Module details for Human Rights


This module sets out to overview and examine the significance of human rights in the world today. It is designed to give students a grounding in human rights from a social theoretical perspective, including current debates and trends in human rights.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with knowledge of the main concepts and legal definitions of human rights, an understanding of the human rights sector and an understanding of the importance of human rights in the contemporary world.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an appreciation of the significance of human rights within a social science context.

2.  Critically evaluate major human rights documents and human rights organisations.

3.  Demonstrate a critical understanding of theories of human rights.

4.  Critically analyse contemporary human rights issues and debates within the context of human rights theories.

Indicative Content

1 1. History and Theory of Human Rights

Classical Origins in Greece and Rome, Classical Liberal Thought, The French and American Revolutions, Marx, Critical Social Theory, Postcolonialism

2 2. Human Rights in Transition

Human Rights in Armed Conflict, Responsibility to Protect, Refugees and Asylum Seekers,Genocide and Torture,The International Criminal Court.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 144
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.