Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program)
The Asia Pacific is the largest and most diverse region in the world. Stretching from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the deserts of the Middle East, it includes three of the world’s most populous countries, is home to more than half of the world’s population and offers unparalleled cultural richness. However, the Asia Pacific is also home to a number of severe human rights challenges such as massive poverty, discrimination against vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, armed conflict and violence, forced internal displacement of people, exploitation of children, people-trafficking, environmental and cultural destruction and corruption.
The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific program) (MHRD) is a degree that seeks to develop the capacity of emerging leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to investigate these issues and protect and promote human rights in a manner that is carefully attuned to regional issues and perspectives. The degree program was established in 2010 by a consortium of five universities and remains the only one of its kind in the Asia Pacific. The MHRD is tailored to address the particular objectives and perspectives of people working in the field of human rights and democratisation at a number of levels. These include in governmental, non-governmental and international organisations, education, the police or military, business or other fields where human rights perspectives are critical.
The program, as a whole, comprises foundational core units at the University of Sydney, a one-week intensive unit of study at the University of Sydney, and two regional core units at a collaborating institution in the region. Scholars of the MHRD also choose either an experiential or research-based elective stream where they either gain professional experience on a placement with a human rights or democracy organisation or conduct substantial independent research for a dissertation.
- Ateneo de Manila University (the Philippines)
- Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia)
- Kathmandu School of Law (Nepal), and
- University of Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Scholars of the MHRD choose either an experiential or research-based elective stream where they either gain professional experience with an in-country human rights or democracy organisation or conduct substantial independent field research for a dissertation.
At the end of the program, students graduate with a firm grounding in the philosophical, political, institutional, legal, sociological and cultural dimension of human rights and democratisation. The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia-Pacific region) brings the study of human rights and democracy to life.
Phone: + 61 2 9351 4203
Awards and Requirements
Please refer to the degree resolutions in this Handbook for information on the specific admission requirements for different coursework award courses.
Master of Human Rights and Democratisation
To be awarded the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program), students complete a total of 60 credit points of study, comprising:
- Four core foundational units of study (24 credit points) at the University of Sydney
- One core unit of study as an intensive (the University of Sydney)
- Two core regional units of study (12 credit points) at the a collaborating institution
- The choice of either dissertation or internship elective units of study (18 credit points) at a collaborating institution.
The availability of elective units is subject to change, depending on the collaborating institutions’ role in the program each year. For example, elective units are not available at Mahidol University. Students should discuss available options with the Degree Director.
There are currently no research degrees offered in Human Rights and Democratisation, but potential applicants are referred to the Sociology and Social Policy section of the Postgraduate Handbook.