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Is A Masters In Human Rights Worth It In 2023?

Is A Masters In Human Rights Worth It


Is A Masters In Human Rights Worth It? A Master’s degree in a pertinent field is increasingly required to work in the human rights sector. A Master’s degree is sometimes required for employment in the not-for-profit sector and intergovernmental organizations like the UN or the Council of Europe. Job descriptions will vary depending on the position, but they will typically state that a Master’s degree in human rights, political science, law, or another field of the social sciences is preferred.

An interdisciplinary program called the Master of Human Rights (MHR) prepares students academically and practically for employment in human rights work. The program collaborates with several UM faculty, including the faculties of the arts, education, and social work.

Continue reading this article to know if a masters in human rights is worth it.

What Is Human Rights?

Is A Masters In Human Rights Worth It

Human rights create the fundamental principles without which people cannot live in dignity. They reflect fundamental human needs. Human rights are all about justice, freedom, respect, and equality. Rights include the ability to live without discrimination, the freedom of speech, the right to marriage and family, and the right to an education.

All people hold human rights inalienably, universally, and forever. Human rights are universal, meaning they apply to all people in every nation. All rights are equally important and complementary, for example, the freedom of speech depends on the right to participate in government and free elections. They are inalienable, indivisible, and interdependent, which means they cannot ever be taken away.

The purpose of human rights education is to establish a culture of human rights around the globe. This is a culture where individuals recognize their rights and responsibilities, acknowledge human rights violations, and act to defend the rights of others. It is a culture where everyone’s rights are respected, as well as the rights themselves. Human rights are as important to the lives of people in this culture as language, customs, the arts, and relationships with the local community.

Why Study Human Rights?

The “fundamental freedoms and rights to which every individual is entitled” are the subject matter of the large field of study known as “human rights.” The field of human rights covers a wide range of subjects, and learning about it can lead to a variety of careers. A lucrative and difficult area of study that can lead to a fulfilling profession is human rights. Here are just a few of the many benefits of studying human rights.

  • Help Others While Working Towards Peace

Human rights work allows you to improve not only the world but also the lives of specific individuals and advance peace. Human rights studies may be a useful place to start for those hoping to improve their local communities and the people around them. A lot of human rights work is done locally, which gives those who want to improve their community and foster peace in their country the opportunity to do so.

  • Make A Positive Impact On The World.

Human rights may be a suitable fit for you if you’re seeking a profession and area of study that will enable you to make a difference and be a positive influence. The main focus of human rights advocacy is defending the freedoms and rights of individuals. In social service organizations, international organizations, governmental organizations, law firms, and even corporations, human rights specialists are employed. Additionally, they are active throughout the world, pushing for improvements in government accountability and the protection of vulnerable people’s rights. People who want to change the world should think about studying human rights.

  • Look For A Profession That Provides Variety And Excitement.

Many human rights workers report that no two days at work are ever the same. Careers in human rights can range from local to international, grassroots to governmental organizations, and issue areas to locales. Human rights concerns fluctuate as a result of shifting global circumstances, and even causes you may have fought for throughout your career will change in scope and direction. With a variety of topics and chances for field trips, expert meetings, research projects, study abroad programs, internships, legal clinics, and more, your human rights studies will also be exciting.

  • Several Professions Can Be Attained Through Study Of Human Rights.

There are several career choices in the human rights sector. There are numerous specialization options available to students in this sector, including those in law, business, health, education, and even science. These positions also call for a variety of skills. Others are centered on research and analysis, while some jobs are in social services. You can find new and gratifying work opportunities in several fields and locations by adding your talents and skills.

  • Concentrate On A Topic You’re Passionate About.

Choosing a field of study in a particular area of human rights is frequently challenging, especially for undergraduate students. You can concentrate your research and work on the topics you are most interested in through a human rights program of study while obtaining knowledge and skills through the larger human rights framework. While you might not be able to earn a degree in the issue or subject area you’re most interested in, you can earn one in human rights and learn more broad knowledge and abilities you can use to tackle the subjects you care about the most.

Masters In Human Rights

The Masters in Human Rights program is a distinctive multidisciplinary one that offers a focused year-long engagement with the principles of human rights and significant current human rights concerns.

