School of Law and Government

LLM in International Human Rights Law

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level
Delivery Modes
(FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 6403

The LLM in International Human Rights Law is a one year full-time and two year part-time programme offered by DCU’s School of Law and Government. We welcome applicants from Ireland, the EU and the wider world who are interested in international legal frameworks of human rights protection.

Students will learn about human rights, international law and how social movements and socio-legal thought and research has influenced the development of human rights law. 

The programme is designed to prepare students for the 21st century, where the world needs adaptable and outward-looking critical thinkers. The LLM in International Human Rights Law offers deep insights into how the legal system views human rights and will provide students the opportunity to greatly develop their ability to analyse the importance of human rights and the harms which arise from human rights breaches. 

The LLM in International Human Rights Law allows students to take a range of modules related to International law and Human Rights  (see section below for programme structure and module choice).

Programme Structure and Content

  • Students will be on-site for timetabled classes for two or three days a week in each semester (depending on the module choices).
  • Each semester runs for 12 weeks, semester one running from September to December and semester two running from January to April.
  • Students will undertake a research dissertation on a subject related to Human Rights Law (subject to approval from the programme chair) which is usually completed during the summer.
  • Students will be supervised in their dissertation work by a member of staff and there will be a collective dissertation workshop after semester two. 
  • Students must take Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills and International Law and Conflict (semester one) plus the independent research Dissertation (15,000 words).
  • Along with these compulsory courses, full time students choose four modules; one in the first semester, and three in the second semester. In year one, part-time students take the two compulsory modules in semester one and two modules in semester two. 

Mandatory Modules

  • International Law and Conflict
  • Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills
  • Dissertation

Semester 1

  • Judges and Judging
  • Law, Ethics and the Person
  • EU Institutional Law
  • Principles of Public International Law

Semester 2

  • Climate Change Law
  • Comparative Privacy Law
  • Race, Minorities and Indigenous in International Law
  • The Governance of Migration in Europe
  • European and International Human Rights Law
  • Conflict, Security and Peacebuilding

All optional modules will be offered, subject to staff availability and student demand in any year.

Programme Aims and Objectives

  • To facilitate students analysing key issues in modern International Human Rights Law
  • To create an authentically postgraduate and scholarly orientation with genuine intellectual depth through a small-group seminar model that promotes more intensive lecturer-student interaction
  • To make graduates better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and more confident advocates, thus preparing them for careers in law, policy and business. 

Why Choose DCU?

  • a young and innovative university with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research (consistently rated in the ‘Top 50 under 50’ by the QS World University Rankings)
  • an English-speaking, European university engaged with Europe and the broader world, in an English-speaking country similarly engaged and committed 

Why Do This Programme?

  • a School with an inter-disciplinary research and teaching approach, engaging law and legal doctrine with political science, international relations, sociology, economics and European affairs more generally
  • a programme designed to develop the student’s critical, analytical and interdisciplinary thinking skills so that they are better positioned for access to, and advancement within, higher-end careers in law and related fields
  • a School with active links with major law firms; international and European institutions; NGOs; advocacy bodies and other such potential employers
  • an environment that facilitates the student in preparing for a career in academia or research, with opportunities to edit and contribute to academic journals, blogs; organise conferences, and to present academic papers
  • runs in conjunction with postgraduate programmes in international relations, public policy, EU law and policy, climate justice, international development

Law postgraduates from DCU have established careers in the legal professions (including the bar), academia and research (including a high proportion in funded PhD programmes and research positions), as well as in public institutions and NGOs.

With its International orientation, the LLM in International Human Rights Law caters well for those interested in access to or promotion within careers with an international focus.

The programme is designed to make graduates better problem-solvers and more confident advocates: thus it prepares graduates for work as in-house lawyers in international organisations and in government and non-governmental roles where human rights law plays an important role. 

Potential Careers

  • The legal professions
  • Academia or research careers 
  • NGOs and advocacy
  • Civil service and public administration
  • European and international organisations


For admission to the LLM in International Human Rights Law programme, successful applicants will have:


  • Normally have achieved a Second Class Honours Grade One (H2.1) in a primary degree (level 08) in law or an interdisciplinary degree which includes law as a significant component.
  • Applicants who have not achieved a H2.1 may apply but applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.
  • If an applicant has not yet completed their degree, then a conditional offer may be made on the basis of most recent grades and pending the achievement of no less than a H2.2 degree.
  • Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.
  • International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language. More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here:


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee.

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
4,200 per annum
Non EU Fee Part time
8,100 per annum

Next Steps

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application:

• Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.
All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2024