LL.M. in International Human Rights Law

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Course Overview

An opportunity to specialise in the area of International Human Rights Law for great career opportunities.

The LL.M. in International Human Rights Law is available on a full-time basis over a one-year period. 

Please note: The LL.M. in International Human Rights Law is a cognitive masters. In order to be eligible for the course you will need to possess the following: 2.2 degree in Law or a related discipline (that has a 50% legal component to the degree) or foreign equivalent. 

Relative work experience may also be taken into consideration.

Why Study International Human Rights Law at Griffith College?

The LL.M. in International Human Rights Law offers students the opportunity to specialise in International Human Rights Law, to facilitate enhanced career opportunities, or to lay the foundations for PhD study.

  • Unique International Human Rights Law focus
  • Experienced lecturers who are experts in their field
  • Small class sizes mean more individual attention to help you reach your personal potential
  • Evening time lectures mean that it is possible to obtain an LL.M. with work or other day time commitments
  • Internationally recognised Master of Law degree.
  • Students will gain a firm understanding of the key principles of Human Rights Law such as Social and Economic Rights, International Children's Rights Law, International Asylum and Immigration Law and International Humanitarian Law.
  • Students will acquire highly transferable skills attractive to a wide range of sectors outside law including in the civil or foreign service, or in NGOs.
  • A strong international focus gives students a key advantage when building a career in today's globalised legal landscape
  • All of our lecturers are experienced academics who are specialists in their particular field of Human Rights Law.

Course Highlights

  • Unique International Human Rights Law focus
  • Experienced lecturers who are experts in their field
  • Small class sizes mean more individual attention to help you reach your personal potential
  • Evening time lectures mean that it is possible to obtain an LL.M. with work or other day time commitments

Intake Dates

  • Dublin - Full-Time - September 2024
  • Dublin - Full-Time - February 2025

What our students say

Student Testimonials

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"I'm happy I chose to study my LLM at Griffith College, the lecturers were extremely helpful and enthusiastic to pass on their knowledge. This LLM have given me the knowledge and skills to accomplish my dreams, continue my path in belonging to an international organisation and pursue my studies in Gender Law."

Azucena Mellado

LL.M. in International Human Rights Law 2016.

Claire Michelle Smyth Profile Picture

"The dissertation element of the LL.M. prepares students who are thinking of undertaking a Ph.D. for the research and discipline that will be needed to complete a doctoral thesis."

Claire Michelle Smyth

LL.M. International Human Rights Law 2011


"I relocated to Australia after completing my LL.M. It soon became apparent that my LL.M. was highly regarded and relevant to a number of industries here. I have spent the last 2 years as a senior advisor for contracts and governance in a statutory authority engaged in civil aviation."

John Keating

LL.M. International Commerical Law 2011

Course Details

The LL.M. in International Human Rights Law is one year in duration. The student will complete six subjects and a dissertation. In the first semester the student will complete three mandatory subjects and in the second semester, they will choose three human rights electives. (Electives run subject to demand and at the discretion of the faculty.)

Assessment in the taught modules in semesters 1 and 2 is by way of assignments and examinations. A dissertation is completed over the summer months under the guidance of a designated supervisor.

New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

Semester One

The aim of this module is to inculcate in the learner advanced legal research and writing skills. The module initially focusses on the development of online research skills and search operators. The learner develops an understanding of various research methodologies which can be employed when conducting research; doctrinal, comparative, socio-legal etc. Furthermore, the module fosters within learners the ability to write excellent legal prose with style, precision and accuracy. Learners master a legal house style; the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA).

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New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

This module aims to introduce learners to the international system of law and international institutions. It explores the origin and function of the international legal system and the role and function of international institutions throughout the world. Learners will be introduced to some of the many challenges facing international law and international institutions in carrying out their mandate, including rogue states, the fragmentation of international law, the institutional legacy of the origins of the United Nations. It will explore growing fields of study such as the accountability of international institutions, and global constitutionalism. Through the content of the module, there will be a focus on theories of international law and of diplomacy. It provides a basis for learners to build their understanding of international peace-building and reconciliation in the Masters programme.

New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

This module examines the development of International Human Rights Law with specific reference to its expansion in the 20th and 21st centuries – against the background of colonial history, the denial of human rights in many subjugated countries and the central role taken after the end of the Second World War.The module also provides learners with an appreciation of the growth of International Human Rights Law in light of the historical context and a knowledge of the International Human Rights treaties in existence and their operation. Learners develop an understanding of the international enforcement mechanisms currently in place and their relation to domestic human rights. They also develop an appreciation of both civil and political rights and socio-economic and cultural rights and their relation to one another. 

Semester Two: Electives

This module combines analysis of current law with a critical exploration of the structures, potential, and limits of law and legal reform.  The focus of the module is human rights, both as a legal regime with specific application to gender and sexuality issues, and as a political sphere within which issues relating to gender and sexuality are negotiated.  The module includes discussions of domestic, European, and international developments.  As such, this module provides grounding in the key issues of gender, sexuality and human rights discourse whilst ensuring that learners will gain an understanding and appreciation of those issues which are at the cutting edge of these discussions.

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*This elective runs subject to demand and discretion of the Faculty of Law.

This module provides a detailed and comprehensive understanding of International Asylum and Immigration Law. The learner studies the principles, doctrines and rules underpinning International Asylum and Immigration law, along with relevant international legal instruments. The module addresses the political, social and philosophical issues raised by asylum seeking, while also providing learners with the tools to solve technical asylum problems.

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*This elective runs subject to demand and discretion of the Faculty of Law.

