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St Mary's University

Law, Power and Human Rights LLM, PGDip, PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 - Top 5 for Teaching Quality

This LLM degree in Law, Power and Human Rights is designed to give both law and non-law graduates professional expertise in Human Rights Law

  • In-depth exploration of Human Rights, and the nature of rights and protection of rights
  • Open to both law and non-law graduates
  • Investigates how law deals with these rights and the protection it affords the state, individuals, institutions

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death, which can be restricted but never taken away. ‘Power’ is held by the institutions of the state and must be examined in relation to rights.

This LLM degree explores how law deals with these rights and the protection it affords the state, individuals, institutions, and - in an optional module - animals. 

The recent #BLM and #ReclaimTheseStreets movements have brought into focus the debate on rights and how we protect these rights.

By studying a law Master's degree you'll be able to not only critically analyse current issues, but also pinpoint potential resolutions. Studying a law degree will also prepare you for future employment by developing your practical legal skills.

Why St Mary's

This Master's of Law degree will give you a deep and systematic knowledge of Human Rights law, including its evolution, production and impact.

The degree will help you to confidently engage with cutting-edge academic and policy-based material relating to Human Rights law. By doing so, you'll have the ability to conduct advanced research into complex rights-based issues and to propose relevant solutions.

It will also help you develop the skills to express critical and original perspectives on novel problems relating to law and human rights.

St Mary's was ranked 3rd in the UK for postgraduate study in the latest Whatuni Student Choice Awards and is in the top five in the UK for teaching quality according to The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

The Sunday Times Good University Guide also ranks us in the top 10 for student experience, supported by that fact that we're in the top 10 for safest universities in England and Wales (Complete University Guide).


Dr Judith Bourne

Professor - Law

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Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2022/23 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2023/24. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Applicants are standardly required to have a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree or equivalent qualification from an overseas institution. 


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

We welcome applications from graduates of law and non-law degrees.

Applicants who do not have a first degree or relevant professional experience, but who nonetheless are considered as having relevant professional qualifications or who can otherwise demonstrate their potential to successfully undertake Master's level study will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding






Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding.  International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Contact time - 22%

Independent study - 76%

*Contact time includes 7% of guided learning

Teaching methods

Teaching takes place face-to-face, but also utilises digital platforms to supplement your learning experience.

Most lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), so that you can watch them back at a time that suits you.  

Assessment methods

Variety of methods are used to assess your work throughout the degree, including:

  • Essays
  • Problem case scenarios
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations 

Career opportunities

Should I study postgraduate law degree?

The study of this LLM degree demonstrates that the you have achieved advanced intellectual skills and professional expertise in Human Rights Law.

The degree will enable you to develop a wide range of generic key transferable skills that are useful in any career path. You'll be able to demonstrate to an employer that you have advanced skills in:

  • Legal research and writing
  • Analysis
  • Critical evaluation and logical thinking
  • Written and verbal communication

Jobs with a law degree

SolicitorBarristerProbation ServiceSocial WorkCILEXInsuranceBankingNGOsGLSUNAcademic

Apply now

Please note that applications for 2023 entry are now closed.

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