MAHRS, The Master of Arts in Human Rights and Sustainability

Coordinated by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Master Details

The Master of Arts and Liberal Sciences specializing in Human Rights and Sustainability (MAHRS) in Central Asia, is a new graduate 2-year Regional Master’s degree at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, starting in 2023. It is a trans- and interdisciplinary programme that bridges international law, social sciences, and humanities.
The programme is designed for scholars, professionals, and graduate students who aim to work in related public domestic, international administrative and non-governmental sectors. The curriculum prepares students for working in national, international, governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations and research institutions dealing with human rights and sustainability. Key features are international human rights law, good governance, and sustainability instruments and mechanism such as the 2015 UN SDGs, in Central Asia.
In the first year, students will be based in Bishkek, and in the second year will go to one of the partner universities in Central Asia. They will also conduct field research and internships in international organizations, and think tanks, and CSOs/NGOs with a related focus on their studies. Students of MAHRS will focus on and operate within Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. These seven countries are core to the OSCE Academy’s educational outreach and research.
Venue: OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Start: September 2023
Co-Funded: European Union and OSCE Academy in Bishkek
Duration: 2 years (120 ECTS)
Number of students per cohort: 15-20 from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, or OSCE participating States
Structure: The first two terms are dedicated to the core theoretical and applied International Law, Governance and Sustainability Courses. Students undergo internships and conduct independent research projects in the third and fourth terms. The fifth term focuses on thematic clusters, and mobility at partner Universities concentrates on research and thesis writing. The sixth term is dedicated to the master thesis preparation, thesis defense, state exams, and graduation, and in the last term students will implement their work. As part of the specific collaboration of MAHRS / OSCE Academy with the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice, Italy, joint sessions and international guest lectures will be offered.
Financial Support/Scholarship:
  • Full tuition fee waiver
  • A stipend of 450 euros per month (18 months)
  • Round-trip travel to Bishkek (economy class air tickets)
  • Medical insurance for non-citizens/ non-residents of the Kyrgyz Republic
  • Funded internship opportunities in Europe for top GPA students
Admission requirements:
The programme is open to all interested applicants who meet the following criteria:
  • A resident of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan, or OSCE participating States
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in social sciences, humanities, law, language, sociology, international relations, political sciences, literature, or other equivalent subjects. In case if an applicant has not yet received a diploma, s/ he should provide documentation stating the indicative date for receiving the degree/ diploma from the institution and a transcript of grades
  • Fluent in English
  • Have professional and research interests in human rights, sustainability, and democratization in Central Asia.
Programme overview
This Master of liberal arts programme is about learning, applying, monitoring, and implementing human rights, governance, and sustainability principles and norms stipulated by international and regional Human Rights Regimes. The UN 2015 SDGs (Agenda 2030) will be the key content of MAHRS. Students are taught by leading academics, experts and representatives of international organizations and NGOs, while studying in a multicultural environment. The programme aims for a new generation of human rights and sustainability defenders. It advocates a world where human dignity, equality, freedom, human security, sustainable development, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for all human rights are realized. It also equips students with necessary analytical research and academic writing skills.