Human Rights & International Politics (MSc/PgDip)
These testimonials come from students on the MSc programme, which is closely related to the MRes. Subject-specific teaching is shared between these programmes.
Piper Hart , MSc in Human Rights & International Politics
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. After spending a year working as a policy analyst for the Canadian government I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Rights and International Politics at the University of Glasgow. The University of Glasgow is an excellent institution offering a quality education. The teaching staff are of incredibly high calibre and help students to tailor the course to ensure everyone gets the most of their masters experience.
The MSc in Human Rights and International Politics helped me deepen my critical thinking and analytical skills. While completing my masters, the course leaders helped me secure a volunteer position that allowed me to put my education to practical use. The combination of the knowledge I gained, the skills I developed, and the work experience I got meant I was able to seamlessly transition into employment after graduation.
I am now at my dream job, working for the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. My work here includes facilitating information sharing between United Nations agencies working in Zimbabwe to develop flagship programs for each of the Zimbabwe’s development priorities, acting as a liaison between the United Nations and the Government on new program development, and researching monitoring and evaluation tools and using the results to provide recommendations on which tools will be most effective in Zimbabwe.
Davide Tundo, MSc in Human Rights & International Politics
I joined the University of Glasgow in September 2007 when I enrolled in the MSc in Human Rights & International Politics. Previously I had completed a bachelor of law in Italy and a Master in International Studies at the University of Barcelona. As I wanted to work in the human rights field, I felt that I had to get an in-depth knowledge of the main issues, in both theory and practice.
The MSc programme was then my choice and it proved decisive for my professional career.
I took fundamentals of international law, challenges of international politics and qualitative methods of research in my first semester; and United Nations law, international security and global politics and human rights & global politics in the second one. For my final dissertation I carried out a research into the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people, which I framed under a legal and moral approach.
Overall I found the program to be of great quality vis à vis the university professors and staff, subjects covered, teaching methods and support materials, as well as learning facilities provided for students.
In particular, the course allowed me to critically engage the main human rights issues and theories through written works and class debate with my fellow students from all over the world.
Upon successful completion of all the course modules - while researching for my final dissertation- I was admitted to a six-month internship program of the Geneva-based International Labour Office (ILO) in the Partnership & Development/External Relations Unit, where I assisted in reviewing and mainstreaming relations between the ILO and INGOs in the framework of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. I believe belonging to the University of Glasgow resulted decisive for my recruitment.
After the ILO, I worked as intern at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, and I assisted the mandates on racism and freedom of expression and opinion in the context of the Special Procedures within the Civil and Political Rights Department. During this time I also completed my final MSc dissertation which was marked with merit.
Afterwards – once completed a short term assignment as external relations officer with an Italian NGO- I moved to the Gaza Strip, where I worked as a human rights consultant within the International Unit of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).
In a few days I will be now flying to South Sudan to work as UNV human rights officer within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). I will be facing new challenges in the newest UN country but I am ready and I look forward to beginning my work.
At this point, I turn back and notice once again how decisive turned out to be my experience at the University of Glasgow vis à vis my professional and personal commitment to human rights.
Yes, I took the right decision in September 2007 when I joined the MSc in Human Rights & International Politics of the University of Glasgow.
Catriona Clunas, MSc Human Rights and International Politics
I joined the programme as a mature student, studying part time whilst working as an Ecosystem Analyst. Although my background is in Ecology the programme complemented the human rights and politics elements of my work on international issues in climate change, natural resources and forest carbon. I found the change in discipline and being part-time hard at times, but the support given by the university and lecturers has helped. I can see now the merit of studying full time and the benefits you receive by being immersed in the course and the subject!
In addition to the compulsory human rights modules I really enjoyed the classes in global security and development economics, both complement the direction I wish to take in the future.
Completing the masters has helped broaden my understanding of international human rights issues; I am now able to better articulate and understand the issues that I am presented within the context of natural resources and the environment. I feel the masters has given me the confidence to pursue future work in the field of human rights and the environment particularly in relation to the impact of climate change; a rapidly expanding field.
Whilst completing the masters I also had the opportunity to work as a research intern for the Scottish Human Rights Commission, a position that without the basic tenets of human rights law and issues learned through the MSc would not have been possible.
William Hassall, MSc Human Rights and International Politics
My MSc in Human Rights and International Politics taught me about current conflict, development and other human rights issues from a political as well as a legal perspective. Having this background proved to be invaluable while interning within the Security Monitoring Section of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. While most students had an understanding of either politics or law, having a knowledge of both proved to be a distinct advantage in understanding both the political situation and the work of the section. As a result, while working on institution-building and accountability within the Kosovo police, I was able to gain practical experience in the areas of children's rights, minority rights, the rights of arrested persons, community policing and more. Consequently, I would recommend this program to anyone interested in international human rights.
David Lawson, Scotland, MSc Human Rights and International Politics
My Masters degree really helped me prepare for my fledgling career, by giving me a great overview of the overarching themes relating to human rights and international politics, and teaching me practical skills which became invaluable when I started to work 'in the field'. After graduating I completed an internship at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, then spent six months as a volunteer on the Thai-Burma border with a Burmese pro-democracy NGO comprised of refugees from Burma's eastern ethnic states. I formed a great relationship with my colleagues and they graciously offered me a full time paid position as 'Editor and Advocacy Coordinator'. My varied duties include journalism, human rights documentation and coordinating local and international advocacy and awareness raising campaigns.
Ewen McIntosh, Scotland, MSc Human Rights and International Politics
The Human Rights & International Politics programme offers a staggeringly broad array of pertinent and challenging courses to choose from, both within the politics department, and other related disciplines. Whilst the work load is demanding, this strong foundation in human rights issues, their place within international politics, and experience of research, provided me with the knowledge and confidence required for a subsequent internship in a humanitarian relief NGO and to begin a PhD. Looking back on my experience, it is clear that this one year of concentrated study has provided me with a qualification that may change the course of my life and has unlocked an international job market previously closed to me. Leading authorities in their varied specialities, the staff within the department are highly approachable and willing to go the extra mile to aid understanding and advance academic development. I have made strong bonds with many members of staff on an intellectual and personal level. My MSc experience was greatly enhanced by the vibrant and diverse makeup of my fellow students. What better for the study of international politics than a truly international debate between class mates from every continent? I have doubtless made life-long friends from around the world.