Human rights mobilise millions of supporters across borders, inspiring passion and hope. And they operate at and between all the scales involved in globalisation: local, national, international, transnational.
They are moral claims to justice. Although often associated with law, human rights are not the same as legal rights – human rights can be claimed where no legal rights are codified, even if changes in the law are invariably called for as part of attempts to realise human rights in practice.
Human rights are carried by different actors:
- grassroots social movements, small Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and huge International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs)
- lawyers and judges
- bureaucrats and experts in Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) even, sometimes, national politicians
- journalists, novelists, translators, artists, filmmakers
These different actors are often at odds with each other in defining and defending particular justifications of what human rights are and should be.
In this Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice programme, offered by Goldsmiths, University of London , you will learn about how human rights are constructed, exploring framings of human rights through case studies; and you will begin to practice some of the methodologies and methods that are currently used in NGOs and grassroots activist networks trying to remedy global injustices.
The focus on culture that runs through the programme makes for an emphasis on concrete, situated practices and meanings. Can human rights contribute to a global culture in which injustices figure as ‘wrongs’? Or are human rights invariably skewed, constructing injustices in ways that suit international elites better than they suit people who are suffering? Do human rights do violence to local cultures? Are they an appropriate response to local violence? In this MA we contextualise the study of how human rights are constructed in micro-processes, in the media and face-to-face in relation to debates over macro-structures, processes of globalisation and the institutions of global governance.
In terms of social justice, the MA is set up to study human rights beyond narrow, legalistic definitions. We look at what really makes a difference in terms of realising human rights in practice. Can human rights really be constructed in ways that challenge and overturn established social structures? Can rights be claimed in such a way that they can really protect us as human beings against the ‘creative destruction’ of global capitalism, state repression, the subjugation of women, and hatred and violence against minorities of all kinds – sexual, ethnic, religious?
As issues of globalisation and justice are frequently in the media, and government policy in the UK, US, and elsewhere in Europe is now supposed to be guided by considerations of humanitarianism and human rights, there is a need for graduates with knowledge of human rights.
There are openings for careers in organisations including charities, humanitarian and human rights NGOs and even multi-national corporations, many of which are now concerned with their image in terms of human rights.
Get more detailsVisit official programme website
- Constructing Human Rights
- Researching Human Rights
Check out the full curriculumVisit official programme website
- 12 months
- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- StartingApply anytime.
complete your application as early as possible
DisciplinesSociology International Law View 551 other Masters in Sociology in United Kingdom
Explore more key informationVisit official programme website
Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:
- Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
- Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
- Home contents and baggage
- Legal aid
We partnered with Aon to provide you with the best affordable student insurance, for a carefree experience away from home.Get your student insurance now
Start from €0.53/day, free cancellation any time.
Remember, countries and universities may have specific insurance requirements. To learn more about how student insurance work at Goldsmiths, University of London and/or in United Kingdom, please visit Student Insurance Portal.
- You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.
- You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
Make sure you meet all requirementsVisit official programme website
International18290 GBP/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 18290 GBP per year during 12 months.
National9260 GBP/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 9260 GBP per year during 12 months.
- National - part-time: £4630
Living costs for London
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.
Double-check all feesVisit official programme website
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.