About this program
MA Human Rights, Culture & Social Justice
This MA examines contemporary issues concerning justice. You will learn how to conceptualise and study the possibilities of human rights, going beyond legal formulations to look at the conditions in which human rights claims are made.
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 aspart ofattempts 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 Masters 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?
This course covers the following disciplines: sociology, politics, anthropology, law,geography, English, literature, cultural studies, criminology
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 arent 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.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more aboutthe qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isnt your first language, you will need an IELTS score (orequivalent English language qualification) of6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range ofcourses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website
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- Constructing Human Rights
- Researching Human Rights
- Department of Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies
- Department of Anthropology
- Department of Politics and International Relations
- Department of English and Creative Writing
- Department of Music
- Department of Educational Studies
- Practising Human Rights
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.
- Local students - full-time: £8990
- Local students - part-time: £4495
- International Students- full-time: £17760
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.
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About this institute
Goldsmiths, University of London
With an academic legacy dating back to 1891, Goldsmiths has a rich heritage in the arts and creative disciplines and offers degrees in subjects from the humanities and social sciences to computing and law. Students at Goldsmiths are encouraged to...
Why study at Goldsmiths, University of London
At Goldsmiths we're constantly exploring, questioning and reshaping the world. You can challenge yourself through our innovative degrees and world-leading academics that will inspire you to see the world differently.
At Goldsmiths you’ll change how you think and be inspired to develop fresh ideas and new approaches to your studies. We champion degrees that provoke thought and stretch the imagination. That’s why so many of our former students are leading the way in reshaping the sociocultural landscape on a global scale.
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