Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Human Rights

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30092
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit will look generally at theories of human rights and human right protection substantively in both domestic law the European system established by the Council of Europe from which it is drawn. Topics will include: Philosophical foundations and theories of human rights; Critical Approaches to Human Rights; International Human Rights; Regional Human Rights with the focus on The Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, and European Convention on Human Rights; Human Rights in the UK; Right to Life; Freedom from Torture, Cruel Inhuman and Degrading Treatment; Freedom from Interference with Private and Family Life; Freedom of Expression; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Pre-requisites: This course is combined with a postgraduate course and is restricted to Second and Final year students only on LLB and BA programmes within the Law Department and those postgraduate programmes approved by the Politics Department.


To enable students to achieve a thorough knowledge of human rights law in Europe and the UK, a subject that has been, and remains, highly topical with impacts in almost all walks of life. To develop students' critical insight in a unique branch of law dealing with contemporary humanitarian problems and understanding the need to establish and continually develop human rights to address those problems.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the essence of human rights law in all its diversity of application and origin.
  • Explain and critically evaluate the nature of human rights law.
  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of the substantive rights covered in the course.- Demonstrate understanding of, and comparative ability in relation to, the different human rights and their application.
  • Apply their knowledge of human rights law to contemporary events, and provide evaluations of those events from a human rights perspective.
  • Acquire a sense of the moral value of human rights principles and agendas.
  • Characterise legal disputes as containing human rights implications or not, and identify juridical characteristics and practical dilemmas peculiar to human rights law.
  • Assess the efficacy of human rights law in general in the UK.
  • Apply their knowledge to relevant questions of an academic nature in accordance with the demands of legal examinations.

Teaching and learning methods

30 hours of lectures (or blended learning equivalent) and five hours of (fortnightly) seminars.

The course is combined with a postgraduate course and available to undergraduate law students only.

Only lectures (or equivalent) will be delivered in common; course outlines and codes, seminars and assessment will be ENTIRELY SEPARATE from those for the postgraduate politics cohort, to reflect the different level of study.

Additional materials and content will be provided to address the lack of legal skills training afforded to the postgraduate politics cohort. This will cover key terminology, referencing of case law and statutory provisions, and appendices to the 'core' content addressing any matters where prior legal knowledge might be required.

Seminars will be seminar taker led with group discussions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback given during seminars and feedback from non-assessed work completed in preparation for seminars.

Formative Written assignment (inc essay)

Outlines of issues will be provided after the release of marks.

Recommended reading

NO PRELIMINARY READING REQUIRED Information about texts will be given at the start of the course.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Seminars 5

Additional notes

Office hours - 10

Coursework titles will be provided with optionality as to topic chosen for all students.

This course is available to incoming study abroad students.

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