FAQs for LLM in International Human Rights Law
Here you can find answers to
common questions we receive about our LLM in International Human Rights Law.
FAQs for all LLM courses.
Related to LLM in International Human Rights Law Only:
- What do I need to be offered a place on the LLM in
International Human Rights Law?
- Do I need to be a lawyer to be offered a place on
the LLM in International Human Rights Law?
- Would I be able to practice law as a solicitor or as a
barrister if I have the LLM degree?
- Do I require an LLM to qualify as a solicitor or a Barrister?
- Do I need to have relevant Human Rights experience to
be offered a place on the LLM in International Human Rights Law?
- Can I do the LLM in International Human Rights Law on a
- Will all the options listed in the prospectus be taught
during the coming academic year?
- Who teaches on the LLM in International Human Rights
- Are the University of Essex and Colchester good places
to do a LLM in International Human Rights Law?
- Is the LLM in International Human Rights Law a
- What funding is available for students taking the LLM in International
Human Rights Law?
- Can I take a work placement or internship whilst on the LLM in
International Human Rights Law?
- What other programmes do you offer at Essex?
Questions related only to LLM in International Human Rights Law
1. What do I need to be offered a place on the LLM in
International Human Rights Law?
- You need at least a good 2.1 Law or International Relations degree, or
other relevant degree where you studied Public International Law. If you have
not studied Public International Law, you need to show evidence of practical
experience applying International Human Rights Law.
- If you do not speak English as a first language, you need to provide the
Department with evidence of your proficency in English. We require 7.0 on the
IELTS or 250 on the TOEFL. If your level of English is below what is required,
but you have applied early enough during the year prior to the beginning of
studies at Essex and your application is otherwise strong, we would make you a
conditional offer subject to you satisfying our English requirement. We will
give you various options to to do so, one of which is to follow some of the
English courses available at our
depending on your needs.
- We require copies (with a translation where necessary) of your transcripts
for all the degrees you list in your application.
- We also require two letters of reference written by people who can comment
on your work and your academic ability. At least one of the two reference
letters should be from an academic who taught you and marked your work when
you were a student.
- Once you have your application ready, make sure that you write a covering
letter and that you also send a CV (curriculum vitae or resumÃ©).
Please note: Applications that do not fulfil all the necessary requirements will
not be considered so make sure that you include all relevant documentation in
2. Do I need to be a lawyer to be offered a place
on the LLM in International Human Rights Law?
No, you do not need to be a lawyer, but you will need to show in your
application that you have an undergraduate degree either in international
relations or that you studied Public International Law as part of some other
undergraduate degree. If you do not have such studies in Public International
Law in your undergraduate degree, then it is essential that you highlight in
your application any relevant experience working with International Human Rights
Law or Humanitarian Law; thus, any undergraduate degree coupled with sufficient
experience applying International Human Rights Law or Humanitarian Law will
3. Would I be able to practice law as a solicitor
or as a barrister if I have the LLM degree?
No, it will not qualify you to practice as a solicitor or barrister unless you
already qualified as a solicitor or barrister.
There are two main routes to qualifying as a solicitor or a barrister in
England. The traditional route is to study for an academic bachelors degree in
law (LL.B (Hons)) over 3 years, then to complete a 1 year vocational training
course (LPC for solicitors / BVC for barristers) and then finally to complete an
apprenticeship with a solicitors firm/barristers chambers (for solicitors this
is called a 'training contract' and lasts 2 years, whereas for barristers this
is called a 'pupillage' and lasts a minimum of 1 year but may be longer). More
recently however, the legal profession has opened up to non-law graduates. So,
it is also possible to complete a non-law bachelors degree, then to do a 1 year
academic law conversion course (GDL/CPE), then the vocational training course
and then the apprenticeship. The 1 year academic law conversion course for
non-law graduates covers the core subjects of English law that a law graduate
will have studied in years 1 and 2 of their law degree - Criminal Law, Tort Law,
Contract Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, EC Law, Property Law and
Equity and Trusts Law.
4. Do I require a LLM to qualify as a solicitor or a Barrister?
An LLM (or any other Masters degree) is not necessary in order to qualify as a
solicitor or barrister in England and neither will it provide you with any
exemption in terms of the qualification process. You will still have to complete
the academic law conversion course, the vocational training course and then the
apprenticeship whether you have an LLM or not. If you choose to undertake an LLM
however, it can be completed before, in between or after any of the other stages
5. Do I need to have relevant Human Rights experience
to be offered a place on the LLM in International Human Rights Law?
No, you do not need to have previous human rights law experience to do the LLM
in International Human Rights Law. However, a lot of the people who apply for
the degree and who come to do the LLM have worked with human rights law or with
other branches of international law relevant for the study of this area.
Nevertheless, we have had outstanding young students who came to Essex directly
after completing their undergraduate degree. They were given an offer as they
were considered to be bright and promising students.
6. Can I do the LLM in International Human Rights Law
on a part-time basis?
