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Contents of the E.MA programme and degree

First and second semester

The academic year of the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation is
divided into two semesters : the first semester (September to January) in Venice - Lido and the
second (February to July) at an E.MA participating university situated in a Member State of the
European Union.

The E.MA Programme combines academic and practical training in human rights and
democratisation. The E.MA Programme, being multidisciplinary, begins with preparatory sessions to
post-graduate level studies in political science, philosophy, and law. These are followed by lectures,
seminars, workshops, tutorials, skill-building sessions, and individual research.

The E.MA first semester curriculum consists of a core programme, made up of thematic sections
(the first stream) aimed at the plenary group of students, and a series of second stream activities
consisting of units devised for smaller groups.

First stream courses are organised in thematic sections. In the a.y. 2009/2010, thematic sections
were the following :
• TS1 : Human Rights Institutions, Mechanisms and Standards (United Nations ; Council of Europe ;
EU ; OSCE ; Organization of American States ; African System ; perspectives on Asia)
• TS2 : Human Rights in Context : History, Philosophy, Religion and Anthropology of Human Rights ;
• TS3 : Democratisation (Transition and Transformation Processes ; Political Participation ; Electoral
• TS4 : Human Rights and Globalisation (Stakeholders in Economic Globalisation : States,
International Economic Organisations, Companies, NGOs ; Human Rights and Development ;
Corporate Social Responsibility, Business and Human Rights ; Project Week on China)
• TS5 : Human Rights and Security + Field Trip (Humanitarian Law ; International Criminal Law ;
Trafficking Human Beings ; Field Missions ; Terrorism and Human Rights)

Second stream courses consist of different components such as cluster classes, rolling seminars
based on law, philosophy and international relations ; some semester-long special projects involving
students in activity learning with a collective product or event. Cluster classes are conceived as a
series of activities that foster and deepen the knowledge of different aspects of human rights, under
a practical perspective. Each student enrolls in two clusters. In the a.y. 2009/2010, cluster classes
were on :
· Gender and Human Rights
· Energy, Climate and Human Rights
· European Union Policies, Business and Human Rights
· Human Rights defenders.

The first semester programme also includes a field trip aimed at raising awareness of practical
challenges related to human rights work in the field. In past years the field trip was in Kosovo and
Bosnia. The main purpose is to provide deeper insights into the real tasks, difficulties, and
expectations with which human rights officers in the field are faced, and to impart a better
understanding of the real situation of a post-war country.

During the second semester students relocate to one of the 41 E.MA participating universities to
follow courses in a given area of specialisation and to undertake personal supervised research
finalised by the writing of a Master‘s thesis. The second semester of the programme is conceived as
a European exchange which implies that students will be hosted for the second semester activities
in a university located in a country other than their own.

Responsable du comité éditorial :

Centre Perelman de l’Université libre de Bruxelles
CP 132 - Av. F. D. Roosevelt 50 - 1050 Bruxelles
Tel. 02/650 38 84 - Fax 02/650 40 07 - e-mail