International Human Rights

Photo by Mathias Reding

Why study LLM International Human Rights at Goldsmiths

The LLM in International Human Rights equips you with advanced knowledge and expertise in human rights law, giving you access to our internationally leading faculty, eminent legal experts, and some of the foremost human rights organisations in the UK.

  • The LLM introduces you to the history, theory and practice of international human rights law.
  • We’ll focus on the strengths as well as identifying and critiquing the limits of domestic and international human rights.
  • You’ll master the instruments and institutions that make up the international system of human rights protection from around the world, exploring their potential for reform.
  • You’ll explore some of the most cutting-edge human rights debates of our times, from gender identity to AI-based predictive policing.
  • You’ll learn from important legal thinkers, internationally leading barristers and politicians. Our Law faculty and Visiting Professors are some of the greatest legal minds of our generation.
  • We’re focussed on employability, and you’ll have the opportunity to gain practical experience through taking placements and law clinics modules (for credit). Our Careers Service is here to support you every step of the way.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with renowned legal scholars, eminent legal practitioners and NGOs working in the field of international human rights, including the foremost human rights organisation, Liberty, which leads our pioneering 'NGO Advocacy, Litigation and Practice' module.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Programme Convenor.


1 year full-time


Home - full-time: £14120
International - full-time: £20460




In addition to LLM International Human Rights, Goldsmiths offers the following LLM programmes:

Highly ranked
We are 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in law (Complete University Guide Law League Table 2024).
Learn from the experts
Our academics dynamically engage with contemporary socio-legal issues informing their teaching and research.
Cutting-edge teaching
You'll learn 21st-century legal skills via a varied approach including placements, field trips, expert talks and experiential learning.

Watch videos about your course

Harvard Law School course

We’re the first law department in the UK to offer students free access to Harvard Law School’s pioneering Zero-L course.

Taught by 18 leading Harvard Law faculty members, it has hours of video lectures, vocabulary, and periodic comprehension checks that you can take at your own pace. The course modules cover a range of topics, including an introduction to the legal profession, a history of the American Constitution, separation of powers and federalism, stages of litigation, and citizenship rights.

Materials developed by Goldsmiths Law academics to support the delivery of Zero-L direct you to key areas of interest in the programme and give you support to understand how Zero-L strengthens your understanding of English law and helps you to develop legal skills.

Clinics, workshops and summer internships

The LLM at Goldsmiths is unique in giving students access to Law and Policy Clinics for credit. In Goldsmiths’ Law and Policy Clinics you'll get to confront challenging societal issues through supervised legal research and public engagement activity. Areas of research and public engagement activity covered by the Clinics include immigration and counter-terrorism law.

You may also choose to take our Applied Legal Theory Workshop or publish human rights stories for leading news platform EachOther with our Knowing our Rights Storytellers initiative.

We also offer our students access to the University of London Refugee Law Clinic, awarded Best Contribution by a Law School in the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2023.

You can choose a placement module as an option and are given access to summer internships with internationally leading faculty.

Welfare benefits course and Legal Advice Centre placements

We give you access to a welfare benefits course provided by the Pro Bono Community organisation. This prepares you for 3-6 month placements in Legal Advice Centres in London. There are 15 placements in Legal Advice Centres available to our students on an annual basis.

The welfare benefits course has 30 spaces annually, and equips you with foundational knowledge in contemporary areas of legal practice – such as benefits for people unable to work due to sickness or disability, universal credit, benefits for migrants, help with housing costs, appeals and advocacy.

The course also has a core introductory element covering the background to Law Centres, legal aid, triage, interview techniques and practical skills.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You must complete the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
International Human Rights Law: Theory and Practice 15 credits
International Human Rights: Advanced Themes and Contemporary Debates 15 credits
International Human Rights Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

You will also choose optional modules to the value of 90 credits. These can be made up exclusively of Department of Law modules, or you may choose to select up to 30 credits from either of the interdisciplinary module lists below (which include human rights options from other social science departments).

