Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Key Facts

Course Code M198
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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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. 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. This course is also available by Distance Learning.

Key Facts


1 Year: September to September


Assessment in the first two semesters is via written assignments and oral presentations. . Each student will complete a master’s dissertation of 13,000 to 15,000 words which deals with an area of chosen study in the third semester.

Entry Requirements:

A prior law degree is not essential. An Honours Degree 2:2 (minimum). 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.

Further information on English Language Requirements  

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 opportunites can be found in our funding calculator.


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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Expansive research is carried out within the Department across a range of research areas and within a range of research centres. Postgraduates integrate into our research culture through Departmental research seminars and postgraduate conferences
  • Over the years a large number of well-known legal academics have taught in Aberystwyth Law School
  • Study nearby to the National Library of Wales, one of five UK copyright libraries
  • Benefit from a mature and well-stocked library for Law and Criminology (Thomas Parry Library) and from generous information technology provision
  • 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
Legal Studies LAM0120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
International Criminal Law LAM0620 20
International Human Rights Law LAM1620 20
International Humanitarian Law LAM4220 20
Law and Gender LAM2420 20
Migration and Asylum Law LAM4420 20
Philosophy and Sociology of Human Rights Protection LAM4520 20
Aspects of Commercial Contracting LAM0420 20
International Commercial Law LAM0720 20
International Environmental Law LAM0820 20
International Trade Law LAM1220 20
Negotiated Study Module LAM2220 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


This course will be particularly attractive to those seeking careers in government departments, think tanks, international organisations, humanitarian and human rights advocacy, business organisations, international law firms and a range of non-governmental organisations.


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 from an array of fields
  • 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 course is a one year full-time programme, but can be taken part-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters. In the first two semesters, you will take the module of Legal Studies and at least three (and up to 5) other modules on human rights and humanitarian law, with the option of taking two modules from other legal disciplines, such as environmental law. These modules are delivered via seminars, with a strong emphasis placed on independent study.

In the final semester (June-September), you will complete an extended dissertation, and arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

These modules will give you the tools to engage in general legal analysis, particularly at international level, and special expertise on various issues of human rights and humanitarian law, whilst also allowing you to tailor your study to your individual needs and interests.      

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.

An important part of the course is the writing of a detailed dissertation within a specialism of your choice. Previous LLM students at Aberystwyth have found this opportunity to be invaluable in establishing a successful career.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment in the first two semesters is via written assignments and oral presentations.

Successful submission of your dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an LLM.