Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3239: International Human Rights

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


Section one: theoretical and legal framework

1. Evolution of the international human rights regime

2. International human rights laws - civil and political; economic, social and cultural

3. International human rights bodies

4. Debate: Are human rights universal?


Section two: thematic issues

5. Women’s rights

6. Minority and indigenous peoples’ rights

7. Conflict and human rights

8. Debate: when human rights clash – freedom of religion vs. women’s rights


Section three: working in human rights

9. Human rights campaigns and advocacy

10. Researching human rights

11. Debate: Whose rights are we defending? Critiques of international human rights in practice

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity4622 x 2-hour seminars + 2 hour workshop on submissions to treaty bodies
Guided Independent Study110Private study – reading and preparing for seminars
Guided Independent Study144Preparation for assessments

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Human Rights Quarterly

International Journal of Transitional Justice

International Journal of Human Rights

Other Learning Resources

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

Minority Rights Group International

UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies