UCC Postgraduate courses

Law LLM (International Human Rights Law & Public Policy)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Law LLM (International Human Rights Law & Public Policy)

  • Code


  • College

    Business and Law

  • Duration

    1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees

    Full-time €7,130; Part-time €3,630 (Year 1), €3,630 (Year 2)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees


  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Open for EU applications, check rounds closing under How to Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    30 June 2023

  • Start Date

    11 September 2023

Course Outline

Our LLM engages students in the practice and policy context of human rights law internationally.

The course offers students a wide range of human rights law courses taught by leading experts in their field. It includes interdisciplinary teaching and a unique International Human Rights clinical module which focuses on essential human rights lawyering skills, including oral and written advocacy (legal and policy), strategic litigation, fact-finding and development.

The course will be of interest to students and practitioners from a range of different fields including:

  • Law
  • Social policy
  • Political science
  • Public administration
  • Development
  • History
  • International relations social sciences

Applicants for the LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) degree also have the option of registering for a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law and Human Rights. Students take 60 credits of taught masters’ modules from those on offer for the LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy). The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed over 9 months full-time or 18 months part-time. 

This shorter programme may be attractive to legal professionals and others who may prefer not to make an initial commitment to a full master’s programme. Graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma may further progress their studies by completing a 15,000-word research dissertation and graduating with a Master's in Law (LLM).  

Full-time: Students take 90 credits.

Part-time: Students take 90 credits, completing a total of 40 credits in Year 1 and 50 credits (including LW6571) in Year 2.

Core Modules (55 credits)

  • LW6571 LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) Dissertation (30 credits)
  • LW6606 International Human Rights Law (10 credits)
  • LW6633 Public International Law (5 credits)
  • LW6648 Human Rights Law in Practice (Clinic) (10 credits)

Elective Modules

Students take modules to the value of 35 credits from the list of electives set out below. At least 30 of those credits must be chosen from List A. (Note: The maximum total of 35 credits may be chosen from List A). Students may, if they wish, apply to take up to 5 credits from List B.

List A: choose at least 30 credits from the following:

  • LW6544 Criminology (5 credits)
  • LW6545 Penology (10 credits)
  • LW6546 Juvenile Justice (10 credits)
  • LW6549 International Children's Rights (10 credits)
  • LW6550 International Criminal Law (10 credits)
  • LW6560 Law of Cybercrime (10 credits)
  • LW6566 Contemporary Issues in International Law (5 credits)
  • LW6568 The Family and the Law (10 credits)
  • LW6592 Mental Capacity Law (5 credits)
  • LW6618 Climate Change Law and Policy (5 credits)
  • LW6619 Alternative Dispute Resolution: Processes and Practice (5 credits)
  • LW6623 Global Maritime Security (5 credits)
  • LW6627 International Environmental Law (5 credits)
  • LW6634 Refugee and Forced Displacement Law (10 credits)
  • PH6012 Human Rights (10 credits)

List B: choose 5 credits from the following:

  • LW2208 Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (5 credits)


¹ Students may not choose an undergraduate module if they have already taken that module or equivalent subject matter at undergraduate level. ² In certain cases, with the permission of the Programme Director, students may elect to take up to 10 credits from the modules available in the LLM (Taught) (other than those above) (see here) in substitution for 10 credits of the elective modules listed above.

It may be that not all modules listed above will be offered each year and/or other options may become available.

In order to ensure a reasonable distribution of workload, when choosing modules for all programmes, students should take a balance of credits between Semester 1 and Semester 2. Students who wish to deviate from this rule must seek permission from their Programme Director. 

Examinations Full details of regulations governing Examinations for each programme will be contained in the Marks and Standards 2022/2023 Book and for each module in the Book of Modules.

Submission of LLM Dissertation The LLM dissertation must be submitted for examination at the Winter Board, on a date in September to be specified by the School of Law at the commencement of the programme.

Exit Award: Postgraduate Certificate in International Law (NFQ Level 9 Minor Award) Upon successful completion of taught modules to the value of 30 credits that meet the requirements of the Postgraduate Certificate in International Law (see here), students may opt not to proceed with the programme and exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in International Law.

Exit award: Postgraduate Diploma in Law (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award) Upon successful completion of taught modules to the value of 60 credits, registered LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) students may opt not to proceed with the programme and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy).



Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

LLM classes are in a seminar format. This participative and interactive format of teaching is suitable for postgraduate level.

You will receive advance reading lists and/or materials for each seminar.

Seminars take place in two-hour blocks between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday. 10 credit modules run for 12 weeks and 5 credit modules run for 6 weeks.


Students complete 90 credits over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. Students take 55 credits of compulsory modules and choose 35 credits from the list of optional modules. 


You will be examined by continuous assessment throughout the year and your dissertation must be submitted in September.  Individual module assessments can be viewed in the Book of Modules.

Why Choose This Course

This course is of relevance to legal practitioners, policymakers and civil society actors across a range of fields. You will benefit from a series of guest seminars and workshops with key actors in the human rights movement.

It will provide you with the skills and qualification necessary to pursue an international career with international organisations, governments, UN bodies, European Human Rights bodies and in legal practice. The course includes a unique International Human Rights clinic core module.

Students engage in the practice and policy context of human rights law and also focus on essential human rights lawyering skills, including oral and written advocacy (legal and policy) strategic litigation, fact-finding and development.

Top 100 ranking

UCC School of Law has been ranked among the world's best Law Schools in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject, climbing 25 places to 75th in the world and to 1st in Ireland.


Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will be supported in applying for and securing internships and placements internationally and nationally in the field of human rights. The School of Law has an active summer placement course and excellent links with international organizations, public bodies and NGOs.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this course have pursued careers with international organisations, in legal practice, in policy bodies and in aid and development.  Testimonials from former UCC Law graduates, please see here.


For entry to this course you must be approved by the Faculty of Law and must normally:

  • hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours Law degree (NFQ, Level 8)
  • or have such other relevant third-level educational qualifications and/or professional experience as, in the opinion of the School of Law, qualifies you under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to undertake the LLM (International Human Rights Lawand Public Policy) Degree.
  • If you are an overseas candidate you are welcome to apply and your qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis as above. Non-EU applicants should contact the International Education Office by email at: Internationalpostgrad@ucc.ie for application details.


For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is Full-time €7,130; Part-time €3,630 (Year 1), €3,630 (Year 2).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €17,900.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment 

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment 

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie.

How Do I Apply

1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please enter the names and email addresses of 2 referees. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact