Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Our LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is your opportunity to engage with the distinct yet complementary regimes of human rights law and humanitarian law and to study an area of law with urgent contemporary significance and practical relevance. Your study will reflect the local, national and international nuances of this wide ranging and cutting edge subject matter. This course is highly flexible and allows you to study from home via distance learning - whether in the UK or overseas.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) or equivalent in a law or related social science degree

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Key Facts


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


Assessment takes the form of coursework essays (120 credits). The dissertation (60 credits) deals with an area of chosen study.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (equating to a mark of 56.5 or above). Degrees in law, the social sciences, or other similar subjects are preferred. Those from other disciplines or with suitable professional experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable especially if ECTS evidence is available. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and/or Accreditation of Experiential Prior Learning (APEL) are considered on an individual basis according to current University Regulations.

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.


For further information, please write to us at pglaw@aber.ac.uk

Course Overview

Why study Human Rights and Humanitarian Law via distance learning at Aberystwyth University?

  • This is a flexible degree scheme, enabling continual professional development without having to take a break from work and/or allowing students to study from home, whether overseas or in the UK.
  • The modules you can choose from are: 
    International Human Rights Law
    International Criminal Law
    Law and Gender
    Human Rights, Business and the Internet
    International Humanitarian Law

    The Philosophy and Sociology of Human Rights Protection

    Criminology of International Conflict Personnel

    Democracy and International Law

    Migration and Asylum Law

    Human Rights, Environment and International Business

    Contemporary Issues in Food Law and Policy
  • Opportunity to study for a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, LLM, or to study individual modules to enhance your knowledge in specific areas.
  • 96.5% of Aberystwyth Law School’s publications were judged to be of an internationally recognised standard or higher in the most recent research assessment – REF 2014
  • Members of academic staff in Aberystwyth Law School are active in research and publication and participate in national and international debate and policy-making in legal and related fields. 
  • Expansive research is carried out within the School across a range of research areas and within a range of research centres.
  • The residential study schools offered for distance learners allow students to integrate into the research culture of Aberystwyth Law School. The programme of lectures, seminars and workshops at these residential study schools provides an invaluable opportunity for debate and discussion with staff, visiting lecturers and fellow students.
  • Over the years a large number of well-known legal academics have taught in Aberystwyth Law School.
  • Aberystwyth is a multinational community. Aberystwyth Law School participates actively in international and European academic networks and frequently hosts visits by academics and experts from other countries.
  • Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014


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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation LAM6260 60

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


This course will be particularly attractive to those seeking to establish or expand careers in government departments, think tanks, international organisations, humanitarian and human rights advocacy, business organisations, international law firms and a wide range of NGOs.


On this course you will gain a wealth of skills vital for success in legal and more general employment. You will:

  • develop expertise in the latest legal developments in the field of human rights and humanitarian law
  • develop a critical appreciation of legal responses to humanitarian and human rights issues
  • master a range of legal methodologies
  • learn to quickly assemble, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal information regarding human rights and humanitarian law
  • learn how to deploy your knowledge to assert your expertise and build a winning argument based on your own rigorous research and analysis
  • develop your abilities in structuring and communicating complex ideas efficiently
  • develop your planning, analysis, presentation, project management and professional independence
  • enhance your problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • devise and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
  • develop study and research skills
  • work effectively with others

Learning & Teaching

How will I learn?

This programme is offered via flexible distance learning and students may take between two and five years to complete their studies, meaning that you can work at your own pace through the modules.  Each module is worth 20 credits and the dissertation is worth 60 credits. To gain an LLM you will be required to complete 180 credits worth of study: 6 taught modules (120 credits) followed by the 60 credit dissertation.  It is also possible to complete 60 credits to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits to gain a Postgraduate Diploma, or to study individual modules to enhance your knowledge in a particular area.

You are guided through modules by a range of material, including reading lists, reading material such as articles and book chapters, self-assessment questions and recordings of oncampus classes, all of which are made available on Blackboard (the University’s online learning/teaching facility). You are able to keep in contact with tutors both during and after your studies by email, telephone and/or post, offering invaluable peer support and networking opportunities.

Attendance at the annual study school in April is highly recommended. The programme of lectures, seminars and workshops at residential study schools stimulates and encourages debate and discussion with staff, visiting lecturers and fellow students.

What will I learn?

Students should consult the School concerning the choice of modules and the order in which they should be taken.

Modules provide the necessary grounding in international law, humanitarian law, and human rights legislation whilst also allowing you to tailor your study to your individual needs and interests.

Students wishing to complete the LLM will, following completion of 120 credits, complete a detailed dissertation within a specialism of their choice. Students often, but not exclusively, select project topics which have a direct bearing on their professional lives, and previous LLM students have also found this opportunity to be invaluable in establishing a successful career.

How will I be assessed?

All the modules are assessed by a written assignment of 6000 words and a poster presentation.

Successful submission of the dissertation following the completion of 120 credits leads to the award of an LLM.