Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Our LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Distance Learning) offers you the 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. By studying this course, you will tackle traditional subjects as well as new and emerging issues, such as the regulation of international society and the legal mechanisms of human rights during international and non-international armed conflicts. Your study will reflect the local, national and international nuances of this complex subject matter.

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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Course Overview

Why study LLM Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Aberystwyth University?

This course balances the academic with the urgently practical – for example, combining the necessarily comprehensive detail of human rights legislation in conflict with the harsh reality of the threats posed to human rights and the conflicts and tensions within the system of human rights protection.

Students studying Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Aberystwyth will enjoy:

  • strong human rights expertise
  • a wide range of modules on human and humanitarian law subjects
  • a mixture of practical and theoretical study.

Course Details


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.

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


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

Course Content

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.