in, though I’ve also long wanted to study at University of Glasgow due to its impressive academic reputation and vibrant student community. My favourite aspects of studying here by far have been immersion in an environment of intensive learning and critical discussion, within which difficult questions and presuppositions are all directly tackled alongside leading experts and peers in the fields of human rights and international politics, as well as many new friends made both on the course and within the many groups and societies active on campus. I would highly recommend the University to anyone seeking to challenge themselves, to test and expand their own ideals and knowledge and to advance themselves and their prospects by engaging in a hugely rewarding academic and social environment.'

Projects

‌Students on the MSc and MRes in Human Rights and International Politics can optionally participate in a 5 day trip to Geneva after the exams. The trip will introduce you to a range of human rights and humanitarian organisations based in Geneva, providing more in depth engagement with those who work in the field of human rights. It will also help you connect what you have learned in classes to real world institutions, and give you a sense of possible career opportunities.

The most recent trip involved visits to

  • UK Mission to Geneva
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program for Israel and Palestine
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Oxfam
  • UNAIDS

The cost of the trip - including airfare, accommodation, and meals - is borne by students and is approximately £650-700.

Career prospects

Career opportunities include positions in higher education, government/foreign ministry, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and think tanks.

Entry requirements

2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent (e.g. a GPA of 3.0 or above) in politics, law or related social science subject. We will consider applications from graduates from other fields, but the applicant should submit a statement indicating why they are interested in changing fields or the connection to their previous study. We will also take relevant work experience into account.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18

MSc

Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Part time 20 credits£806
International
Full time fee£16000

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£4833
Part time 20 credits£806
International
Full time fee£10667

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now