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European convention on Human Rights

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

This course aims to provide you with a detailed knowledge of how the European human rights legal process has evolved and a critical understanding of the substantive provisions contained in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and its Protocols. The relevant jurisprudence will be examined to illuminate how the substantive provisions have been judicially interpreted and given effect in practice. On completion of this course you should be able to explain the development of the protection afforded to human rights by the ECHR. You should also be familiar with the various institutions involved in affording protection, and possess an in-depth knowledge of the Court. You should have attained critical insight into the scope and extent of the substantive provisions of the ECHR, particularly as developed through the jurisprudence of the Court.

Module A: Context and foundations of the European Convention on Human Rights


  • Background to the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Development and nature of the Convention system
  • The relationship between the Convention and other international and European norms and mechanisms
  • Interpreting and limiting Convention rights and freedoms

Module B: The European Convention on Human Rights mechanism


  • Admissibility
  • Procedure before the European Court of Human Rights
  • The nature and effect of Court judgments
  • Implementing Court judgments
  • The role of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Module C: European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (1)


  • The prohibition on discrimination
  • The right to life
  • The prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
  • The prohibition on slavery, the right to liberty and security and freedom of movement

Module D: European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (2)


  • The right to respect for private and family life and the right to marry
  • Freedom of conscience and religion
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • The right to a fair hearing and to an effective remedy


Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


It is strongly recommended you attempt module A before B; and modules A and B before C and D.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • European Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • International Justice
  • Law and Development
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.