Postgraduate - Course

print version

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Law

Managing facultyLaw
Abbreviated titleMasterHumanRightsLaw
CRICOS code055071G
Total credit points required48
Standard duration of study (years)1 year FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (City (Melbourne))
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) or visit

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Moira Paterson


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


This course provides advanced offerings in this area for both graduates in law and graduates in disciplines other than law. The extensive range of units enables students to develop and enhance their knowledge across the breadth of human rights law, which is becoming increasingly important in industry, the media and government. The program is also attractive for those who seek employment by human rights related organisations such as international organisations, domestic and international, non-government organisations (NGOs) and development agencies.The graduate program focuses upon both a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles of human rights law and its practical application as well as addressing advanced and current issues from both a local and international perspective.


This course seeks to provide students with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the international and domestic human rights legal framework, the organisations that promote and protect it, and the mechanisms and processes by which it is enforced, and the interpretation of human rights laws. Graduates will also develop high-level skills in interpreting and analysing primary and secondary human rights materials, including treaties, treaty body decisions, domestic jurisprudence and scholarly commentary, and will be able to present well-researched arguments in a clear, coherent and scholarly manner.


The course comprises eight 6-point coursework units or a combination of coursework units and a minor thesis.

Areas of study


Students must complete one of the following options:

  • a minimum of five coursework units in the area of human rights law. The remaining coursework units may be taken from the approved list of law units.
  • four coursework units with at least one unit in the area of human rights law and a minor thesis of 25,000-30,000 words on an approved topic in the area.
  • six coursework units with at least three units in the area of human rights law and a minor thesis of 12,000-15,000 words on an approved topic in the area.

In order to qualify to undertake one of the minor thesis options, a student must have achieved a minimum of 70 per cent in each of the coursework units undertaken. Information on the minor thesis option is available on the Enrolment guidelines and process for postgraduate minor thesisEnrolment guidelines and process for postgraduate minor thesis ( webpage. Refer to the 'Areas of study' for more information on units available.

Additional course requirements and recommendation:

  • Domestic students with a degree in a discipline other than law will be required to complete the unit LAW7212 Australian legal system.
  • International students and those with a law degree from a non-Australian jurisdiction must complete the unit LAW7436 Australian legal process and research.

Not all units may be available in every year. Further information is available on the faculty website regarding law units and specialisationslaw units and specialisations ( and the current postgraduate law timetablecurrent postgraduate law timetable (

Alternative exit(s)

Students may exit with a Graduate Diploma in Law providing all requirements for that award have been met.


Master of Human Rights Law