POL41030 Theory of Human Rights

Academic Year 2023/2024

Human rights play a peculiar role in contemporary national and international affairs. They are, first and foremost, moral rights that all human beings should be guaranteed, but they also require implementation in positive law and institutions. This module will examine some of the most prominent theories of rights and examine some of the problems that arise from human rights talk and human rights implementation. These include various challenges to the idea of human rights, conflicts between rights, human rights and democracy and the relation between human rights and distributive justice.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course, students will: be familiar with the main theories of human rights, be able to analyse and present normative political arguments, be able to formulate their own views and write a structured critical essay on a module topic.

Indicative Module Content:

Theories of human rights.
Human rights and development.
Human rights and justice.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Seminars with student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: Essay II - up to 5000 words Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Essay: Essay I - up to 5000 words Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided to students within 20 working days of the deadline for the assignment in according with university policy.