Top 10 LL.M. Programs for Human Rights Law 2024

It's no surprise that an increasing number of students are seeking an LL.M. in Human Rights Law. In today's world, marked by conflicts, displacement, and environmental crises, understanding the legal frameworks that safeguard human rights is crucial. The best LL.M. programs in Human Rights Law draw on cutting-edge research from human rights centers. Some offer internships with international organizations or NGOs, providing hands-on experience in humanitarian and human rights law. Curricula typically encompass international law, humanitarian law, criminal law, refugee law, and related areas. Some programs focus on specific regions, such as Europe or Africa.

Human Rights LL.M. programs are available worldwide, with many offered in Europe, the UK, and the USA. Cities like London and The Hague, where NGOs are concentrated, are popular choices for students. Proximity to these organizations facilitates networking and engagement with key stakeholders. Hubs like Geneva and New York, home to the UN, host some of the top LL.M. programs in Human Rights Law. Graduates of Human Rights LL.M.s often pursue careers in international law firms, NGOs, and advocacy groups. Employers value expertise in human rights law and related fields.

Turin, Italy 240 Followers 61 Discussions

By nature of its heritage alone, UNICRI—one of the United Nations’ five research and training institutes—is, for many students, an ideal place to study human rights law. The institute, in cooperation with the University for Peace, offers an LL.M. in Transnational Crime and Justice that combines distance learning with a residential portion and a research element. In addition to addressing a number of important topics for human rights law, the program also provides sessions on professional development in the UN system.

View School Profile
Geneva, Switzerland 261 Followers 106 Discussions
Geneva Academy

The Geneva Academy—which was launched in 2007 by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies—produces a range of research in the international humanitarian law and human rights fields. Not only does the Academy run an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, it also offers a Master in Transnational Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The Academy’s location in Geneva means that Human Rights LL.M. students don’t have to go far to network with important people and organizations in the human rights field.

View School Profile
Leiden, Netherlands 697 Followers 550 Discussions

Leiden’s European and International Human Rights Law LL.M. addresses the legal challenges involved in European and international human rights law. The program also includes a study trip to Strasbourg and Geneva, so that students can experience these issues in the real world. The school also offers some related LL.M. programs, including an LL.M. in International Children’s Rights and one in International Criminal Law.

View School Profile
London, United Kingdom 865 Followers 960 Discussions

LSE’s location in central London means that there’s a good flow of guest speakers from NGOs and other institutions operating in the human rights field. The school’s LL.M. specialism in Human Rights Law is delivered in close cooperation with LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights and provides an overview of many aspects of human rights law.

View School Profile
Washington, District of Columbia 1219 Followers 989 Discussions

Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Institute produces research in the field and puts on events as well. As part of its LL.M. program, the school offers an International Human Rights Certificate, which allows students to delve into relevant topics. Relatedly, the school also offers a Global Health Law and Governance LL.M. For students who are interested in human rights law and want to network with global decisionmakers, Georgetown’s Washington, DC location is a great place to start.

View School Profile
New York City, New York 1614 Followers 1084 Discussions

Students who study at Columbia can take advantage of the school’s Human Rights Institute, which serves as a hub for human rights research and events. Although the school does not offer a specialized LL.M. in Human Rights, it does offer many relevant opportunities for LL.M. students interested in human rights law, including the Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship, which offers tuition waivers and in some cases a living stipend. LL.M. students also have access to a Human Rights Clinic and social justice initiatives.

View School Profile
Colchester, United Kingdom 114 Followers 195 Discussions

The University of Essex runs the Essex Human Rights Centre, which was launched in 1982 and serves as a hub for the study of human rights. The Centre—as well as others in the Essex network—gives students in the school’s LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law the opportunity to work on real-world projects during their studies. Essex also offers an MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights.

View School Profile
Notre Dame, Indiana 56 Followers 31 Discussions
Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s LL.M. in International Human Rights Law is a well-regarded program that leverages insights from the school’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. After graduating from the program, students can pursue an internship with a human rights institution or NGO; past interns have gone into organizations like Human Rights Watch and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, for example. The school provides funding opportunities for these internships as well.

