Application deadline:

31 July 2024

What is HRDA


The LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) is a prestigious one-year course where 25-30 exceptional individuals spend six months in Pretoria and six months at one of the 12 partner universities all over Africa. They are taught by eminent lecturers in the field of human rights and undergo many practical training exercises. It is the only course of its kind in Africa.

The HRDA Master’s programme is connected with the other six Global Campus’ regional Master’s programmes through lecturer exchanges and participation in common global activities targeting both faculty and students.

Master Details

HRDA is a very intensive programme and mixes theoretical study with practical application. Particular attention is paid to human rights and democratisation as seen from an African perspective.



The programme is divided into two semesters and strives to equip African human rights defenders with:

  • sound knowledge of international human rights law and democratisation, with a focus on Africa;
  • research, writing, word-processing and oral presentation skills of relevance to international human rights defenders;
  • the ability to engage analytically and critically with the relevant material; and
  • a commitment to the advancement of human rights and democratisation in Africa.


The programme is realized with the support of lecturers, experts and practitioners from the partner universities and associate regional and international organizations such as IGO`s, NGO`s, research institutes and think tanks.

The academic consortium is composed of the following universities:



The objectives of the programme are:

  • To train human rights experts who can be employed in government ministries, other national, international and regional bodies concerned with human rights and democracy. The aim is to ensure the effectiveness of these bodies, through imparting professionalism and operational competence. The end result is to ensure the transfer of technical skills and strengthen the capacity of these organisations with the goal of improving the protection and promotion of human rights and democratisation in Africa.
  • Expand collaboration among African universities. Collaboration should result in a network of lawyers and academics specialised in human rights and democracy. The programme envisages promoting research and teaching that addresses the particular needs of Africa. Some identified needs include conflict prevention; democratic transition; strengthening of civil society, institutional building and the rule of law. The programme also aims at developing and strengthening links between civil society, governmental bodies, and international organisations.
  • Develop a relationship between the African Masters and the other regional masters, such as the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA), the Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation.