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Human Rights and Diplomacy, M.Sc.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
University rank #478 (QS) ,
The Human Rights and Diplomacy programme offered at University of Stirling is taught in partnership with the leading training body of the United Nations: the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).


This is the only Human Rights and Diplomacy programme, in the world taught in partnership with the leading training body of the United Nations: the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), offered at University of Stirling. During this one-year Master’s, you will be taught both by top human rights researchers using academic work they have published, and by experienced human rights practitioners from the UN. 

Course objectives

  • Explain, analyse and apply international human rights law in both theory and practice
  • Engage in the theoretical framework of diplomacy, its history and the development of international relations
  • Engage and debate critiques of human rights
  • Draft documents and possess the skills needed to negotiate their progress in a range of human rights institutions
  • Find your way within the United Nations Institutions working on human rights matters and local NGOs
  • Apply a wide range of theoretical and practical methods to human rights research, activism and politics


  • Our MSc Human Rights and Diplomacy course has a strong focus on employability.
  • Students who successfully undertake an internship or professional project will gain hands-on experience of human rights diplomacy, backed up by the academic theoretical and legal knowledge developed in the spring and summer modules. Students will also be well placed to pursue an academic career by continuing onto PhD or commensurate research career possibilities, a route that will be further supported by undertaking the traditional academic dissertation.
  • Work in the UN institutions or in NGOs are clear options for graduates of this course, and the networked development of the internship or professional project you apply for will be coordinated by UNITAR and Stirling staff together as a strong route into such employment. Likewise, graduates of the programme will be well placed for employment in the private sector. There is an increasing focus on business and human rights and companies seeking to align with international best practice, including compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals and international human rights obligations. Graduates in both human rights and diplomacy will be best placed as future leaders in terms of emerging best practice.
  • Through this programme, you will become reflective practitioners with an in-depth knowledge of current issues and developments within human rights. You will display the  attributes necessary to thrive in the work place, with highly developed communication, team-working and problem-solving skills gained through practical work informed by critical analysis and in-depth specialist knowledge.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Human Rights in Practice
  • Human Rights Theory
  • Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflicts 
  • Humanitarian Studies 
  • International Negotiation 
  • Approaches to Human Rights
  • Skills for the International Human Rights Institutions
  • Preparation for Independent Working

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • A minimum of a second class honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    16950 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16950 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    7500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7500 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Stirling

  • 660 - 1140 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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