Entry Points (2021)

Course Overview

The Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights is an exciting, four year interdisciplinary degree programme offered by the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies in conjunction with the Irish Centre for Human Rights. 

The programme is unique in several respects, chiefly because it is the only undergraduate programme of its kind in the Republic of Ireland that allows undergraduates to specialise in a field that was previously reserved to postgraduate study. 

During the course, students engage with human rights discourse through class-based teaching at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which is one of one of the world's premier academic human rights institutions, dedicated to the study and promotion of human rights, international criminal law and international humanitarian law.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to undertake work placement or study abroad. The placement provides a unique opportunity to develop practical skills and experience the reality of a career in the field of human rights. Placements have been secured around the world, from Dublin to London, Genève, Madrid, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines. 

Watch our introductory video from our May 2021 Virtual Open Day

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Students must satisfy the Garda/Police vetting requirements.

4 years

Next start date

September 2022

A Level Grades (2021)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

5 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

The programme explores the human rights legal framework, along with the philosophical basis and historical development of human rights. It provides students with both theoretical and practical understanding of how the human rights system works at international, regional and national level.  

The programme covers the role of different actors in the promotion and protection of human Rights, including the human rights work undertaken by the United Nations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and Regional and National systems.

Year 1 

First Year modules provide an introduction to human rights and analyse the philosophical basis and historical development of human rights. During the first year students become acquainted with the normative foundations of International Human Rights and the various international human rights mechanisms of promotion. 

Year 2

In the second yearstudents undertake the study of the regional human rights systems, structures and instruments, including the Inter-American, the European, the African and Asian Systems of Human Rights. Other modules will have more thematic approach providing students with knowledge and understanding of some contemporary human rights issues such as migrants and refugees rights, LGBTIQ+ rights and women’s rights.  

Year 3

In the first semester, students have a number of optional modules from which they can chose, including, EU Law, Criminal Law Administrative Law, Health Law and Policy, Irish Legal Systems, Constitutional Law and Legal Methods and Research. 

In the second semester, students will have the opportunity to either undertake work placement with a human rights organisation, study abroad or undertake an Applied Human Rights Project.

Year 4

Students will complete their studies in their two core degree subjects and may, if suitable, incorporate the specialist skills and knowledge they have gained in human rights over the previous three years in their final year projects

Further Education

The degree provides a firm basis for further study at the postgraduate level, including all LLM programmes offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights such as: the LLM in International Human Rights, the LLM in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict, the LLM in International Criminal Law, the LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The degree will provide an excellent foundation for many types of careers. The interdisciplinary character of the programme provides students with many skills and competencies required in a competitive job market. 

Career prospects include working with the United Nations, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Irish Aid, the European Union, International Non-Governmental Organisations and Development Cooperation agencies.

Career prospects also include working in public administration, civil service, local NGOs and charities, community and social work.  

Work placement

In the third year, the programme offers students the opportunity to choose from a number of optional modules including an internship with a human rights organization. The work placement consists of a minimum of 200 hours of work (on average 20 hours per week for three months) with an approved human rights organisation in Ireland or abroad. 

This scheme provides a unique opportunity for our students to gain practical experience of working for a human rights NGO engaged in advocacy, research, education, and policy work. Limited funding is available to support students during their placement through the ERASMUS traineeship funding (especially covering placements taking place in EU countries).

International links

The course also offers opportunities for students to study abroad. This particularly suits students taking language modules, who in their third year may apply to study abroad through the ERASMUS programme. 

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,738 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,216 p.a. 2021/22

*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy

Student Levy:
  €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/

Find out More

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies
T +353 91 493 958

F +353 91 495 508

E collegearts@nuigalway.ie and humanrights@nuigalway.ie


Sarah Mitchell |   Student of BA with Human Rights

My name is Sarah Mitchell and I’m studying the BA connect with human rights in NUI Galway. What initially attracted me to this course was its uniqueness as it is one of a kind In Ireland. This course is perfect for those who have an interest in policies and human rights. The course lectures are unlike your average lecture, as the small class groups allow you to discuss ideas and topics with your lecturer and peers. The options this course gives you in third year is fantastic. You can choose between study abroad, work placement or a human rights project. The work placement allows you to get a real idea what it means to work within a human rights organisation and allows students to work in an area they are interested in. This course has allowed me to gain knowledge and experience in a field I’m passionate about. The BA Connect with Human Rights can not be recommended enough.


  • Undergraduate Prospectus 2022

    Undergraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (8.4MB)

  • Quick Guide to Courses 2022

    Quick Guide to Courses 2022 PDF (697 KB)

  • A Level Quick Guide 2022

    A Level Quick Guide 2022 PDF (352 KB)

  • CAO Brochure

    CAO Brochure PDF (1.3 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)

  • QQI / FETAC Pathways Guide

    QQI / FETAC Pathways Guide PDF (45MB)