Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program)

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) is a unique degree that is partially funded by the European Union. The University of Sydney is part of a network of universities across the world that offer it – the most advanced human rights education programs at postgraduate level.

The course is taught across five universities and provides students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills in this field.

It offers students from across the Asia Pacific region and the world the opportunity to study the legal, sociological, philosophical and political contexts that underpin and drive human rights and democratisation challenges globally. The program combines rigorous academic knowledge, skills training and on-the-ground insights into what it means to be a human rights advocate from government, NGO, and private sector perspectives. Coursework is supplemented by field trips and workshops on a variety of human rights-related topics.

You will begin the course at the University of Sydney and spend the regional semester at one of three partner universities: Ateneo de Manila Law School (Philippines), Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), Kathmandu School of Law (Nepal) and the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka). In the regional semester, you can choose to complete either a dissertation or an internship.

You will also have an opportunity to use our strong industry links in countries across the Asia Pacific for internship and job opportunities. Past internships have included organisations that work with migrants, children, women, refugees, sex workers, political prisoners, human rights defenders and legal aid advocates.

With a diverse student body that comes from all over the world, the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) has a truly international feel that is impossible to replicate. There are at least 20 scholarships offered to students from the Asia Pacific region.

Related degrees: Master of Human Rights, Master of Development Studies.

Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.

Course outline

For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online postgraduate handbook.

Study plan


The MHRD Asia Pacific requires the satisfactory completion of 10 units of study (60 credit points) (cp), including a suite of core units of study from a designated selection and units of study offered by partner institutions. Candidates will elect to undertake either a dissertation (12cp), or an internship (12cp). For the dissertation, candidates must prepare a research proposal and discuss their topic with the academic coordinator prior to enrolling. Approval is subject to the department's discretion and the availability of an appropriate academic supervisor. The dissertation is normally undertaken over two semesters and comprises research and writing toward a project of approximately 12,000 words. The internship involves a 6 week work experience placement in an inter-governmental, governmental or non-governmental organisation specialising in human rights and democratisation. Students will have opportunities to immediately put into practice the knowledge acquired throughout the academic year with an aim to acquiring and improving practical work experience, establishing a dialogue between the students and the host organisation, and fostering access to the job market.

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Candidates must maintain a credit average result or above, normally over at least the first 4 units of study, in order to qualify for admission to the dissertation units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

Eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program) have the option of completing (i) an internship in two parts, normally undertaken over two semesters, with a total value of 18 credit points (cp) or (ii) a dissertation on an approved topic over two units of study, normally undertaken over two semesters, with a value of 12cp, under the supervision of an academic staff member.

The internship comprises a work experience placement of six weeks in an inter-governmental, governmental or non-governmental organisation specialising in human rights and democratisation. Under the supervision of a member of the host organisation, candidates undertake a specific task relevant to the organisation's mandate and work with the faculty to draw links between their practical project and theoretical issues concerning human rights. Assessment for the internship is equivalent to 10,000 words of written work, but may take various forms, including reports, press kits, or other multi-media material associated with the candidate's work at the organisation.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates will have the ability to undertake independent scholarly research on current issues relevant to human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific and skills to put their academic understanding and practical experience to use in real situations. The course is also a gateway to a vibrant international community, connecting graduates to an invaluable personal and professional network.

Further study

Graduates of the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program) who have completed a dissertation with a meritorious grade are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in their chosen subject area.

Admission

Admission requirements

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria. In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit applicants without these qualifications but whose evidence of experience and achievement is deemed by the Dean to be equivalent.

Admission requires:

(a) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, including a major in a relevant subject area in the humanities or social sciences, or an equivalent qualification or

(b) a Bachelor of Laws degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree,

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation is delivered by a consortium of Universities across the Asia Pacific region. As such the application process for Domestic and International Students has several stages.

All candidates must complete a Supplementary Application form, in addition to the regular application processes required by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Candidates wishing to apply for a position in the program should check the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) website for more specific information about the application process.

Scholarship information will be made available on the MHRD website in late September (see link above).

The course has one annual intake, commencing July.

Please note:

Applicants for the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) can request to have the Application Processing Fee (APF) waived on their application if they are from an eligible country of origin. Please see the MHRD Supplementary Form for the list of eligible countries. See the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) website for details.

To apply for a waiver, please complete your application and press the “Save and Pay Later” button and send an email to: io.mail@sydney.edu.au requesting that the APF be waived.

This ONLY applies to students making an application for the MHRD (AP).

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program).

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program).

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.