Human Rights Theory and Philosophy - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2018: Sess 1
  • Assessment: Essay 1 - First Essay (30%) , Essay 2 - Final Essay (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,200.00
International 2,450.00

This unit questions what is meant by human rights, and examines the foundations of conventional human rights discourse in western philosophy. It also examines the development of the post-Holocaust human rights tradition, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and some contemporary rights perspectives including human rights norms, regimes and socialisation theories. Critiques of universalism are also explored from the cultural relativist, postmodern and feminist perspectives.

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At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. describe and critique human rights theories and philosophies
  2. use appropriate technologies to locate and critically appraise relevant human rights literature
  3. analyse and communicate human rights theories and philosophies
  4. critically analyse political, policy and moral issues using a human rights framework
  5. demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism, paraphrasing and the principles of Academic Integrity.
  • Essay 1 — First Essay (30%)
  • Essay 2 — Final Essay (40%)
  • Online Discussion — Discussion Points (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

  • Audio/Visual equipment

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1What do we mean by human rights?
2Modern perspectives on human rights - part one
3Modern perspectives on human rights - part two
4Constructing human rights: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
5Human rights and the cultural relativist critique
6Human rights and the postmodern and postcolonial critiques
7The feminist critique and rights in the private domain
8Human rights norms, regimes and socialisation
9Human rights and the ethics of the use of force
10Sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights
11Human rights and disability
12Human rights and the environment

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Philosophy Of Human Rights


    ISBN: 9781557787903


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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