The programme has provided me with a greater understanding of social development. As a student, I have gone from being a spectator of society to better understanding human rights and their relation to societal development.

Matilda Andersson, student

About the education

The Human Rights Programme provides you with an understanding of what human rights are and how they are interpreted and utilised legally, politically, and philosophically, as well as how the development of human rights is a result of ongoing global transformations.

Human rights are grounded in the belief that all people are born free and are of equal moral worth, and should therefore have equal access to rights. But how are human rights implemented, enforced and monitored? Are some rights more important than others, and how can conflicts concerning human rights be addressed and resolved? Throughout your studies, you will deeply engage yourself with questions like these.

After graduation, you will be equipped to navigate legal, political, or ethical issues within the realm of human rights. You will also have the opportunity to pursue master's studies.

Why study human rights?

The issue of human rights remains persistently relevant in our contemporary world marked by significant global challenges. By studying the importance, history, interpretation and implementation of human rights, you will develop a deeper understanding of current events and public debates – including issues that can be traced all the way back to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In this programme, you will examine the local and international significance of human rights and the role they play within public authorities, organisations and businesses. You will also gain insight into the role of human rights within the context of democracies and oppressive regimes.

Human Rights at Malmö University

This three-year bachelor's programme offers a profound understanding of human rights and how they affect and are affected by the world we live in. With its multi-disciplinary approach, the programme explores human rights through three overarching perspectives:

Law

What are human rights from a legal perspective, and how has international law shaped human rights? Who is responsible for protecting human rights and what happens if they are violated? We will look at international human rights law – how human rights are regulated and protected.

Politics

How are international communities and governments addressing human rights? How are human rights situated within the context of power dynamics, oppression and resistance, historically and today? You will discuss these issues from sociological and political perspectives.

Philosophy

What is the significance of human rights, and why should we have them in the first place? What are human rights ultimately based on, morally and philosophically, and what does that imply for the question of which rights we should have? Is the current human rights framework too extensive, or ought we perhaps to add additional rights that do not currently exist?

Elective possibilities

During the programme, you can choose to pursue an internship, study abroad, or take elective courses. This provides you with the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and gain practical experience in human rights work, as well as the chance to develop relationships and networks with people and organisations working with human rights.

Career opportunities

The programme’s diversity, combined with its multi-disciplinary focus, provides you with competencies attractive in numerous sectors and in a constantly growing labour market. You will be able to work with legal, political and ethical issues and continue studies at the master’s level.

Potential future employers include private sector businesses, local and international organisations and agencies, as well as national authorities and government organisations.

Studying human rights provides you a platform for a career in organisations such as the UN, Amnesty International and the European Union.

Courses within the programme

In the syllabus, you can see the courses offered during the different semesters of the programme.

Entry requirements and selection

Here you can find the entry requirements, as well as how the available study places are distributed between applicants in the selection. 

If you have any questions about general admission, you are welcome to contact us.

Contact form

Entry requirements

General entry requirements (with the exemption of Swedish language) + English 6.

Selection

Upper secondary grades 66%, Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT) 34%

Please note that the SweSAT is a test only available in Swedish, and is in no way mandatory for admission.

“I have been able to tailor my curriculum to my interests and spend a lot of time abroad”

Hannah Dahl from Austria chose to study human rights in Malmö because of the programme’s interdisciplinary, international and flexible...

“I have been able to tailor my curriculum to my interests and spend a lot of time abroad”

Hannah Dahl from Austria chose to study human rights in Malmö because of the programme’s interdisciplinary, international and flexible nature. Through international exchange studies and elective courses, she was able to shape her own academic path.

What is the best thing about the Human Rights programme?

The best thing about the programme is its multidisciplinary, international and flexible structure. I’ve been able to tailor my curriculum to my interests, spend a lot of time abroad, and take breadth subjects, such as Mandarin Chinese and international economic history, which I consider beneficial to my understanding of human rights and my future career.

I particularly enjoyed the courses in international law and politics during my first year. I gained many interesting insights into numerous other disciplines during my time abroad and through the many elective courses I’ve taken over the past years. I had the opportunity to spend a year studying at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and Sciences Po Grenoble in France. It was a very enriching experience. You get to enjoy a lot of freedom regarding your choice of courses for your exchange studies. I chose to study interesting human-rights-related subjects, such as political economy and the politics of food, at both bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Who should apply for this programme?                   

I recommend this programme to those interested in studying a highly relevant subject from a multidisciplinary perspective in an international environment. It’s a good fit for those who want to take initiative and responsibility in creating their own academic path. The programme structure is open, and it’s up to you to tailor your degree. Do you want to take a broad approach, exploring human rights from as many perspectives as possible? Do you want to specialise and delve into a particular subject? Or, do you want to strike a middle path? All these options are possible.

Do you have any advice for the prospective students?

Since the programme is flexible, I strongly recommend contacting a study counsellor, even if you’re not experiencing any difficulties in your studies. It will help solidify what you want and expect from the programme, and support you in making informed decisions about which courses to take.

What do you want to do in the future?

Although I’m still undecided about my future career, I can best picture myself in academia, politics, or an international organisation, such as the EU or the UN.

Edoardo wants to work with international law

For Edoardo Iacobelli, studying human rights seemed to be a perfect way of making a profession out of his interest in international issues....

Edoardo wants to work with international law

For Edoardo Iacobelli, studying human rights seemed to be a perfect way of making a profession out of his interest in international issues. When the time came to pick a bachelor’s programme, Malmö University seemed to be the perfect fit, located in a genuinely multicultural city.

Seeing new perspectives

“Studying human rights is fascinating; we do get the full spectrum of it all. The political and legal, as well as the more philosophical perspective. I have always been very interested in social change, and I want to work with something that has a demonstrable effect on people’s lives. This programme has opened doors for me to do that.

“My ambition has always been to work with politics, and I wanted to study something versatile and substantial, and that’s why I chose this programme. Once I started, it was the legal aspect that caught my interest, and my goal now is to work with international law in combination with my degree in Human Rights. I find that this programme encourages us to work with different spheres within human rights, not just politics.”

Benefits of choosing Malmö

Studying human rights means you have to put in the hours, but it’s not all lectures and homework. One of the advantages of studying in Malmö is that you are very close to the issues at hand. Since moving here, Edoardo has become Chairman of Amnesty’s Malmö section.

“Malmö is a big activist city and there are a lot of organisations to get involved with if you are passionate about human rights. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people interested in humanitarian issues who want to make a difference.”

The programme consists primarily of lectures, seminars and group work, all led by great teachers, says Edoardo.

“If I could give some advice for prospective students it would be to pick the brains of the teachers and soak up as much information as you can. The professors are great, and lecturers are never afraid to have discussions in class. You can tell it’s not just about one-way communication.“

Contact

For more information about the education:

GPSstudent@mau.se