LLB Human Rights

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

LLB Human Rights students making notes in a lecture room

In choosing to study Aberystwyth University's LLB Human Rights degree, you will discover a challenging and stimulating course. Our degree is recognised by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, providing a direct route to the legal profession. The degree is taught in the oldest and most well-regarded Law School in Wales. You will benefit from the experience and enthusiasm of our expert staff, many of whom have also practised as barristers or solicitors, thus providing a practical application to your theoretical studies. This twenty-first century LLB Human Rights degree encompasses a range of traditional and contemporary human rights and legal subjects and will deliver the skills and competences demanded in the many career options available to you upon its successful completion. You will emerge with real world capabilities, enabling you to shape your future and develop the career you deserve. Expand the sections below to find out more...

Overview

This LLB Human Rights law programme is designed to equip you with the formal knowledge required for a successful law career in the twenty-first century whilst also enabling you to develop specialist knowledge in Human Rights law. You will receive training in the fundamental principles and methods of law, in legal reasoning and in the legal institution, and gain an understanding of the protections given by human rights law and by international humanitarian law.

Why study Human Rights at Aberystwyth?

Our degrees are qualifying Law degrees for entry to the legal profession. If you wish to qualify as a solicitor you will be eligible to continue vocational training on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) upon graduation, or the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) if you wish to train as a barrister. Aberystwyth has its own Legal Practice Centre within the Department of Law and Criminology, so we can offer you the opportunity to complete your solicitor training with us. Successful completion of particular modules will enable you to gain exemption from some professional examinations.

The Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth is the oldest Law School in Wales, founded in 1901, and has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the expertise of its staff. Your learning is closely linked to the vigorous research activity carried out in the department, providing you with an outstanding, dynamic and up-to-date learning environment. You will benefit from a mature and well-stocked Law library, supplemented by generous electronic resources.

The university has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It placed the university in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.

93% of our 2014 graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, equal to the overall UK sector average (DLHE 2014). This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic, student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction with the subject, with 83% of students reporting high levels of satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received and our staff receiving above UK average satisfaction responses for their communication with students.

As well as being active in research and publication, our lecturers also participate in national and international debate and policy-making in legal, criminological and related fields. Recently, for example, our staff have been involved in the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA); the Countryside Commission for Wales; the Youth Justice Board; the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee; the Welsh Assembly Standing Orders Commission; and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Department offers a programme of valuable social and professional opportunities, such as trips to law fairs and to the Inns of Court in London. The Mooting Society provides you with the opportunity to develop and test your key advocacy and litigation skills in a fun and competitive environment, by taking part in mock trials. Aberystwyth University regularly competes in national and international mooting competitions, and there is also a Welsh National Mooting Competition for students who wish to moot through the medium of Welsh.

There is a strong international staff and student profile in the Department and there are frequent visits by academics and experts from other countries. There are also opportunities for you to study abroad at one of our partner institutions in Utrecht (Netherlands) Katowice and Wroclaw (Poland), Brno (Czech Republic) and Helsinki (Finland), all of which offer legal courses in English.

The Department also offers a number of modules taught through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.

Our Staff

Department of Law and Criminology 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

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Options Core modules in Part I: Students must choose 120 credits of the following LA or GF modules dependant on language preference:

Semester 1

Sgiliau Cyfreithiol GF13110

Y Gyfundrefn Gyfreithiol GF13410

Cyfraith Ymrwymiadau GF13520

Cyfraith Troseddol GF13920

Legal Skills LA13110

Legal System LA13410

The Law Of Obligations LA13520

Criminal Law LA13920

Semester 2

Cyfraith Camwedd GF11120

Cyfraith Troseddol: Materion Dadleuol GF11410

Y Gyfraith Ar Waith GF11510

Cyfraith Cytundebau GF13820

Tort LA11120

Criminal Law: Controversial Issues LA11410

Law In Action LA11510

Law Of Contract LA13820

Year 2 Options Core Modules Year 2: The following LA or GF modules dependant on language preference:

Semester 1

Cyfraith Ewrop GF34000

Cyfraith Gyhoeddus GF34500

European Law LA34000

Public Law LA34500

Semester 2

Cyfraith Ewrop GF34030

Cyfraith Gyhoeddus GF34530

European Law LA34030

Public Law LA34530

Available both years Options Students MUST take the modules LA30510 and LA30620 during Part 2 (these modules run in alternate years):

Semester 1

Human Rights - Theories, Institutions & Remedies LA30510

Available both years Options Students MUST take one of the following dissertation modules, the topic of the dissertation must be in the area of Human Rights.

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig 1 (sem 1) GF35220

Dissertation 1 (sem 1) LA35220

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig 1 (sem 2) GF39520

Dissertation 1 (sem 2) LA39520

Available both years Options Including at least 40 credits during Years 2 and 3 from the following :

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig 2 (sem 1) GF37320

Criminal Justice And The Penal System LA36320

Family And Child Law LA36420

Labour Law LA36820

International Law LA36920

Dissertation 2 (sem 1) LA37320

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig 2 (sem 2) GF39620

Medicine, Ethics And Law LA36720

Dissertation 2 (sem 2) LA39620

Available both years Options Optional Modules Years 2 and 3 - in addition to the core elements, students may choose additional Optional modules to complement their particular area of interest. However, students must take at least 300 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology over the 3 years of the scheme.

