Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

The Human Rights and Humanitarian Law LLM allows you to study from home — whether in the UK or overseas — and keep in contact with tutors by email, telephone, fax and/or post. You can also maintain contact with one another, both during and after your studies, offering invaluable peer support and networking opportunities.

You are guided through each of the LLMs by a module handbook containing notes, reading lists and self-assessment questions. All the documents on the reading lists are provided either electronically through the University’s electronic resources, by direct links to the worldwide web, as digitised documents on Blackboard (the University’s on-line learning/teaching facility) or, exceptionally, as hard copy. Core text books are issued on loan with the module handbook and returned with the module assignment. Staff-student interchange is facilitated by coursework materials, telephone contact, email and written responses to coursework submissions.

The weekend residential schools provide the opportunity to meet with tutors, guest lecturers and fellow students and to reinforce students’ understanding of the subjects during lectures, discussion sessions and tutorials.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Employability
  • How to Apply

Key Facts


Of flexible duration, generally taking between two and five years.


Assessment takes the form of coursework essays (120 credits). Each student will complete then a master’s dissertation (60 credits) which deals with an area of chosen study..

Entry Requirements:

The programme has been designed to be open to graduates of all disciplines who have a good honours degree, including those from a science background and those who have no experience of law. Those who can demonstrate suitable professional qualifications or skills are welcome to apply.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelors degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers are required to take a University recognised test of academic English language proficiency. Further information can be found on the English Language Requirements page. 

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Possible funding opportunities can be found in our funding calculator.


There are two start dates for the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law LLM by distance learning in each academic year - 1 April and 1 October.  Although students are allowed up to a maximum of five years to complete the course, it is possible to complete six modules per academic year. However, the flexible nature of the programmes means that you can work at your own pace through the modules.  Each of the twelve modules is worth 10 credits and the dissertation is worth 60 credits. To gain the LLM qualification you will be required to complete 180 credits worth of study – 120 from taught modules and 60 from the dissertation.  It will be possible to complete 60 credits (six modules) to gain a Postgraduate Certificate recognising your achievement. On completion of all twelve modules but in the absence of the dissertation, you will be eligible for a Postgradate Diploma in law. You can also choose to study individual modules to enhance your knowledge in a particular area. All the modules are assessed by an assignment of up to 5000 words.

The dissertation (13000-15000 words) provides you with an excellent opportunity to study an aspect of the law in your chosen area of study which is of particular interest to you. Students often, but not exclusively, select project topics which have a direct bearing on their professional lives. The standard of the work produced is very high indeed and several of our students have graduated with distinction.

Attendance at the bi-annual residential weekends is highly recommended. The programme of lectures, seminars and workshops at the residential school both stimulates and encourages, as well as providing an invaluable opportunity for debate and discussion with staff, visiting lecturers and fellow students.

The Aberystwyth Law School recently participated in the Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 96.5% of publications submitted were of of an internationally recognised standard and that 98% of research activity in the department was rated as internationally recognised.

Our Staff

Aberystwyth Law School lecturers are mostly either qualified to PHD level or have professional experience and qualifications as practicing lawyers. Many staff also have a PGCE (Higher Education).

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Options Students should consult the Department concerning the choice and the order in which the modules must be taken:

Semester 1

Study Skills LAM5010
Migration And Asylum Law LAM8010
Foundations Of Public International Law LAM8110
Introduction To International Human Rights Law LAM8210
International Humanitarian Law LAM8310
The Sociology Of Human Rights Violations LAM8410
The Philosophy Of Human Rights Protection LAM8510
Mental Health And Human Rights LAM8610
Sources Of International Criminal Law LAM8710
Institutions Of International Criminal Law LAM8810
General Principles Of International Criminal Liability And Defences LAM8910
Definitional Elements Of Substantive International Crimes LAM9010
Human Rights In The Information Age LAM9110
Subsistence And Welfare Rights LAM9210
Environment And Human Rights LAM9310
International Business, Environment & Human Rights LAM9510

Core (60 Credits)

Semester 3

Dissertation LAM6260


Qualification: LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

This degree will suit you:

  • If you want to study an area of law with urgent contemporary significance and practical relevance
  • If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of legal responses to humanitarian and human rights issues
  • If you wish to nurture a legal career within government, non-governmental or corporate structures
  • If you desire skills highly sought-after in any postgraduate workplace


Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability.  Your LLM will place you in the jobs market as a rigorous legal professional armed with impressive expertise in the latest legal developments in the field of Human Rights and Humanitarian law.  In addition, this course will help you to master key skills that are required in almost every postgraduate workplace. You will be pushed to improve your approaches to planning, analysis and presentation so that you can tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence, making you a highly-desirable candidate for a career in government, non-governmental and corporate contexts alike.

Study Skills

You will learn to quickly assemble, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal data regarding Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and you will refine your professional practices by engagement with multiple case studies.  You will learn how to deploy your knowledge to assert your expertise and build your legal case.  These skills in analysis and discourse, supported by your mastery of rigorous methodologies, will stand you in good stead for any professional workplace.

Self-Motivation and discipline

Studying at LLM level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate.  Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree.  This process will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable Skills

The LLM programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts.  Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within timeframes and to specific deadlines.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Aberystwyth Law School contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622720

Fax: (01970) 622729

Email: pglaw@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth Law School
Aberystwyth University
Elystan Morgan Building
Llanbadarn Centre
SY23 3AS

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

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