View School Profile
Lund, Sweden 130 Followers 83 Discussions
Lund University

For some students interested in studying human rights law, the Sweden-based Lund University, which offers a Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law, is something to consider. In recent years, the school has doubled-down on the subject, launching a research hub in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

View School Profile
Oxford, United Kingdom 923 Followers 875 Discussions

Oxford’s Master’s in International Human Rights Law, which the Faculty of Law offers in partnership with the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, is roughly equivalent to an LL.M. and is delivered on a part-time basis over two years plus two summer residential sessions. It covers a range of topics relevant to human rights law, with classes in Business and Human Rights, the International Rights of Children, and more. Oxford’s Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, which publishes research, ensures that the degree is infused with current thinking.

View School Profile

Related LLM News

LLM GUIDE Updates Top LL.M. Lists by Speciality for 2021

May 31, 2021

More LLM News

Related Articles

Why an LL.M. in Human Rights Law is a Passport to Rewarding and Boundless Careers

Feb 18, 2019

There is a misconception that a post-LL.M. career in human rights is “mushy”, but it’s intellectually rigorous, from defending Guantanamo Bay detainees, to helping Roma children

Studying Human Rights in an Indigenous Peoples Law LL.M.

Jul 31, 2015

Indigenous Peoples Law LL.M.s are moving towards a broader human rights framework, attracting students from all over the world

The LL.M. in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Dec 22, 2008

How programs can boost careers of lawyers and professionals in this field of law

More Articles

More Top 10 Lists

More Top 10 Lists

Related Discussions

Good LLMs for Human Rights/Public Law in Continental Europe
Aug 19, 2023  289  MertCukada...
LLM or MA in Human Rights ?
Apr 01, 2023  664  Nathalie C...
Best university for LLM Human Rights Law
Mar 11, 2023  1,501  Yvonne Mar...
Mar 08, 2023  307  Yvonne Mar...
International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy LLM at Un...
Jan 16, 2023  397  caighdean
IHL/IHRL LLM in Geneva or European and IHRL LLM in Leiden?
May 16, 2022  1,866  Celestial
MSt International Human Rights, Oxford
Mar 28, 2022  5,754  Azra
UCL LLM in Human Rights
Feb 25, 2022  673  bp14
LLM vs. Master in Transitional Justice
Jun 01, 2021  919  Emth
Human Rights-MAASTRICHT (Globalisation and law) or Human rig...
Mar 31, 2021  1,220  qwerty1234...
IHRL L.L.M. Choices
Mar 29, 2021  759  Uditi Saha
Oxford Mst International Human Rights Law
Mar 19, 2021  7,118  mali.lma
NDLS - International Human Rights LLM
Jan 29, 2021  470  lawyer_as
Maastricht European Law School vs.European Master in Human R...
Nov 27, 2020  846  Martilaw
Civil Liberties LLM
Oct 26, 2020  266  chicken so...
LL.M. in Transnational Crime and Justice UNICRI, 2020/2021
Oct 07, 2020  2,536  Aarash Pir...
LLM course in International Humanitarian law and Human Right...
Jul 27, 2020  1,340  chicken so...
Advice on the LLM in IHL and IHRL at Geneva Academy
Apr 16, 2020  809  Luce
LLM in Human Rights from Essex University
Apr 11, 2020  671  Akansha Me...
QMUL or SOAS for Human Rights
Apr 08, 2020  634  Rabia B. P...
LLM on human rights (University for peace or University of e...
Apr 05, 2020  922  uvrj
LLM with focus on Human Rights & International Law
Apr 05, 2020  1,162  LSCH
Making a choice for LLM Human Rights.
Feb 01, 2020  2,243  Maaal
Best universities for IHL
Feb 01, 2020  761  Thampified
Europe: Interested in human rights and conflict: What Master...
Dec 25, 2019  839  josk

Go to LLM GUIDE Discussion Board

Advanced LLM Program Search
KEYWORDS (optional)
About LLM GUIDE's Lists

These unordered lists were compiled by LLM GUIDE's editors, taking to account existing rankings and other factors. Read more on the Methodology page

To read about rankings, see LLM GUIDE's Law School Rankings page.