Units of multidisciplinary teaching

2 to 6

Months in internship


English programme

Master's Degree - Human Rights Diplomacy

Full-time study

Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences

The course offers a Master’s Degree in Human rights Diplomacy building on Master 1, Fundamental Freedoms – International law and European Human Rights in partnership with the University of Grenoble Alpes.

Completely taught through the medium of English, it will involve one year of academic study at the Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy).





The Master’s Degree in Human Rights Diplomacy is a multidisciplinary degree cross cutting the three key areas of International Law, International Relations and Political Sciences. These areas will intersect around major international issues such as minority issues, climate change and migration law. The basic premise of this programme is to comprehend how diplomacy, in parallel to other human rights mechanisms, can become a process of promotion and protection of human rights. Conversely, it explores how human rights may be interpreted from a diplomatic perspective, while in tandem maintaining its own degree of importance.

It will also examine the components and actors of Human Rights Diplomacy in order to understand how they interact within the different levels of a global governance, and how they appropriate the tools of international relations, among others: law, multilateralism, cooperation or public policy.

The students will acquire a better understanding of the development of international relations and international law and will have a holistic approach to the promotion and protection of human rights.



The Master’s Degree lasts one academic year, which is divided into Semester 1 and Semester 2. The lectures will be based on 6 teaching units.  The units are divided into different sections alternating between mandatory and optional courses.

For further information, please contact us : m2.hrd@univ-catholyon.fr

Target Audience

Recruitment level : applicants are required to hold an undergraduate degree in law, political science, international relations or other degree with an equivalent international qualification.

Admission conditions :

  • Application form;
  • Face to face interview and language test (if needed)


Online registration period : the seconde session is now open

Online application


Download the application form


The Master’s Degree will take place at the Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy) from September, 2022 (based on the minimum number of applications).


For 2022-2023 :

  • UCLy students (M1) the cost of the Master degree is from 2,280€ to 7,600€ (depending on annual incomes)
  • New students entering directly in the second year (M2) 7,600€

Calculate your tuition fees


Students will enjoy a multicultural learning environment and an international exposure through lectures, seminars and conferences provided by international experts and renowned speakers. Such continued exposure will be reinforced by an important network of partnerships such as the UN Agencies, NGO’s and specialised agencies, where students will have the opportunity to complete their end of year internships.  Students will also benefit from the worldwide IDHL alumni network.

Teaching team

The teaching team is comprised of renowned experts from international organisations and academia.

  • Eric TISTOUNET: Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
  • Ibrahim SALAMA: Director, Human Rights Treaties Division, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
  • Fernand DE VARENNES, Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
  • Nicholas BRASS, Senior External Engagement Coordinator for Europe at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

Research-based role

Developed primarily for students seeking to enter the professional sphere, the degree provides also the possibility of veering towards a research-based career in the field of global human rights.

French classes

Classes of French as a foreign language courses are proposed free of charge.

The Master’s Degree responds to the recent strategic and methodological developments in the promotion and protection of human rights. Aimed at students keen to complete a diplomatic legal course, it opens up to international careers within diplomatic services, regional and international organisations, governmental human rights bodies, consultancy and think tanks.

Director of the program


Benefits of the degree

A global and complete understanding of Human Rights diplomacy

Renowned international experts

Crosscutting and multidisciplinary teaching

Discover the

Detailed programme

Semester 1

UNIT 1 Theory and Practice of HR diplomacy

  • HR diplomacy : Potentials and Challenges
  • International Law, Universal and Regional Systems for HR Protection
  • International justice and HR

UNIT 2 HR Diplomacy and International Relations

  • Peace, Security and Terrorism
  • Geopolitics and Conflict Resolution
  • Humanitarian Action and Diplomacy

UNIT 3 – HR Diplomacy and International Relations

  • International Organisations and HR Diplomacy
  • Non-State Actors and Diplomacy
  • Human Rights of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

Semester 2

UNIT 4 Multilateralism and HR diplomacy specific issues (3 options/4)

  • Climate change and green diplomacy
  • HR and Migration Issues
  • HR and Economic Issues : UN approaches
  • Women’s Rights and Gender Diplomacy

UNIT 5 – Regional Approach of HR diplomacy (3 options/4)

  • European System of Human Rights Protection
  • African System of Human Rights Protection
  • Interamerican System of Human Rights Protection
  • Arab System of Human Rights Protection

UNIT 6 – Professionalisation

  • Language Advocacy
  • Professionals’ Conferences
  • French language (optional)
  • Study trip to international organisations in Geneva (ICRC, UN Agencies, ILO)
  • Elective module: Internship or Master’s thesis