Units of multidisciplinary teaching

2 to 6

Months in internship


English programme

Master's Degree - Human Rights Diplomacy

Full-time study

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 a degree in Law – at least 4 years of legal studies (international relations, political sciences, etc.) and an English language certificate if applicable. Applications are subjected to the decision of the Admission Committee.

Admission conditions :

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


Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year: applications from October 2023 to 15 June 2024



Should you encounter any difficulty, please contact us at : m2.hrd@univ-catholyon.fr.

In case of technical issues please download this FORM.

For 2024-2025:

  • New students entering directly in the second year (M2): 8 600 € (for 2024-2025)

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



If you have any questions about our program, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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 – 11 ECTS/Coefficient 11

  • HR diplomacy: Potentials and Challenges – 18h/Coefficient 3
  • Humanitarian Law and HR Diplomacy – 18h/Coefficient 3
  • International justice and HR – 15h/Coefficient 2
  • UN and HR mainstreaming – 18h/Coefficient 3

UNIT 2 HR Diplomacy and International Relations – 10 ECTS/Coefficient 10

  • Peace, Security and Terrorism – 18h/Coefficient 3
  • Geopolitics and Conflict Resolution – 15h/Coefficient 3
  • European Union HR Diplomcy and crisis management – 20h/Coefficient 4

UNIT 3 – Actors of HR Diplomacy – 9 ECTS/Coefficient 9

  • International Organizations and HR Diplomacy – 18h/Coefficient 3
  • Non-State Actors and civil society in HR Diplomacy – 15h/Coefficient 3
  • Business and HR Diplomacy – 18h/Coefficient 3

Semester 2

UNIT 4 Multilateralism and HR diplomacy specific issues (3 options/4) – 9 ECTS/Coefficient 9

  • Climate change and green diplomacy – 15h/Coefficient 3
  • Human Rights and Migration Issues – 15h/Coefficient 2
  • Human Rights of minorities and indegenous people – 15h/Coefficient 2
  • Women’s Rights and Gender Diplomacy – 12h/Coefficient 2

UNIT 5 – Regional Approach of HR diplomacy  – 7 ECTS/Coefficient 7

  • African System of Human Rights Protection – 12h/Coefficient 2
  • Interamerican System of Human Rights Protection – 15h/Coefficient 3
  • Arab and Asian Systems of Human Rights Protection – 15h/Coefficient 2

UNIT 6 – Professionalisation – 14 ECTS/Coefficient 14

  • Communication and advocacy in Human Rights Diplomacy – 12h/Coefficient 2
  • Project management of Human rights challenges (webinars) – 12h/Coefficient 1
  • Human Rights based approach: case studies – 18h/Coefficient 3

To choose :

  • Professionnal: Intership /Coefficient 8
  • Research: Master’s dissertation /Coefficient 8