MA in Development and Human Rights


Read more about this programme on the school's website

Programme Description

The MA in Development and Human Rights combines insights from the fields of development studies, politics, and international law.

You will examine critical global issues facing 21st-century societies through a dynamic course that combines theoretical and applied perspectives.

Taught by leading experts, you will apply legal theory, political insights and specialist research and planning tools in the analysis of the interface between human development and human rights in international public policy, including aid policy.

Why Development and Human Rights at Swansea?

Swansea University’s MA Development and Human Rights programme is a relatively unique and distinctive programme that differs from conventional LLM Human Rights programmes, especially in its interdisciplinary nature and its commitment to both academic and professional training.

Based on our stunning Singleton Park campus, in parkland overlooking Swansea Bay on the edge of the Gower Peninsula, we have the expertise and full range of modern facilities to ensure your learning experience is positive. Swansea University’s Gold status in the UK government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise underlines our strong teaching culture and commitment to the student learning experience.

Your Development and Human Rights Experience

You will complete six 20-credit modules in Part 1 of the programme before completing a 60-credit dissertation project in Part 2.

Four of the six modules are compulsory:

  • International Human Rights Law
  • Rights-Based Approaches to Development
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention
  • Conceptual Issues in the Social Sciences

You will also complete two additional modules from a range of options. These include Violence, Conflict and Development; Civil Society and International Development; Introduction to Development Studies; Tools for International Development Planning; Critical Security Studies; Post-Colonialism, Orientalism and Eurocentrism; the State of Africa; International Security in the Asia-Pacific; and Gender, Society and Politics in the Middle-East and North Africa.

Development and Human Rights Employment Opportunities

The course will provide you with a thorough grounding in the interface between human rights and human development in international public policy and in international law. In addition, you will develop your critical analytical skills and specialists skills in planning tools used in professional practice.

Graduates from this course are well placed to enter professional employment, working with foreign or aid ministries, in national public sectors, or with other humanitarian organisations, including inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Entry Requirements

The typical entry requirement is a first degree in a relevant discipline, normally a 2:2 with a minimum of 55% overall.  Overseas students are expected to possess an IELTS score of 6.5.

Careers and Employability

Careers and Employability Swansea Employability Academy (SEA) will support you at each stage of your career journey helping you build a bright future.

Our career support services include:

  • Employability workshops, employers’ talks, bespoke events and careers fairs.
  • Individual advice and guidance from professionally qualified Careers Advisers.
  • Help with finding jobs, internships, work placements and volunteering opportunities.
  • Access to information resources on a wide range of career management topics.
  • Funding to support student internship opportunities and Student Society/Club events.

We also provide help and advice for Swansea University Alumni up to two years after you graduate.


Swansea University was named University of the Year in the 2019 Whatuni Student Choice Awards for the second time in five years. As well as being crowned University of the Year, Swansea University took the top spot in the International category and placed top three in the Postgraduate, and Course and Lecturers categories. The Whatuni Student Choice Awards are voted for entirely by students, with more than 41,000 reviews and comments submitted from more than 160 UK institutions.

In the prestigious Guardian University Guide 2021, we are placed 24th in the UK  and have won the Welsh University of the Year title for the second time in three years, cementing our position as Wales’ leading higher education institution.

We place our students at the heart of everything. As a result, we achieved a gold rating, the highest rating possible, in the national Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) and are ranked 6th in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey for 2020.

Our stunning waterfront campuses make us a desirable location for students and staff from around the world, and our multicultural community provides a global perspective, enabling those who join us to develop skills and knowledge that set them on successful and enriching careers.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Swansea University is a research-led university that has been making a difference since 1920. The University community thrives on exploration and discovery, and offers the right balance of excellent t ... Read More

Swansea University is a research-led university that has been making a difference since 1920. The University community thrives on exploration and discovery, and offers the right balance of excellent teaching and research, matched by an enviable quality of life. Read Less