Department of Law modules

Module title Credits
Human Rights and Criminal Justice: NGO Advocacy, Litigation, and Practice 15 credits
Advanced Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Domestic, Comparative and International 30 credits
Queer and Feminist Approaches to Law 15 credits
Environmental Challenges, Social Justice and Human Rights 15 credits
Law and Policy Clinic: Human Rights 15 credits
Human Rights Placement 15 credits

Interdisciplinary modules from the Department of Law

Module title Credits
AI, Disruptive Technologies and the Law 15 credits
Art Law 15 credits

Interdisciplinary modules from other social science departments

Option modules from other departments, such as Politics and International Relations and Sociology, are confirmed on an annual basis.

Note about optional modules (if available): The above is indicative of the typical modules offered, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. The module content and availability is subject to change.

Study 21st century law, and law in context

As well as compulsory modules that provide you with a foundational knowledge of human rights law theory and practice, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of specialist human rights modules delivered by the Department of Law. To diversify your studies, you’ll also be able to choose relevant optional modules from other social science departments.

Our curriculum has been built for the 21st-century landscape of law, including subjects from feminist approaches to law to environmental challenges, social justice and human rights.

Active learning

Our students learn the law in action while helping local communities and developing crucial professional skills. Through our placement modules focussing on human rights and criminal justice, or by participating in Law Clinics.

Students currently have the opportunity to learn invaluable practical skills by taking part in the University of London Refugee Law Clinic or the Law and Policy Clinics covering a wide range of topics.

Research seminars and events

Our termly Law & Society research seminar series and annual symposium and lecture will expose you to pioneering research and give you access to world leading scholars and legal professionals. In recent years, these have involved academics from Berkeley Law SchoolStanford Law School and LSE, as well as former UK Supreme Court Judge, Lord Hughes; UK Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Tim Eicke KC; barristers from leading sets; and top academics from fellow UK law schools.

Our vibrant research culture also includes frequent book launches, public talks and research conferences on contemporary subjects, putting you at the centre of cutting-edge research and public policy.

Find out about research milestones in the department on our blog and YouTube channel.

The shadow of the back of a student's head while they're looking at a numbers-based art work

Beyond the Classroom visit to an AI exhibition at 180 Studios.

A large group of Goldsmiths law students exploring the House of Commons

Beyond the Classroom visit to the House of Commons.

'Beyond the Classroom' activities

The Department of Law at Goldsmiths works closely with the Departments of Politics and International Relations, Sociology, Anthropology, Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, and History. The Beyond the Classroom initiative brings together students from across these departments, to immerse them in a range of opportunities, ensuring they make the most of what London has to offer – professionally, culturally, institutionally, and socially. This enables them to have a well-rounded education and outstanding student experience, that further enriches their time studying law at Goldsmiths.

Recent activities have ranged from watching plays at the National Theatre and London's West End, going to film screenings at the British Film Institute and French Institute, and visiting world-leading art galleries, to attending the Cambridge Literary Festival, going to Orwell Foundation and University of London lectures and book talks, visiting the House of Commons, seeing AI and virtual reality exhibitions, attending an architecture awards evening at the Royal Academy of Arts and participating in a cross-departmental debating cup evening.

A group of Law summer school students sitting in the Hellenic Parliament in Greece

Summer school students attending a public law workshop at the Hellenic Parliament in Greece.

Students sitting around desks arranged in a big square shape

Students attending a workshop with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens.

Study abroad, international court visit and our Athens Summer School 

We take our students on an annual international court visit. Read our blog to learn more about:

  • Our visit to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2023, where students attended a Grand Chamber hearing and participated in a workshop with the UK Judge at the Court, Tim Eicke KC
  • The visit in 2024, where in addition to attending a Grand Chamber hearing students engaged with workshops at the Council of Europe and European Parliament (as well as visiting the national library in Paris and going on a legal walk past the Conseil constitutionnel and the Conseil d'État)

We also organise an annual summer school in Athens, in collaboration with leading universities there. The week-long intensive programme:

  • Provides a range of courses (for example in refugee law and migration studies, EU law, criminal law, law and technology)
  • Connects students with high-profile institutions and authorities (such as the British Ambassador and British Council in Greece)
  • Gives students unprecedented access to cultural visits and experiences

Read more about our summer school in Athens in 2022 and 2023.

In recent years, our students have also attended summer schools at the University of Geneva, Amsterdam Law school and Utrecht Law School.