Yes, since October 2007 you can do the LLM over a 2 year
period. The structure of the course is as follows:
General Seminar (Core module of the course)
Foundation Essay (Term I)
I option (either in Term I or II)
Research Essay (Term II)
II option (either in Term I or II)
III option (either in Term I or II)
IV option (either in Term I or II)
Dissertation (Summer of first and second year)
For further information on taking the LLM in International Human Rights Law part
time contact Dr Clara Sandoval, Director of the course at
7. Will all the options listed in the prospectus be
taught during the coming academic year?
We aim to be in a position to offer all options listed in our prospectus during
the coming academic year. However, there may be unforeseen staff absences or
movements and we cannot give an absolute guarantee that every option will be
available. Please consult this
website regularly so as to keep up to date in relation to recent
8. Who teaches on the LLM in International Human Rights
Our LLM is taught by a uniquely strong human rights law team combining
distinguished practical experience and academic knowledge. Our team covers a
diverse range of interests: civil and political rights; economic, social and
cultural rights; development and human rights; minorities and indigenous
peoples; business, trade, investment and human rights; and transitional justice,
among others. The team is also very strong in other related law such as refugee
law and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the international law of armed
conflicts, international criminal law, and peacekeeping. Our team has experts
teaching on the three existing regional human rights systems: African,
Inter-American and European.
Besides our great legal team, the
Rights Centre facilitates multiple exchanges with human rights experts from
other disciplines (sociology, politics, and philosophy). They all make your year
at Essex a unique experience.
For information on each one of the members of our legal team, please see our
academic staff page, and the
information on the Human Rights Centre website.
9. Are the University of Essex and Colchester good
places to do a LLM in International Human Rights Law?
Absolutely! Colchester is the oldest recorded town in England and is just 55
minutes away from London. The University has a well-equipped, large campus set
in beautiful parkland between Colchester and the coastal village of Wivenhoe, which provides students
and academics with a great environment to learn, think and do research. More
importantly, this environment provides students with the chance to establish
solid bonds with their classmates and with the academic staff as we are all in
permanent contact during the year. Equally, the
Rights Centre provides our students with a wider community and the necessary
environment to approach human rights from a range of disciplines and with a
distinctive practical orientation.
10. Is the LLM in International Human Rights Law a
alumni comprise some 1,000 students from all over the world, with different
religions, languages, cultures and experiences. Indeed, every year we have
between 35 and 45 nationalities among the students doing the LLM in
International Human Rights Law. Students come from all continents and
backgrounds. Moreover, our students have had a broad range of experience
in human rights law, working and/or interning for international organisations
(such as the UN, the OAS, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the African
Union), for NGOs (global, national and local), for governments at various
levels, for law firms or as academics. This is one of the strong assets of
the course as students really have the opportunity to learn from each other and
not only form the academic staff.
11. What funding is available for students taking the LLM in
International Human Rights Law
The main source of funding for overseas students is via the British Council.
Please enquire directly with them in your home country for further details.
There is a joint Human Rights Centre scholarship scheme available for certain
countries, please check our
website for details on the countries included in this scholarship and how to
For Home/EU students the main source of funding is via the
AHRC (Arts, Humanities
Research Council). If you wish to be considered for this scholarship please
ensure you submit your application to the Human Rights Centre by mid-late
Full details on scholarships can be viewed in our
12. Can I take a work placement or internship whilst on the LLM in
International Human Rights Law?
Yes, whilst on the LLM you can take an internship. Internships are a central
part of the
LLM in International Human Rights and of other human rights courses at
Essex. Students on both these degree schemes are strongly advised to undertake
an internship in order to gain professional and personal experience. Many of our
former students now work in the human rights fields they were introduced to
through their internship.
Interns work with inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations for a
varying amount of time during the Summer Term. The positions may be in the
United Kingdom as well as in other parts of the world. The Human Rights Centre
advises students who are seeking internships and, upon their return, asks for
feedback from them. Students are also free to seek out organisations and design
new internships for themselves. The Human Rights Centre has an internship
database which lists all human rights organisations which have hosted Essex
interns in previous years. Students have access to this database to search for
organisational information and how to apply. The Human Rights Centre also
maintains contacts with a growing alumni association which combine to offer a
wide range of internship opportunities.
It is important to bear in mind that if you live in university accommodation and
will do an internship over the summer period, you should vacate your room before
2 July or you will have to continue to pay the accommodation fees as part of the
13. What other programmes do you offer at Essex?
Although the LLM in International Human Rights Law is our oldest graduate degree
at Essex, we offer a variety of courses at postgraduate level to fit your own
interests in this field. Due to our expertise in the area of humanitarian law
and related fields, in October 2009 we began to run the LLM in International
Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law. Equally, the Human Rights Centre runs
several MAs where multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work is central; those
degrees are the MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights, the MA in Human
Rights and Cultural Diversity and the MSc in Human Rights and Research Methods.
For more information about these degrees, please email
Professor Geoff Gilbert
or Scott Sheeran for
information on the LLM in International
Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law. For information on the MAs and the
MSc, please email Emma Revill.