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Overview

In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely. 

This course will be available for students to study remotely whilst the Australian border remains closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

About this course

Develop the expertise needed to understand, promote and protect human rights

Students in the Master of Social Justice (Human Rights) will gain a critical understanding of the roots of human rights violations and the tools and mechanisms deployed to promote and protect them, while developing key skills in research, analysis, communication and advocacy that can be applied in domestic, regional and international contexts.

Why study with us?

You will obtain vital knowledge of international and regional human rights systems and investigate the roots of human rights violations. Principles drawn from many disciplines and a range of geographically diverse case studies will inform your thinking. This stream has a domestic, regional, and global outlook, exploring the political, social, legal, and cultural contexts of human rights challenges in Australia, in the Asia-Pacific region, and in the world. You will practice advocacy skills in a compelling and intensive simulated human rights exercise.

Subject areas
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

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

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

Students in the Master of Social Justice (Human Rights) take four elemental cores that offer an interdisciplinary grounding in development, peace and conflict, and human rights. All MSJ students take these cores together, thereby building cohesion among and between students in the different streams. Students will grapple with some of the world’s most complex social justice problems in these cores, including eradicating poverty, facilitating conflict transformation, addressing human rights violations, and responding to the globe’s most pressing environmental crises. 

Students in the MSJ (Human Rights) additionally complete three selective units that solidify knowledge of human rights mechanisms and the possible responses from activists, advocates, and human rights practitioners. These units dive deep into the roots of violations and the leverage necessary to respond, with case examples on the rights of indigenous people, refugee and asylum seekers, and business and human rights.

Three additional electives allow students to broaden their knowledge in social justice-related fields.

Finally, students undertake a 2-semester capstone project focusing on a topic relevant to human rights, either completing a dissertation or undertaking a social justice internship pathway, preparing students for higher degree research or professional practice, respectively. 

In sum, to qualify for the Master of Social Justice (Human Rights) you must complete 12 units (72 credit points) including:

  • Four cores (24 credit points) common to all MSJ streams
  • Three human rights selective units (18 credits)
  • Three elective units (18 credit points) from approved units offered throughout the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and
  • A two-semester capstone (12 credit points), (either a dissertation or an internship) on a topic related to human rights

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 Social Justice (Human Rights) you are required to complete 12 credit points of capstone units of study. You can complete either of the following capstone options:

  • Year-long dissertation project
  • Student placement program.

Admission requirement

Admission to candidature for the Master of Social Justice (Human Rights) requires:

  • a bachelor's degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, with a major in the humanities or social sciences, or or an equivalent level of performance in an equivalent qualification; or
  • completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Social Justice with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.

Graduate opportunities

The study of human rights prepares students for exciting and meaningful work in range of industries.  International organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and the business sector all need people trained in the language and tools of human rights. In addition to pursuing academic paths, our human rights graduates work in a range of international, government, NGO, and corporate institutions such as:

  • UNDP
  • UN Women
  • UNICEF
  • International Labour Organization
  • International Organization for Migration
  • World Health Organization
  • ActionAid Australia
  • CARE
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • Amnesty International
  • Settlement Services International
  • FORUM Asia
  • ABC News
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance
  • Westpac
  • Woolworth’s Human Rights team

Domestic students

International students

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