Final Year Options Core Modules Year 3: The following LA/GF modules dependant on language preference:

Semester 1

Ecwiti A Chyfraith Ymddiriedau GF32900

Cyfraith Tir GF36100

Equity And The Law Of Trusts LA32900

Land Law LA36100

Semester 2

Ecwiti A Chyfraith Ymddiriedau GF32920

Cyfraith Tir GF36130

Equity And The Law Of Trusts LA32920

Land Law LA36130

Available both years Options Students MUST take the modules LA30510 and LA30620 during Part 2 (these modules run in alternate years):

Semester 1

Human Rights - Theories, Institutions & Remedies LA30510

Available both years Options Students MUST take one of the following dissertation modules, the topic of the dissertation must be in the area of Human Rights.

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig 1 (sem 1) GF35220

Dissertation 1 (sem 1) LA35220

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig 1 (sem 2) GF39520

Dissertation 1 (sem 2) LA39520

Available both years Options Including at least 40 credits during Years 2 and 3 from the following :

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig 2 (sem 1) GF37320

Criminal Justice And The Penal System LA36320

Family And Child Law LA36420

Labour Law LA36820

International Law LA36920

Dissertation 2 (sem 1) LA37320

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig 2 (sem 2) GF39620

Medicine, Ethics And Law LA36720

Dissertation 2 (sem 2) LA39620

Available both years Options Optional Modules Years 2 and 3 - in addition to the core elements, students may choose additional Optional modules to complement their particular area of interest. However, students must take at least 300 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology over the 3 years of the scheme.

Employability

Career prospects

Your LLB in Human Rights opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. You will be a strong candidate for training to become a barrister or a solicitor, with a particular specialism in human rights law. Your degree in Human Rights opens up opportunities for employment with Human Rights Organisations such as Amnesty International and a variety of Non-Governmental Organizations such as the United Nations. Recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that law graduates succeed in the areas of criminology, financial management, business, human resources, international relations, journalism and education. Throughout your training you will develop a wealth of core legal skills and other skills that can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation. 

Transferable Skills 

Studying for a degree in Human Rights will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills

You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal information quickly and accurately, and you will be confident in selecting and deploying the most appropriate of a range of legal methodologies. You will also 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 time frames and to specific deadlines.

In addition to these skills, you will benefit from the prestige of holding an LLB in Human Rights law from one of the UK's foremost universities. Law is rightly perceived as an academically demanding subject, and this puts you at an advantage over your competitors in any employment context.

Year in Employment scheme (YES)
The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

This LLB Human Rights programme is designed to help you fine-tune your cognitive abilities and give you the formal knowledge required for a successful law career in the twenty-first century with a specialism in human rights law. In addition to a rigorous core of modules which will provide you with fundamental training in the law, you will also be able to choose optional modules which will enable you to pursue those areas of the law which are of most interest to you.

In the first year you will receive core training in a number of foundation subjects which must be studied and passed for the purpose of obtaining exemption from the first stage of professional law examinations; these include Contract law and Criminal law. You will also explore the structure and development of the English and Welsh Legal system, learn about the significance of judicial precedent and its relationship with the court system, and analyse the processes of creating legislation and how it is interpreted by judges. You will also be introduced to the fundamental aspects of European law, particularly the processes of law-making; the implementation and enforcement of EU law and policy; the legal accountability of the European Union institutions; the relationship between the EU and national systems, together with important areas of the substantive law of the EU, such as the legal rules governing the internal market.

In the second and third years you will be introduced to the Law of Torts, Public Law, and Equity and the Law of Trusts, which you need to study in order to gain exemption from the Law Society and Bar Part I examinations. You will also be able to tailor your study through careful selection from a range of elective modules including International Law; Medicine, Ethics and Law; and Family and Child Law.

Among many skills, you will learn: to explain the structure and function of legal institutions; to analyse the processes of legislation and development of legal principles; to understand the importance of legal precedent and make use of it; and to construct convincing and cogent arguments on the basis of relevant law and available evidence.

How will I be taught?

The Department is committed to teaching through tutorials and small-group seminars alongside traditional lectures, and to delivering innovative and high quality teaching that will allow you to realise your potential, and will meet your learning expectations.

You will be assessed through essays, exams, study logs or portfolios, oral presentations, including mooting exercises, and a compulsory dissertation in an area of Human Rights of particular interest to you. In all these areas you will need to construct legal arguments and apply legal reasoning as you build your case.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

The lectures, seminars and the Department's supportive staff will greatly assist you in your legal training. You will also benefit from the many opportunities within the department and the university to develop your academic rigour and professionalism so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

Student Views

If you have a passion for human rights and want to obtain a qualifying law degree then the Human Rights (M990) is certainly the degree to do. Although one could study the so-called 'straight law degree' and do human rights modules, I can honestly say it is not the same as studying the themed degree that is automatically tailored to one with a passion for human rights such as myself. For someone who wants to pursue a career in the future in the human rights field, I feel having a specialised degree will be a very good starting point out in the real world, as one is given a real insight into not only the theoretical support and critique of human rights but also the effectiveness of its enforcement both at a domestic and international level. I certainly do not regret having chosen M990. Benjamin Cartwright

M990 Human Rights is an exciting and thought-provoking course to take. Not only do you learn the same principles of law as M100 students do, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that your course is tailored directly to your interest in Human Rights. Everything is planned out for you but you can still choose different modules that interest you. The level of careful planning even ensured that my personal tutor was one of the Human Rights lecturers in the department. It is a fantastic course with some of the most qualified Human Rights lecturers in Britain. Rebecca Sian Davies

Key Information Set

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0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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