Students are supported through substantial Department of Law scholarships to participate in our summer school, international court visit or other international summer school. Funding is reviewed on a yearly basis. To find out more about funding and other global opportunities at Goldsmiths, visit our Go Abroad pages.

Around 20 law summer school students in a big atrium space at the European Court of Human Rights

Law students attending a Grand Chamber hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.

Twenty law students standing on a step in front of a collection of European flags at the European Parliament

Law students visiting the European Parliament.

Student life and support

You'll belong to a close-knit community, supported by a network that includes academic personal tutors, career advisers, disability officers and other student support staff.

All lectures are delivered in small groups, in a research seminar format. All our modules embed visits to legal London, enabling you to immerse yourself in legal institutions, law firms, and research seminars as well as museums, exhibition spaces, theatre plays and cinema screenings that allow you to explore law from a multidimensional perspective. The legal, institutional and cultural experiences you will gain studying law in London at Goldsmiths will stay with you forever.

Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos is Goldsmiths' inaugural Professor of Law. His focus is on comparative criminal evidence and procedure, with emphasis on how human rights norms in criminal justice are applied in national jurisdictions across different legal cultures, particularly in the Anglo-American and Continental European legal cultures. He publishes on topics including police interrogation and suspects' rights, police searches, electronic surveillance and unlawfully obtained evidence. He is an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Leading researchers

You'll have unique access to influential legal thinkers who have undertaken high-level legal and policy work in government departments, international courts, prestigious research centres, boutique law firms and some of the top NGOs and human rights organisations in the UK.

Expertise across discliplines

At Goldsmiths, we believe that an interdisciplinary approach can bring fresh perspectives and insights to contemporary issues. The LLM International Human Rights degree draws on expertise from across a range of disciplines at Goldsmiths, to contextualise your knowledge and provide specialist option modules.

Visiting Professors

The course also features contributions from some of the UK's foremost experts on human rights law, with Visiting Professors including:

Visiting Professor and leading human rights barrister, Adam Wagner, teaching the Equality Act, drawing on his expertise as counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Head of Goldsmiths Law Department with esteemed Visiting Professor Dominic Grieve KC, former Attorney General for England and Wales.


Preparing you for a successful future

The LLM equips you with advanced knowledge and expertise in specialist areas of law, putting you in a strong position to pursue professional legal practice (in the UK and internationally).

It will also open up diverse career paths in other areas of professional practice associated with law, or quickly advance you to the position where you will choose to undertake a PhD as your next academic destination.

Employment opportunities you may take up following the LLM include:

  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service
  • NGO expert
  • Criminal justice expert
  • Member of the Civil Service or a government organisation

Collaborations, placements and partnerships

Partnerships with leading organisations

Cutting-edge collaborations with global law firms, government organisations, local councils, NGOs, think tanks and academics in world-leading universities support the delivery of all our programmes, exposing you to unique opportunities to grow a strong awareness of future career destinations and develop dynamic professional networks throughout your degree.

These include: 

And many others.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a degree in law, a related social science discipline (such as criminology, politics and international relations, sociology, anthropology, media and communications, economics or psychology), or a humanities degree (such as English, history, philosophy or art).

We also accept applications from people with professional, transferrable experience working in:

  • NGOs
  • Charities
  • Criminal justice and human rights organisations
  • Journalism
  • The civil service or other governmental position

Students will normally be expected to have an upper second-class honours degree or its equivalent.

There is some flexibility where applicants demonstrate exceptional commitment or abilities to study for the degree because of their possession of other qualifications, or because they have relevant experiences that would qualify them for the programme.


International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate study.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the PG fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £14120
  • International - full-time: £20460

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Funding opportunities

Goldsmiths LLM Fee Waiver

Goldsmiths alumni going on to study one of the LLM pathways in the Department of Law will be eligible for this additional fee waiver. Find out about the Goldsmiths LLM Fee Waiver.

Other Goldsmiths scholarships

Explore the Goldsmiths scholarships finder to find out what other funding you may be eligible for.

Other funding sources

  • If you are a UK student you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan
  • Meanwhile our Careers Service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies

Paying your fees

Find out about paying your tuition fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

To complete your application, you will need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • A personal statement

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Read our guide to applying for a postgraduate degree at Goldsmiths.

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