Postgraduate study in International Relations and Human Rights

International Relations and Human Rights is available for the Master of Professional Studies degree.

You will study how the United Nations and international courts promote human rights, and how governments and other actors can help or obstruct this. Topics include:

  • the historical evolution of human rights concepts, movements, and policies
  • the formation of the United Nations and the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • the powers and limitations of the UN Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Council, Human Rights Committee, and the High Commissioner on Human Rights
  • the Just War Doctrine and case studies of humanitarian intervention
  • the work of the special courts trying violations of international humanitarian law
  • the establishment of the International Criminal Court
  • the recent adaptation of the International Court of Justice to address human rights issues.

The programme has attracted students from Australia, Tonga, Kenya, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, Kosovo, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

We advise students without a strong background in the study of international relations to take appropriate Political Studies courses prior to or concurrent with the Master of Professional Studies.

For more information about the Master of Professional Studies (MProfStuds) in International Relations and Human Rights, contact the Coordinator Stephen Hoadley.

Master of Professional Studies

Admission requirements

  • A four-year Bachelors degree, or
  • A Bachelors (Honours) degree, or
  • A Bachelors degree combined with either a professional qualification equivalent to one year's advanced study or at least three years of relevant professional experience
  • Any prerequisites specified for the intended subject.

Programme overview

Master of Professional Studies


One year full-time or up to four years part-time.

Required course of study

You will take 120 points of advanced courses in one of the subjects available for the degree. You may also be able to include a dissertation.

To see the courses you may take and how to structure your study, refer to the following:

How to apply

See our information for future postgraduates on how to apply.