Human Rights III

Course - first cycle - 61-90 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2014

Course Code:
MR106L revision 3
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Human Rights
Date of ratification:
23 June 2014
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
01 September 2014
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
27 May 2013

Entry requirements

Prerequisite courses for this course are: Passed courses: MR101E-Human Rights I or MR101L-Human Rights I and MR102E-Human Rights II or MR105E-Human Rights II or MR105L-Human Rights II.


Method and analysis (15 credits)
Thesis (15 credits)
The first module (method and analysis) focuses on methods of relevance to the study of human rights, for instance legal method, philosophical argumentation, and social science methods. The module is based in examples of human rights research, such as scientific articles and other material that concerns human rights; these forms of material are discussed in relation to the methodological considerations done. Particular attention is paid to choice of methods, use of methods in collecting and analyzing relevant material and how analysis and conclusions are related to methodological choices.

The second module (thesis) is comprised by thesis writing to be completed individually or by a maximum of two persons together. If the thesis is written by two persons it is assumed that the students individually can account for all content.

A student who has not finished the project work during the course, or has not received a passing grade on the project work at the end of the course cannot be guaranteed continued supervision.

Learning outcomes

Module 1: Method and analysis
After finishing the module the student:

  • Can demonstrate deeper knowledge about theories and methods relevant for the study of human rights;
  • Can demonstrate deeper ability to choose and use theories and methods as well as ability to integrate different methods;
  • Can demonstrate deeper ability to choose and analyse relevant material and draw well-founded conclusions on the basis of the material and
  • Can demonstrate deeper ability to analytically reflect on theory and method and analysis of material

Module 2: Thesis
After finishing the module the student:
  • Can identify specific topics and problems within the subject area and formulate research questions with regard to these.
  • Can identify and accurately describe and use theories and methods that are relevant to the thesis work and which relate to earlier academic research.
  • Can assess, critique and present academic material in a structured analysis.
  • Can present her/his research in an academic thesis that is literate and utilises a consistent and correct referencing system.
  • Can orally discuss his/her own work; and assess and provide constructive criticism of the thesis work of others.

Learning activities

Module 1 contains teaching mostly in the form of seminars. On the second module teaching is in the form of supervision and seminars. A large part of the learning activities consists of independent study.


Module 1 (method and analysis) is assessed by participation in seminars, oral and/or written assignments related to seminars and a written assignment (memo). Module 2 (thesis) is assessed by the completion of a thesis including the participation in an opposition seminar. The module method and analysis includes, apart from written assignments, obligatory seminars and obligatory oral presentations. In the examination the above stated learning outcomes are assessed.

No particular re-examination opportunity is offered for Module 1, instead, the student may, at any time during the semester, hand in their assignments, knowing that it may take until the end the semester before it is graded. In addition to the regular thesis seminar on any given semester, further seminars are offered as specified in the schedule.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Module 1: Method and analysis

  • Banakar, Reza (2008) “The politics of legal cultures” Retfærd: The Nordic Journal of Law and Justice, vol. 31: 37-60.
  • Braye, Suzy; Preston-Shoot, Michael (2006) “The role of law in welfare reform: critical perspectives on the relationship between law and social work practice” International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 15, no. 1: 19-26.
  • Chamallas, Martha (1998) “The architecture of bias: deep structures in tort law” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 146: 463-531.
  • Flyvbjerg, Bent (2006) "Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research” Qualitative Inquiry, vol 12, no 2: 219-245 (
  • Gerring, John (2004) "What is a Case Study and What is it Good For?" American Political Science Review, vol 98, no 2: 341-354.
  • Hafner-Burton, Emilie M (2014) "A social science of human rights" Journal of Peace Research, vol. 51: 273-286.
  • Landman, Todd (2005) "The Political Science of Human Rights" British Journal of Political Science, 35: 549-572.
  • Stausberg, M., Engler, S. (2013) The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion, Routledge 2013, excerpts of about 50 pages. (available as e-book from the MAH library).
  • Strong, S I (2014) How to write law essays and exams, 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Alternatively: James Holland & Julian Webb (2013) Learning Legal Rules, 8th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Vaughn, Lewis (2006) Writing Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Weber, Max, excerpts from Economy and Society, 3-22: "Methodological foundations"

There may be additional material (ca 300 pages) – see the lecture presentation

Module 2: Thesis

There may be additional material (ca 300 pages) in the lecture presentations.

Course evaluation

All students are given the opportunity to give their comments at the end of the course, in writing or orally. A compilation of the results will be available on the faculty computer net. In addition, there are opportunities to give written or oral evaluations after each course module. Student participation is in the form of course meetings.