Human rights raise important issues related to political philosophy in addition to being a collection of legal privileges. Human rights are a topic of policy, practice, and action that can be researched sociologically. The curriculum seeks to provide you with an understanding of the most important social, philosophical, and legal concerns of human rights by tying together theory and practice in a multidisciplinary manner.

You will deal with some of the most important modern human rights issues in the course in a rigorous academic manner. A rigorous and analytical approach is used in the core course to link the legal, philosophical, sociological, and critical perspectives on human rights.

The core course covers a variety of important topics in the continuing, current discussions concerning the function of human rights while also serving as an introduction to the fundamental principles and organizational framework of human rights. Themes covered in the required course include human rights institutions, culture and human rights, genocide, humanitarian intervention, gender and sexuality, human rights, race and apartheid, and transitional justice, though these may vary from year to year.

Career Paths For A Masters In Human Rights

Human rights work frequently offers both interesting difficulties and fulfilling benefits. Affected communities all around the world have made social and economic progress thanks to the efforts of many people who fight for human rights. Consider pursuing a career in the human rights sector if you are passionate about helping others and fighting for improved conditions for those who are in need.

  • Lawyer

A human rights attorney represents victims of human rights violations in court on a local, national, and international level on behalf of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governmental organizations. They frequently carry out extra tasks such as case research, legal document preparation, and settlement negotiations. Additionally, they frequently focus on a particular aspect of human rights, such as war crimes or children’s rights.

  • Human Rights Educator

Human rights educators are experts who instruct and prepare people to understand and stand up for their rights. They might develop curriculums, lesson plans, projects, and manuals that increase students’ understanding of equality and problems that many underprivileged people confront. They might also instruct human rights courses at various educational institutions. To support other educators in making diversity and inclusion a priority in their classrooms, these experts may also give presentations at conferences and conduct seminars.

Through conferences and training sessions, a human rights educator instructs students, academics, and members of the public about human rights. A master’s degree in human rights is required for the specialty in advocate positions.

  • Policy Specialist

Professionals that study and advance various policies or policy reforms in specific fields like gender equality or immigrant rights are known as policy analysts in the human rights field. They typically work for charitable groups, businesses, and governmental institutions, where they use their research expertise to generate data for future legislation. Additionally, these experts keep up with current affairs, political situations, human rights strategies, and appropriate methods for handling various problems.

A policy specialist guides employers regarding governmental policies and informs outside parties, such as the media, of the business’ policy positions. You’ll need a master’s degree in public policy or a related discipline to be qualified for this position.

  • Outreach Officer

By creating plans for informing target populations about the organization’s programs, engaging them, educating the public, and establishing connections with other service providers in the human rights sector, outreach officers for human rights organizations promote their initiatives.

  • GIS Specialist

Specialists in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) gather and map geographic data using specialized software programs to analyze and distribute it for the formulation of human rights policies. They frequently make use of data from surveys, censuses, and satellite photography that offers specifics on social and political systems. These experts might discuss their research at conferences and contribute to the development of standardized programs and systems.

  • Research Assistant

An expert who gathers data and does literature studies on various human rights concerns for governmental and nonprofit groups is known as a human rights research assistant. Additionally, they might divulge this data to assist ongoing research, create documentation, and carry out qualitative and quantitative investigations. Researchers and scientists may collaborate with research assistants to produce materials that promote human rights efforts.

  • Legal Officer

In the realm of human rights, a legal officer is a specialist who offers the necessary facts and information about human rights law during court hearings and other legal proceedings. They frequently keep up-to-date knowledge of regional, governmental, and international human rights laws, produce legal paperwork, and assist senior legal officers or attorneys. These experts might also participate in settlements and discussions, represent people in human rights organizations, and offer different legal opinions for disputes or court proceedings.

  • Human Rights Advocate

You will work to advance the fair treatment of a particular demographic as a human rights advocate. These specialists operate in a variety of fields, including the government and the healthcare industry. Although responsibilities change depending on the employer’s values and characteristics, this position typically entails collaborating with governmental organizations to make services available to the public, teaching local residents, and creating educational materials for target populations. A master’s degree in political science or a closely related discipline qualifies an applicant for a position as a human rights advocate.

