Reports of human rights violations are rarely out of the news - whether it's cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay or detainees at Guantanamo.

Reports of human rights violations are rarely out of the news - whether it's cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay or detainees at Guantanamo. Now Kingston University is offering an MA in human rights for those who want to work in the field. But with 97 other postgraduate programmes in human rights available, what makes this one different? "Many of the others are law-based, whereas our course is much broader; we cover campaigning and advocacy because this is the sort of work people are interested in," says the course director Phillip Spencer.

The MA has two core courses. One, which focuses on achieving human rights, is to be taught by Amnesty International's director of UK campaigns, Stephen Bowen. Bowen has been responsible for campaigns such as Stop Violence Against Women and Control Arms.

There will be seminars on issues such as Sudan, Iraq and terrorism, in addition to a second, more theoretical core course. Students will also undertake work experience in a human rights organisation. "The aim is to train people to get into human rights work," says Spencer. "Human rights organisations are increasingly more professional and better resourced, and they demand people with postgraduate skills." For course information, see

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