Programme Specification: MSc Human Rights 1. Awarding Body 2. Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body e.g. ESRC; BPS etc) 3. Name of final award 4. Programme Title 5. Duration of the Course 6. Based in the Department/Institute: 7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark statements 8. Application Code 9. First written/Last amended LSE N/A MSc Human Rights Full-year programme. Department of Sociology/Centre for the Study of Human Rights N/A L3U9 October 2003 / December 2012 11. The programme aims to: provide students with the opportunity to study human rights at graduate level in a multidisciplinary way, drawing on staff with expertise in political philosophy, sociology and international and domestic law, and also further afield across other disciplines in the School; deliver an imaginative and interesting graduate course taught by research-active staff, who are internationally renowned in their fields; provide the opportunity for students to extend their knowledge and understanding in areas of special interest related to human rights; provide a thorough coverage of the most significant recent developments in human rights and enable students to specialise in particular areas, developing their critical skills and advancing their knowledge of the subject; provide the students with the knowledge and skills to be able to make a significant contribution to the practice of human rights in their chosen fields which might be, for example, in international organisations, in the NGO sector, in professional practice, in government or through further study and scholarship. 11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes At the end of the programme, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: the historical, philosophical and legal background to and the development of modern human rights; the contributions and limits of various disciplines to the theory and practice of human rights; key contemporary issues and actors in human rights nationally and internationally; specialist human rights topics relevant to a student’s chosen option courses the inter-relationship between human rights scholarship and the impact of human rights issues in several western and non-western contexts. human rights legal instruments, principles and case law, whether or not student has a legal qualification Students will additionally be able to: Critically apply knowledge and understanding they have gained to provide in-depth analysis and research in a focused human rights area using approaches from more than one academic discipline; Skills and other attributes ability to apply intellectual reasoning and critical and analytical skills from an inter- and multidisciplinary human rights perspective to the analysis of social issues and problems ability to demonstrate analytical and critical skills in producing and completing successfully a sustained piece of research ability to use a variety of relevant library databases, research tools and referencing systems; ability to write concise academic essays on topics related to human rights (three such essays, one examinable, required from each student taking the core course) ability to make oral contributions in class, including demonstration of presentation skills; For further information relating to careers. 12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated Teaching and learning Teaching on the MSc Human Rights programme combines lectures and seminars. The seminars are designed to be participatory and employ a variety of methods of learning and teaching, including student presentations, small group work, large class debates, analysis of reading and documents and other associated methods. While lecture-based teaching is largely instructional, it also provides opportunities for student input. Seminar teaching involves a combination of teacher and student input; Scheduled dissertation workshops provide structured and student-centered learning based on active student participation, contributions and problem solving. Individual dissertation supervisions and dissertation ‘clinics’ provide more detailed specialist advice and guidance. For example, students receive assistance from an academic advisor/dissertation supervisor in preparing their dissertations and other staff with the cross-disciplinary specialist knowledge may be consulted as necessary. In particular, the cross-departmental Centre Advisory Board may be called upon for additional meetings with MSc Human Rights students; A sophisticated Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) is used both for the core course and for MSc Human Rights programme as a whole and this provides orientation, curriculumrelated, careers related and public event information that is regularly updated; Students can apply to the MSc funds to conduct fieldwork (including attending relevant events abroad) that would be beneficial to the preparation of a successful dissertation; Students have access to the Centre’s library of specialist human rights texts and to the Centre’s meeting room; Additional non-compulsory ‘master classes’ and guest practitioner seminars in human rights are also offered by the Centre across all three teaching terms. These may involve seminars, taught courses in advocacy or practice areas and discussion events led by specialist human rights practitioners and academics who are typically undertaking cutting-edge work in their field; A wide-ranging program of high profile public events is also offered at the Centre, often followed by receptions whereby students can meet well-known human rights figures; A series of career related events are also organised in conjunction with the LSE Careers’ Service and with MSc Human Rights Alumni. Assessment strategies The assessment strategies are appropriate to and test the programme learning outcomes and are based on a mixed mode of assessment that combines formative and summative work, the latter undertaken through a combination of assessed coursework and seen or unseen examinations (as relevant to the core course and the options selected.) It is a requirement that students pass the MSc Human Rights taught core course (one full unit), SO424 Approaches to Human Rights, in order to achieve a pass level for the degree. The Department of Sociology mark frame (the assessment and grading criteria) specify the demonstration of knowledge and understanding and the application of critical, analytical abilities, among other skills and attributes that are to be demonstrated. The options courses are selected by students from a carefully selected and restricted list that reflects the interdisciplinary nature and human rights focus of the programme; For SO424 Approaches to Human Rights, students undertake formative assessment in the form of two written essays for which they receive structured feedback. Summative assessment for the core course, SO424 Approaches to Human Rights, is by an assessed essay and an unseen three hour exam. The latter paper structured in a way that tests learning outcomes relevant to the interdisciplinary nature of the course and programme (for example, students are required to answer at least one question related to legal and sociological / political philosophy areas); Formative assessment also takes place in relation to the student’s progress in developing their dissertation: students are required to submit a dissertation proposal and attend and submit work during dissertation workshops. They also receive feedback on their dissertation progress during individual dissertation supervisions. The dissertation also tests the students application of knowledge and understanding drawn from various elements of the taught core course and other knowledge and understanding they have gained in specialist areas (such as from options courses or their own independent; Summative assessment for options courses is typically by a combination of coursework and seen or unseen examinations. This mode of assessment is appropriate for the interdisciplinary nature of the programme and is intended to demonstrate the application of knowledge and understanding and a range of other critical and analytical skills and attributes. 13.Programme structures and requirements, levels modules and awards. See the MSc Human Rights programme Regulations Additional Information 14.Criteria for admission to the programme Applicants with good first degrees in any discipline, with a considered interest in the area covered by the MSc will be welcomed. 15.Indicators of quality A strong indicator of quality is student demand for the programme, which has increased steadily since inception: the programme regularly receives between 250 and 300 well-qualified international applicants who identify this programme as their first choice course of study at the LSE. Applicants typically would have studied previously at high or very high ranking academic institutions across the world. The programme and its core course regularly receives very positive student feedback in the annual survey of teaching quality. Graduates from the programme are regularly accepted onto prestigious doctoral programmes at prestigious universities in the UK, US, Europe and elsewhere. A further indicator of quality relates to a large and lively alumni community that meets annually at the LSE and continues to promote the programme to prospective students. External examiners reports have been consistently positive regarding programme quality over many years and the teaching team is highly responsive regarding external examiner recommendations. Both the LSE and the Department of Sociology are regularly placed in very high positions in external assessments of teaching quality and student satisfaction. For example, the 2011 Complete University Guide placed LSE Sociology as third when universities are ranked by subject; The Guardian University Guide 2012 placed LSE Sociology as second nationally; The Times Good University Guide 2010 placed the Sociology Department as fifth in terms of student satisfaction. The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE graduates. 16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and learning Departmental-wide mechanisms include: A Staff-Student Liaison Committee which meets termly to report on any matters relating to the programme, issues of learning and teaching and the overall student learning environment; Additionally, the Director of the Centre is also Programme Director and students are invited to raise any additional or further issues regarding programme quality through this route; The Centre holds twice-termly meetings relating to oversee and develop teaching and curriculum; Curriculum and programme review is undertaken periodically and there is a process for continuous improvement though responsive actions and in regular scheduled discussions of curricular matters among the teaching team; An advisory board oversees all the activities of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, including MSc Human Rights teaching; In addition to External Examiner assessments and reports, the Examinations Sub-board of MSc Human Rights regularly reviews the quality of assessment strategies and statistical reports related to these. School-wide mechanisms include: Regular liaison with the LSE’s Teaching and Learning Unit, especially with regard to modes of teaching in the core curriculum and new approaches to learning, teaching and assessment and the use of new technology; Regular liaison with the Dean of Graduate Studies; Regular staff appraisal and review; improvements in teaching technique by the Teaching and Learning Centre through observations, advice and further training; induction programme and mentoring scheme for new members of staff; support of Occasional Teachers by the lecturer responsible for a particular module plus the Occasional Teacher Tutor; centrally administered student satisfaction surveys by the LSE Teaching Quality Assurance and Review Office; an improved system for ensuring that External Examiners’ comments/recommendations are fed through to Departments and acted upon; the School’s Teaching Learning and Assessment Committee (TLAC) which regulates all aspects of teaching quality; the School’s Graduate Studies Sub-Committee which oversees all graduate programmes and ensures that significant changes to programmes and courses pass through a sequence of formal stages, so that curricular changes are appropriate and compatible with other developments.