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University of Manitoba developing a Master of Human Rights program

Graduate program in human rights would be only one of its kind in Canada

September 19, 2014 — 

The University of Manitoba is developing a new master’s degree program that will help Winnipeg take its place as the leading city for human rights education and scholarship in Canada.

The envisioned new Master of Human Rights program will be a partnership between five faculties (Graduate Studies, Arts, Law, Education, and Social Work) and three centres (Centre for Human Rights Research, Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, and National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation).

“It’s exciting and timely to see the development of a new master’s degree program attract the participation of so many disciplines and faculties across the university,” notes University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard. “This level of interdisciplinary cooperation and partnership yields outcomes with far-reaching impact. It is indeed an area that is important for all of our province’s educational institutions and will open doors to positive dialogue and collaboration.”

The University of Manitoba Master of Human Rights (MHR) program would be broadly interdisciplinary, branching into the social sciences, sciences and humanities, taking advantage of expertise in the university’s professional schools, including medicine, social work, education, nursing and law. The MHR program would prepare students to be educators, practitioners, researchers, investigators, professionals and public intellectuals who integrate human rights perspectives in their careers in the private and/or public sectors. Many Canadians now working internationally in the human rights field studied overseas because of the lack of graduate programs in Canada.

Drawing on existing expertise at the University of Manitoba, where human rights is already an area of research strength, students could concentrate on: Indigenous rights and natural resources; domestic and international law; human rights education; organizational management and human rights; environment, health and human rights; sexual and reproductive rights; human rights and science; genocide and crimes against humanity; global human rights, or human migration, among many others.

The MHR program would be well-placed at the University of Manitoba with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights this fall and that of the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba in 2015.

It is anticipated that the MHR program proposal will enter the university’s review and approval process in 2015.

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13 comments on “University of Manitoba developing a Master of Human Rights program

  1. Ravneet

    I have no background in human rights or law. Can I still apply for this course? I am really interested in this program. Please write back. Thanks

  2. Helen Fallding

    The Master of Human Rights program is still under development. We hope to accept students for September 2018. The application deadline will likely be Dec. 1, 2017. Check closer to that date. If you are willing to write a support letter indicating that you think this program is needed, please contact fallding [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

  3. Helen Fallding

    Update: We now tentatively anticipate an application deadline of Dec. 1, 2018, and a start date of September 2019. Admission requirements will likely include a four-year bachelor’s degree in any field, with at least a B average, and English language proficiency. At least one undergraduate-level course in human rights or equivalent field experience is preferred.

  4. Madison

    Do we know when there will be more info on the program and what we can expect from faculty and the thesis or comprehensive options? I’m a Human Rights and Conflict Resolution student at the UW and am very interested in the program and will be graduating in April of 2018.

  5. Helen Fallding

    We expect to have two streams: practicum (16 months) or thesis (16-24 months). The program might not start until September 2020, depending on how long the approval process takes. If you have more questions, email fallding [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

  6. Tyler Morden

    I am really looking forward to following the development of this program and possibly applying for admission. I am currently based in Toronto. Is there a possibility of having the program offered through distance learning as well?

  7. Helen Fallding

    In the early years of the MHR program, instruction will likely be 100% in person. As the program evolves, the intention is to eventually develop blended learning options that allow students to participate through a combination of on-campus classes and up to 30% online work.


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