Scholarships | UK Human Rights Masters

January 2, 2019

New master's degree scholarships available for the MA in Understanding & Securing Human Rights at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. 

The MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights is the longest-running interdisciplinary, practice-orientated human rights master’s degree programme in the UK.

It was established in 1995 in collaboration with Amnesty International to provide scholarly and practical training for future human rights defenders. Located in Bloomsbury, the intellectual heart of London, it offers students easy access to world-class libraries and facilities, and proximity to a wide range of NGOs working on human rights. The degree aims to develop students as human rights practitioners and to enable them to engage with the intellectual and philosophical foundations of human rights. 

This programme is: 

  • Intellectually rigorous, engaging with human rights debates at the forefront of scholarly research
  • Career-orientated, aiming to develop the next generation of human rights defenders, advocates and researchers through an emphasis on building practical skills, including campaigning, fundraising, and research—all of which are important for work as a human rights practitioner
  • Cutting-edge, seeking to widen the frame of human rights debates by looking at emerging issues, such as the impact of environmental destruction on human rights
  • Policy-orientated, exploring human rights issues from a practical, solution-based perspective as well as a scholarly one

For more information see

The degree brings together insights on human rights from a range of disciplines, including law, international relations and sociology. This unique interdisciplinary approach provides students with an extensive and diverse range of perspectives with which to understand contemporary human rights challenges. 

The nearly 850 graduates of the MA in Human Rights have gone on to work for an impressive range of organisations, including major international NGOs like Friends of the Earth, Anti-Slavery International and Amnesty International, businesses like Primark and Sainsbury’s, and UN organisations like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

This programme is also available to study online, in collaboration with the University of London International Programmes. Find out more here

Two bursaries are also available for students on the distance learning course. See more information about the SAS Activist Scholar Bursary here.


Scholarships for the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights

The James Manor Bursary honours Professor James Manor, who has been long associated with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and who had a pivotal role in founding the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. It provides up to 50% of tuition fees for students enrolled on the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Part-time students are eligible for this award, although it is not automatically granted for each year of study and awardees will need to re-apply for the award prior to their second year. Four bursaries are available and are awarded on a competitive basis according to the academic potential of the applicant, with preference given to students with demonstrated financial need. The scheme is open to UK, EU, and overseas students. More information on the James Manor Bursary.

The Routledge Studentship is an annual award for a student undertaking the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. It was created by Routledge, publisher of The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, to mark The Round Table’s close connections with the Institute and to celebrate the achievements of Dr Peter Lyon, long-time editor of the journal and Reader in International Relations at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. In addition to a 50% fee waiver, the awardee receives £12,000 that can be applied to maintenance costs. Please note that this award is available only to overseas students. More information on the Routledge Studentship.

The Yusuf Ali Scholarship is available to students of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi descent who have applied for the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Awards range in value between £3,000 and £14,000, depending on financial need. The decision to make an award depends on the excellence of the applicant’s academic and professional experience. More information on the Yusuf Ali Scholarship.

The School of Advanced Study Activist Scholar Bursary is available to students studying the MA in Understanding and Securing Human rights via online learning. There are two bursaries available, worth 50% of module fees (currently equates to £4,050). Applications are assessed on academic potential, financial need and voluntary or professional activism in the field of human rights. Find out more about the Activist Scholar Bursary.