LLM vs MA Human Rights


I have been accepted to do the LLM in International Human Rights Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Ireland and MA Human Rights Law at SOAS in London. I prefer the NUI Galway course and ICHR by far to SOAS and in my experience this is one of the best LLM in Human Rights courses. In practice, I think Irish universities are far better than the rankings show and in practice this is certainly one of the best Human Rights LLM in UK and Ireland.

I applied for SOAS because they had a scholarship advertised which allowed you to specialise in LGBTI rights globally and culturally it is very vibrant and it would enable me to specialise in South Asian rights. I just found out that I have been shortlisted on the reserve list, but am third on the list for the full scholarship. This is however the MA in Human Rights Law as suppose to their LLM.

I was wondering if anyone would be able to advise me on what is the main difference between the MA and LLM in terms of careers and their experiences of both courses in UK and Ireland. I am most likely to do the really brilliant LLM at Irish Centre for Human Rights, but just wanted to make an informed decision about declining my offer at SOAS, scholarships aside.
I have been accepted to do the LLM in International Human Rights Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Ireland and MA Human Rights Law at SOAS in London. I prefer the NUI Galway course and ICHR by far to SOAS and in my experience this is one of the best LLM in Human Rights courses. In practice, I think Irish universities are far better than the rankings show and in practice this is certainly one of the best Human Rights LLM in UK and Ireland.

I applied for SOAS because they had a scholarship advertised which allowed you to specialise in LGBTI rights globally and culturally it is very vibrant and it would enable me to specialise in South Asian rights. I just found out that I have been shortlisted on the reserve list, but am third on the list for the full scholarship. This is however the MA in Human Rights Law as suppose to their LLM.

I was wondering if anyone would be able to advise me on what is the main difference between the MA and LLM in terms of careers and their experiences of both courses in UK and Ireland. I am most likely to do the really brilliant LLM at Irish Centre for Human Rights, but just wanted to make an informed decision about declining my offer at SOAS, scholarships aside.
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citoyen99
It depends on where you want to work. If you want to work in London, join SOAS.
It depends on where you want to work. If you want to work in London, join SOAS.
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Luq_Ali
I have also been admitted into SOAS for this fall, and although I can not speak to the difference between SOAS and the program in Ireland, I would like to answer your question about the differences between the M.A. and LLM. Do you have your bachelors of science in law or a Juris doctorate? Generally speaking, the M.A. is offered to those who do not have the qualification to practice law in the UK, Canada or U.S. (exception being, that if you have graduated from a foreign law school, and then come to the U.S., for example, and study in an LLM program, certain states will allow you to take the bar exam (NY for example) and from there, you can sort of spread your wings out to the other states, subject to meeting their other requirements(or if they have reciprocity with NY, etc.).

So, ultimately, are you planning on practicing law? Not sure of the rules in Ireland, or if obtaining an LLM there would allow you to practice law in the UK, but if that is an interest or goal of yours, you look at that very carefully. I do know that, bar none, from what I've read and looking at the Guardian's Rankings and analysis as well the latest world rankings from QS, the diversity you will have at SOAS is one of the highest in the world, over 53% of the students are international, and for BME students, it is supposed to be a dream in terms of the level of support, and not feeling isolated, as you may well feel, at a school which has a much less diverse student body. Also consider being part of the University of London, studying in London, the links to the various NGO's and international bodies, and if you are interested in doing a Phd after your M.A., then the availability of the networking and studying with professors as a preview for whom you might want to supervise your study. Moreover, you mentioned the LGBT interest and South Asian study, and SOAS is incomparable in its focus, language studies, scholars, and resources. I agree with Citoyen99, if your intent is to work in London, deference will naturally flow towards SOAS from potential employers (if you are doing this for a job as opposed to already have a practice or consulting path of your own). To me, it sounded like you were heavily biased in favor of the program in Ireland and set on going there, and I'm not in the least being critical of such bias or interest on your part, however, I am not sure what value I am saying will have to your decision, but hope this is helpful.
I have also been admitted into SOAS for this fall, and although I can not speak to the difference between SOAS and the program in Ireland, I would like to answer your question about the differences between the M.A. and LLM. Do you have your bachelors of science in law or a Juris doctorate? Generally speaking, the M.A. is offered to those who do not have the qualification to practice law in the UK, Canada or U.S. (exception being, that if you have graduated from a foreign law school, and then come to the U.S., for example, and study in an LLM program, certain states will allow you to take the bar exam (NY for example) and from there, you can sort of spread your wings out to the other states, subject to meeting their other requirements(or if they have reciprocity with NY, etc.).

So, ultimately, are you planning on practicing law? Not sure of the rules in Ireland, or if obtaining an LLM there would allow you to practice law in the UK, but if that is an interest or goal of yours, you look at that very carefully. I do know that, bar none, from what I've read and looking at the Guardian's Rankings and analysis as well the latest world rankings from QS, the diversity you will have at SOAS is one of the highest in the world, over 53% of the students are international, and for BME students, it is supposed to be a dream in terms of the level of support, and not feeling isolated, as you may well feel, at a school which has a much less diverse student body. Also consider being part of the University of London, studying in London, the links to the various NGO's and international bodies, and if you are interested in doing a Phd after your M.A., then the availability of the networking and studying with professors as a preview for whom you might want to supervise your study. Moreover, you mentioned the LGBT interest and South Asian study, and SOAS is incomparable in its focus, language studies, scholars, and resources. I agree with Citoyen99, if your intent is to work in London, deference will naturally flow towards SOAS from potential employers (if you are doing this for a job as opposed to already have a practice or consulting path of your own). To me, it sounded like you were heavily biased in favor of the program in Ireland and set on going there, and I'm not in the least being critical of such bias or interest on your part, however, I am not sure what value I am saying will have to your decision, but hope this is helpful.
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