  • Social Worker

A social worker coordinates with government agencies and other professionals to ensure that vulnerable population segments, such as children or individuals with disabilities, receive the crucial services they require. By offering these services, social justice is achieved.

How To Find A Company That Matches Your Goals

You might find it helpful to do some study on the organizations that interest you as you look for a job in the human rights sector. This could assist you in selecting a business that complements both your professional and personal objectives. Here are some suggestions to help you locate the organization you’re looking for:

  • Think About The Personal Mission Statement You Have. 

You can decide what you want to do with your work and your professional objective with the use of a mission statement. When evaluating possible employers, think about their mission statements to see if they align with your goals and values.

  • Analyze The Culture Of The Company. 

While some organizations may function like startups, others may operate like corporations. Investigate businesses that suit your style and consider the kind of culture you would feel most at home in.

  • Think About Your Skill Set. 

Think about if you could utilize all of your skills in the position when looking for potential employment. You could also assess whether the company offers prospects for advancement.

Masters In Human Rights Vs Masters In International Relations

You can pursue a master’s degree after receiving your bachelor’s degree. This postgraduate certification gives you a greater in-depth understanding of a subject and abilities that help you meet the requirements for particular occupations. Even if a position doesn’t require a master’s degree, having one can improve your chances and lead to future employment options. A master’s degree may be completed in one to three years, and you may be able to study part-time or online depending on where you are. Human rights and international relations contain significant distinctions as well as some commonalities. Which degree should you pursue?

Human RightsInternational Relations
The field of human rights includes the advocacy, defense, and enforcement of fundamental freedoms like the right to vote, the right to work, and the right to a living wage. Although everyone has a role to play in promoting human rights, obtaining academic credentials is crucial if you want to increase your employment options.The ties between states and cultures are included in international relations, which is often referred to as international affairs, global affairs, or global studies. These ties are influenced by a variety of elements, including politics, geography, economy, law, resources, human rights, and more.

Masters In Human Rights Vs Masters In International Relations: What To Expect

Human RightsInternational Relations
Over the past few decades, interest in human rights master’s degrees has increased. Most jobs (beyond entry-level jobs) will probably demand at least a master’s degree if you wish to work in the human rights field. Interdisciplinary coursework frequently covers subjects like psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, and other social sciences.

Numerous programs provide specialties, as well as the choice of remote learning or part-time education. In a human rights master’s program, you will study significant human rights documents and how they are applied, gain knowledge of the regional and global protection systems for human rights, and gain practical experience in advocacy, campaigning, education, law, and research.
The courses you take in a master’s program in international relations will encompass subjects including politics, security, anthropology, international law, religious studies, and conflict resolution. Students pursuing a master’s degree in international relations typically concentrate on a particular area of the discipline, such as law, commerce, migration, trade, security, and so forth.

Most likely, you’ll also need to learn a second language, preferably one or more of the six official languages of the UN (French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian). You will learn precisely about the interactions between governments and states in an international relations master’s program, including how they operate, how they can be influenced, and how they are upheld.


Is a masters in human rights worth it? Studying human rights as a master’s degree over one or two years is far more typical. These courses can be taken for an MA, MSc, or Master of Laws degree (LLM). You must have a bachelor’s degree in a suitable field, such as sociology, politics, philosophy, or ethics, to enroll in an MA or MSc program. An LLM candidate must hold a law-related bachelor’s degree.

You can have a fulfilling career in human rights and contribute significantly to society. Use this article as a starting point for your initial job search in this area. You should continue looking for human rights careers until you locate one that matches your particular ideals, personality, and skill set.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What Skills Will I Acquire Through A Human Rights Master’s Program?

  • You will graduate with the knowledge and abilities necessary to be successful in the field of human rights. You will receive extensive knowledge in these areas as well as crucial transferable skills from the entire field of social sciences. This involves communication, writing, and research abilities. As you understand and analyze human rights data in the curriculum, you’ll also build a foundation in statistical analysis.

Why Pursue A Human Rights Master’s Degree?

  • With a human rights master’s degree, you can start a profession that will be extremely gratifying and allow you to change both your community and the world. With this degree, you will be prepared to effectively help marginalized groups through community-engaged advocacy. You can pursue several expanding employment fields in communication, advocacy, social services, politics, international relations, and law using the skills you’ll acquire in this degree.

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