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Human Rights (MA)

Note: This course of study is a further education course with costs.
What's the degree programme about?

This Master's degree programme for professional development is designed for professionals with an undergraduate degree and practical experience in relevant fields of employment. Due to its international focus, it is open to applicants from all over the world, in particular professionals working in international organisations and non-governmental organisations, public administrations (at the international, EU, federal, regional and municipal level), political consulting, in the press/media sector, in interest groups and associations, specialist legal firms, companies and research.

A special feature of this degree programme is that it is also aimed at people who have been involved in human rights work on a voluntary or part-time basis and wish to gain professional qualifications in order to pursue these activities more extensively. Applicants will therefore be accepted who are employed in other fields but have practical experience in human rights work outside of their main profession.

Modules and degree programme structure

Human Rights is offered as a full-time Master's degree programme for professional development worth 90 ECTS credits over three semesters. In the first semester, all students will enroll in three compulsory modules covering political, philosophical and legal foundations of human rights respectively. In the second semester, students will participate in a compulsory, interdisciplinary module on non-discrimination and elect four out of a variety of specialised modules. The third semester is devoted to the master thesis.

1st Semester: Foundations (30 ECTS)

  • Module 1: Priciples and Methodology
    • Lecture: Human Rights Philosophy
    • Seminar: Human Rights Methods
    • Tutorial: Research and Writing Exercise
  • Module 2: Human Rights Politics
    • Lecture: Political Dynamics of Human Rights
    • Seminar: Human Rights and the EU
  • Module 3: Human Rights Law
    • Legal Protection of Human Rights
    • Seminar: Leading Cases of Human Rights Law

2nd Semester: Specialized Courses (30 ECTS)

  • Module 4: Interdisciplinary Approach to Non-Discrimination
  • Module 5: Project Work
  • Modules 6-9: Specialised Aspects of Human Rights Protection I–IV

3rd Semester: Master Thesis (30 ECTS)


The Master's degree in Human Rights (MA) is an internationally recognised academic degree and a professional qualification. It qualifies graduates for doctoral degree programmes in Germany and abroad and for academic work in research and teaching. It also qualifies graduates for (re-)entering careers in business, administration and politics.

Admission requirements

For admission to the degree programme applicants must prove the following:

  1. A degree from a German or foreign university usually consisting of a total of 210 ECTS credits, with the minimum being 180 ECTS credits, usually in law, social sciences or humanities
  2. A minimum of one year of relevant work experience in a relevant field or equivalent experience in a position of responsibility in an organisation involved in human rights.
  3. English language proficiency at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or equivalent proficiency in English.

Applicants with a degree worth 180 ECTS credits will undergo a special admissions procedure to assess whether additional degree programme-specific knowledge obtained outside of their studies can be accredited to the value of 30 ECTS credits.


Information on the application procedure can be found at

Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Please find more detailed information on how to apply for a Master or advanced degree programme on the following website:

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Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: Master of Arts (MA)
Type of study: Master, Professional development programme subject to a fee
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 3 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: English
Admission: Degree, Work Experience
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology