Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
2 Years Part-time
NFQ Level 9 Major Award
Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Course Type: Taught, Professional/Flexible, Online
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Dr Ger Coffey
Address: School of Law Email: Telephone: +353 (0) 61 202682

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Brief Description

This fully online programme is designed to emphasize the inter-relationship between what has traditionally been taught as the two distinct disciplines of human rights and criminal justice. Students will be provided with a comprehensive knowledge of this ever-developing field of law and encouraged to assess the merit of mainstreaming human rights within the criminal justice processes. Covering key areas such as criminal justice and sentencing, penology and victimology, and human rights, the programme aims to foster general and specific skills with respect to the modern criminal justice system both in Ireland and internationally.

Why choose the School of Law at the University of Limerick

The Law School

The School of Law is a department of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. It is located on the ground floor of the Foundation Building.

The Law School also has a long tradition of committing ourselves to develop the transferable skills of students through projects such as Advanced Lawyering and Moot Court, and through cutting edge core modules such as Alternative Dispute Resolution. All of these initiatives promote ‘big picture’ holistic thinking, and can explicitly enhance student soft skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, communication, teamwork, planning, critical thinking and human relations skills. In combination with our compulsory clinical education initiatives, they provide an integrating impulse –promoting a sense of coherence across particular programmes of study and facilitating students in understanding how their learning applies in particular contexts. It is not surprising therefore that our graduates have ended up as partners in major law firms, as partners in major accounting firms, at the bar, in senior roles in government departments, NGOs, at the EU, in academia, and in private industry.

Postgraduate students also benefit from this research expertise, whether they decide to enrol in a general LLM or specialist LLM (LLM International Commercial Law, Human Rights in Criminal Justice or European and Comparative Law), or undertake a research postgraduate degree as part of our significant doctoral cohort of students.

The School is also strongly committed to working with the practising legal profession, government departments, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders across all disciplines of law. We have developed particularly strong working relationships with An Garda Síochána and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. We have also fostered strong international links and it is possible for our students to undertake placements in Canada and the US. Our students can also spend a full academic year in a European university in Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands. We also have links with universities in Germany, France and Spain where subjects are taught through the native language. We have a very vibrant international student body in the Law School. A recent International Student Survey, which involved over 5000 International students currently studying across the seven Irish Universities, voted UL as the number one University in providing the best student experience, the best student support and the warmest welcome in Ireland. UL is also among the top 100 Erasmus host universities according to the latest statistics released by the EU Commission.

The LLM/MA in Human Rights in Criminal Justice is designed to give graduates an understanding of the interaction between human rights and criminal justice in the 21st century and knowledge of the legal actors, supervisory bodies and institutions central to the field. Students will be given an in-depth understanding of the legal regimes operating at national, regional and global levels and sources of human rights law in the field of criminal justice. In addition to an understanding of the human rights protection mechanisms in this context, students will address the question of how human rights law can be enforced. Students will also develop important transferable skills including analytical, research, communication and report writing skills.

Who is it for?

  • LLM: talented law graduates with an interest in working in the field of international human rights and criminal justice/agencies
  • MA: talented graduates in a related discipline (e.g. politics, international relations etc.) with an interest in working in the field of international human rights and criminal justice/agencies

The Human Rights in Criminal Justice (Online) programme is open to law and non-law applicants. Applicants with a law degree such as LL.B., B.C.L., J.D. should apply for the LL.M. programme, and all other non-law applicants should apply for the MA programme. The programme structure and methods of assessment are the same for both LLM and MA students.

This degree is a fully online programme. Students complete the programme over a 24-month period by taking two modules in both the autumn and spring semesters of each year, before completing a dissertation in the summer semester of the second year. The module selection for each semester will be by agreement with the Course Director.

All taught modules are delivered asynchronously (pre-recorded lectures) that provides flexibility for students to engage with module and programme materials around work and family commitments. Module assessments are also conducted online.

The topic for a student’s dissertation is determined during the spring semester, supervised by a faculty member, and submitted at the end of the summer semester.

Year 1 Autumn Year 1 Spring (Two Elective Modules) Year 1 Summer    
  • ​LA5051 Advanced Legal Research Methods (Core)
  • LA6161 Advanced Crime and Criminal Justice
  • LA5062 Using Evidence to Improve Societal Outcomes in the Real World
  • LA5092 Youth Crime
  • LA6252 International Criminal Law
  • LA6262 Policing & Human Rights
Year 2 Autumn Year 2 Spring (One Core and One Elective Module) Year 2 Summer
  • LA5061 Penology and Victimology        
  • LA6141 Criminal Justice Processes and Sentencing      
  • LA6222 Postgraduate Human Rights Law  
  • LA6332 Dissertation Methodology (Core)
  • LA6252 International Criminal Law
  • LA6262 Policing & Human Rights
  • LA6150 LLM/MA Dissertation (Core)




Content of modules can be found by using the search option on the book of modules

Applicants must normally have a minimum second-class honours degree, grade 2 (2.2) in law or in a relevant social science discipline (Primary degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).Applicants with a primary degree in law will be awarded an LL.M., whereas applicants from cognate disciplines to law will be awarded an M.A on successful completion of the course.

In exceptional circumstances an applicant who cannot satisfy the undergraduate requirement may be accepted based on relevant work experience in accordance with UL’s Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning. Please include all relevant work experience on the one page supporting statement uploaded with your application.

Applications from those with practical experience in either field of human rights or criminal justice are particularly encouraged.

What to Upload with your Application

  • Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable) 
  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport
  • A one page supporting statement, which should demonstrate: (1) our motivation, enthusiasm and a clear understanding of why you are making the application to the Human Rights in Criminal Justice master’s programme, and to UL; (2) how your academic background and other relevant experiences have shaped your decision to apply and how the programme of study contributes to your career plans; (3)  Evidence that you have the ability, experience, skills and motivation to successfully complete the programme of study.
  • Two academic references.
  • If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
  • If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
    • English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
    • English language competency certificate

    For more information Click Here


EU - €4,052 per annum

Non- EU - €9,092 per annum

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.

Michael Carmody, graduate of the Law, Human Rights in Criminal Justice masters programme shares his experience on the programme and the impact it has has on his ambitions. Read here.  


Still Curious?

The team from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences host subject webinars and 1:1 calls to support future students on their journey to Stay Curious. If you would like to learn more, or ask questions at an online information session, click below.

Online Information Sessions