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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

The course is intended to offer insights into the dynamics of the development of international human rights law. It provides advanced instruction in several key aspects of international human rights law (freedom from torture, freedom of religion, social rights, right to self-determination, etc.) in order to develop a critical understanding of the protection of human rights at the global level. It also seeks to shed light on the way the forces of globalisation and global civil society activism shape the conditions under which human rights law can be created and maintained.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mátyás Bodig

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Legal Studies (Ma Honours) (LX) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims

To develop the students’ interest in, and knowledge of, international human rights law;
To provide advanced instruction in several key aspects of international human rights law, including the effects of globalisation on human rights law;
To develop a critical understanding of the protection of human rights at the global level.

Main Learning Outcomes

Students will:

Develop a familiarity with the literature and legal sources of international human rights law which will enable them to keep their specialist knowledge up to date;
Become aware of the problems relating to the effectiveness and enforcement of global human rights law;
Acquire a knowledge of both the United Nations system and regional systems in the field of human rights;
Become aware of the sources of international human rights law at the universal level and at regional levels;
Become aware of the limitations of international human rights protection;
Learn to organise their own learning programme and manage their time effectively;
Be able to assimilate large amount of material and extract from it relevant information to successfully prepare for and complete each seminar and written assignment;
Be able to listen effectively in class; and
Be able to express ideas cogently orally and in writing.

Course Content

Introductory lecture:   What is international human rights law?
Seminar 1:   The development of international human rights law and its enforcement mechanisms
Seminar 2:      Globalisations and the political dynamics of human rights development
Seminar 3:      Civil and political rights I: Freedom from torture
Seminar 4:      Civil and political rights II: Freedom of religion
Seminar 5:      Economic and social rights I: State obligations to implement social rights
Seminar 6:      Economic and social rights II: The justiciability of social rights
Seminar 7:      Collective rights: The right to self-determination  

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

15 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt

1 three hour written examination (70%) and continuous assessment (3000 word essay) (30%).

Formative Assessment

1000-word written answer to a set question


Written feedback on coursework will be provided on the Law School’s Feedback Form within three weeks of submission. The possibility of feedback meeting concerning both coursework and the exam will be offered to the students.

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