The module in International Criminal Law examines selected issues and current problems involving the criminal law aspects of International Law. The module looks at the origin and purpose of International Criminal Law and it examines the duty to prosecute those who commit international crimes. It also focuses on the application of domestic and international law to the question of jurisdiction over international criminal activities. The course further examines the substantive international criminal law as contained in multi-lateral treaties concerning, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Lastly, the course covers the International Criminal Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the permanent International Criminal Court.

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*This elective runs subject to demand and discretion of the Faculty of Law.

This module extensively examines the development of the laws of armed conflict derived from the 1863 Lieber Code and the 1868 St Petersburg Declaration and its application to the theatre of hostilities. Far-reaching advances in the categorisation of conflicts, the dynamics of warfare, weapons and aerial bombardment have resulted in an international struggle to apply a dated international Humanitarian Law framework to altered realities on the ground. In parallel, developing Human Rights norms now extend to armed conflict but the relationship and interpretation of the competing sets of norms is open to dispute. This module examines the categorisation of armed conflicts, the status of parties to the conflict, PoW’s, civilians, belligerent occupation, methods and means of warfare, and self determination and armed conflict. Accordingly, the module analyses the application of the laws of armed conflict in contemporary battle grounds through case studies examining inter alia Iraq, Palestine and Syria.

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*This elective runs subject to demand and discretion of the Faculty of Law.

New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

The module offers an in-depth analysis of the study and practice of restorative justice. The programme explores the essential skills, tools, processes and frameworks needed for building relationships across differences and divides, at both an individual and community level.The aim of this module is to bring together academic rigour, and practical knowledge and skills in the field of restorative justice practices and enable identification of vital link between such practices and peacebuilding and reconciliation. The crucial relationship between the concept and practice of reconciliation, and the broader fields of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, human rights and development will also be critically analysed.

New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

The purpose of this module is to introduce learners to the various aspects of the discipline of criminology, the study of crime as a social phenomenon. The sub-discipline of victimology is also examined in this module, the study of the causes and impact of victimisation in society. This module aims to equip learners with a comprehensive understanding of a number of criminological theories, all of which see crime as a social construct. Additionally, the objective of this module is to apply these theories to various aspects of the criminal justice system and criminal offending in Ireland, in comparative jurisdictions and at the international level. These broader criminological concerns are then complimented by a consideration of victimological theories and the place of victims in the criminal justice system.

New modules listed below will be live from the September 2024 intake.

This module examines the protection of Social and Economic Rights within International Law. It seeks to locate social, economic and environmental rights within the wider scope of International Law protection and addresses the theoretical debates over the method of protection that these rights should be given. Learners study the operation of the UNESCR, and UNEP and assess their effectiveness in identifying where the rights lie and how best to restitute injured parties. The UNESCR is compared to a range of regional instruments and the contrasts between the various methods of protection discussed. Case studies are undertaken focusing on the protection of specific rights within developing and developed nations. 

This module provides an explanatory overview to data protection and privacy law, taking an international perspective that encompasses Irish and EU law. The module will consider theoretical and practical approaches in understanding the power and significance of handling personal information securely.

Semester Three: Dissertation

The research dissertation is designed to permit learners to delve into a topic which is of particular interest to them, and it comes at the end of the LLM, at a point in time when continuous assessment and examinations in all taught modules have been completed, and therefore, learners are well placed to undertake independent research. Learners on the LLM in International Human Rights Law programme must complete a dissertation which is human rights in nature.


How to Apply

Entry Requirements

2.2 degree in Law or a related discipline (that has a 50% legal component to the degree) or foreign equivalent or relevant work experience.

English Language 

Griffith College is accepting the online Duolingo English Test (DET) as valid proof of English proficiency. Please see here for further details.

How to Apply

All applicants must apply online here uploading a copy of the following:

  • Photo I.D. (driving licence or passport)
  • Degree transcripts from previous studies
  • Module descriptors from previous studies where the degree is not of a cognate discipline


For purposes of fee calculation, residence is counted from the time of application.

Please note that not all study modes may be offered at all times; for confirmation, refer to the Intake dates on the Overview tab.

Tuition Fees

Study Mode: Full-Time

Dublin: EUR 8,000.00

Study Mode: Full-Time

Dublin: EUR 9,000.

Study Mode: Full-Time


Non-EU living in Ireland or abroad: Please refer to our Non-EU Tuition Fees section.


Non-EU students: a Student Services and Administration fee of EUR200 is payable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted below.

General Fee Information 

An Academic Administration Fee of €250 is payable each September at the start of term. For students starting in the January/February term, €125 is payable in February, and then €250 will be payable each September from then onwards. 

A 2% Learner Protection Charge is applicable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted. The fees above relate to Year 1 fees only.

Flexible payment options

Students wishing to pay their fees monthly may avail of our direct debit scheme. Please view our Fees information page for more information and assistance.


Is your company paying for your course?

They will need to complete a Griffith College Sponsorship Form and send this to the Student Fees Office:

  • Post: Student Fees, Griffith College Dublin, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
  • Email: [email protected]

2% Learner Protection Charge

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

QQI Award Fee

Please note that a QQI Award Fee applies in the final year of all QQI courses. To find the relevant fee for your course level, please see the Fees page.


Academic Progression

Many of our LL.M. graduates go on to pursue PhD studies, having acquired not only legal expertise but also advanced academic writing and legal research skills during the LL.M. programme.

Career Progression

Through the LL.M. in International Human Rights Law, you will have gained valuable professional experience, built a strong foundation of critical analysis and presentation skills, and covered a diverse range of topics. There is a wide range of career options for our graduates including:

  • Promotion for those who are already practising in law
  • In-house legal roles with international or domestic human rights organisations
  • Legal advisor within international or domestic NGOs
  • Legal researcher in area of international human rights law
  • PhD study for an academic career

Ready to take the next step?