EMA, The European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation
EMA and the related Global Campus master's programmes constitute the most significant contributions of the European Union to human rights education. EMA has been designed to establish a common pool of highly qualified and motivated human rights experts who will work in governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental human rights institutions or who will be sent, on behalf of the EU or other organisations, to work in the field.
The aims of the EMA Programme are:
- To form high-level professionals in the field of human rights and democratisation qualified to work as academics, staff members or field workers for inter-governmental, governmental, and non-governmental organisations;
- To provide its graduates with practical skills and field/work experience;
- To create a European network for curriculum development and staff exchange among universities active in the field of human rights and democratisation.
The EMA learning outcomes bridge knowledge, understanding and skills in a holistic approach:
Knowledge and understanding
Upon successful completion of the EMA Programme, students will have attained:
- In-depth knowledge of global and regional standards and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy, as well as current developments in this field;
- Close familiarity with human rights and democratisation debates and a solid understanding of the underlying theories, concepts and methods;
- Familiarity with a wide range of thematic, country/regional and comparative approaches.
At the end of the EMA Programme students will also have acquired the ability to
- Conduct independent research at an advanced level and evaluate and critically use materials;
- Demonstrate articulate oral and writing skills including style, organisation of ideas, clarity of expression, argumentation and presentation;
- Engage in complex academic and policy debates;
- Apply practical and operational skills in diverse working environments.
Given the existence of other excellent human rights master's programmes offered by European universities, including universities participating in the EMA network, it is important to identify and underline the added value in establishing a joint European master's programme:
- Together the participating universities and associated institutions are able to present a richness and variety of perspectives on human rights that no single department or faculty could offer. The EMA programme is thus unique in its scope and diversity.
- The experience of 41 prestigious universities working together on curriculum development, teaching methodology, student selection and evaluation, and even the awarding of degrees, marks a unique example of European university cooperation. While professors and experts participating in the network liberally devote their time and expertise to the common endeavour, they also gain insight and inspiration from the cooperation which in turn enriches the participating institutions.
- The very fact of bringing together students, academics and experts from all of Europe and the rest of the world in the context of a highly intense learning environment, which is focused on the core values of the EU and its policies in the global promotion of human rights and democracy, contributes in important ways to the formation of a European culture of human rights.
- The success of EMA establishes a positive example and serves as a valuable reference point for the promotion of human rights education outside the European Union, both in neighbouring regions and globally. The expanding Global Campus of Human Rights is a compelling indication of this.
- The strong bonds of friendship and solidarity within the alumni network as well as the regional and international academic networks associated with EMA further adds to all of the abovementioned effects.