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Overview

This degree provides you with an understanding of how human rights apply in various political, social, economic and environmental contexts. You will develop critical skills in the effective use of human rights tools and language to achieve specific changes in the world while gaining skills to apply to real situations and create workable solutions.

Obtain vital knowledge of international and regional human rights systems and investigate areas including sociology and social policy, political science and political economy, philosophy, history and human geography. This degree has a global outlook and explores domestic policy and legal issues in the context of the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on Australia's geopolitical position.

Why study with us?

This program combines social, scientific and legal approaches to the study of human rights and provides a holistic perspective on human rights and social change. The course addresses human rights violations at the local, national, regional and global levels. You will have the opportunity to undertake independent scholarly research on current human rights issues and participate in an internship within an Australian or international human rights organisation.

Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for postgraduate study for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSPs are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas

You can choose one of three specialisations within the Master of Human Rights:

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 15 January)

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 30 June)

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year
Semester 2
- 30 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

To qualify for the Master of Human Rights you must complete 72 credit points, including:

  • 24 credit points of core units of study; and
  • a minimum of 12 credit points of core elective units of study; and
  • a maximum of 30 credit points from elective units of study. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points can be taken as elective units from units of study outside those listed in the Human Rights subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including units of study from other faculties.; and
  • a minimum of 6 credit points from capstone units of study; and
  • an optional 18 credit point specialisation as listed in the unit of study table.

Recognition of Prior Learning / credit for previous studies is available for this course, refer to Admission requirement below.

Completion requirement

Under normal progression, a full-time student completes prescribed units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester. Part-time students may undertake prescribed units of study up to the value of 12 credit points per semester. You are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for your units of study.

Capstone (compulsory project)

As part of the Master of Human Rights you are required to complete at least 6 credit points of capstone units of study. You can complete either of the following three capstone options:

  • Semester-long research project
  • Year-long dissertation project
  • Student placement program.

Admission requirement

Entry in the 1 year or 1.5 year degree program is determined by the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) criteria below:

Admission to candidature for the Master of Human Rights (1.5 years full-time) requires:

  • a bachelor's degree with a minimum 65% average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, including a major in a relevant subject area in the humanities or social sciences, or an equivalent qualification; or
  • a Bachelor of Laws degree with a minimum 65% average calculated over the whole degree, or an equivalent qualification.

Admission to candidature for the Master of Human Rights (1 year full-time) requires:

  • completion of the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Human Rights with a minimum credit (65%) average, or an equivalent qualification; or
  • an Honours degree in a relevant discipline; or
  • relevant professional work experience and a bachelor's degree with a minimum credit (65%) average or an equivalent qualification.

If you do not meet the requirements listed above for direct entry to the Master’s degree, you may be able to enter via a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in the same subject area and upgrade to the Master’s after successful completion of the shorter course.

Career Pathways

The Master of Human Rights may lead you to a career within non-government agencies and the United Nations, roles in international human rights and development agencies as well as federal and state government roles.

You can also find employment in print and visual media (journalism, radio and reporting) where a human rights specialisation is required.

Future study options

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences supports and pursues the University's goal of excellence in research, encouraging research of national and international standing, and identifying and enhancing fields of basic, strategic and applied research. Many of the Faculty's distinguished academic staff have recognised international standing and include Federation Fellows and Fellows of Learned Academies and Societies.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.