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Students who commenced study in 2016 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

Monash University


Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies


Dr Robert Simpson


Faculty of Arts

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies


Caulfield, Clayton

In the era of globalisation, one of the most important concepts in international affairs is human rights. The major in Human rights is interdisciplinary, examining the history and the nature of human rights and addressing basic issues such as: What are human rights? Are human rights culturally relative? How can human rights be justified? You will examine how these issues relate to pressing practical problems, for instance, how an understanding of human rights helps to address issues such as global poverty, unequal access to medicine, refugees, terrorism, warfare, children's rights, humanitarian intervention, torture, surveillance, and more.

The Human Rights major or minor is an excellent complement to studies in law, criminology, journalism, international studies, politics, international relations, philosophy, history, development studies and sustainability. As a student of human rights you will acquire strong analytic abilities and communication skills, and will have expertise in areas that are of relevance to employers in the non-government organisation (NGO) sector, a wide variety of professions and in the federal and state public service and their statutory authorities.


Human rights is listed in A2000 Bachelor of Arts at Caulfield and Clayton and 0202 Bachelor of Letters at Clayton as a major or minor, and A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts at Caulfield and Clayton as a major.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will:

  • have a deep understanding of the history, politics and philosophy of human rights
  • be able to critically analyse policy proposals which bear on human rights issues, such as global poverty, immigration, and armed conflict.


Major requirements (48 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited to the majormajor ( and at least 18 points must be at level 3.

Students complete:

(a.) Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units ( (12 points):

(b.) One level 2 cornerstone unitcornerstone unit ( (6 points) chosen from:

(c.) One level 3 capstone unitcapstone unit ( (6 points) chosen from:

  • ATS3639 Poverty, climate change and international justice
  • ATS3905 Democratic theory

(d.) Four units (24 points) from the remaining cornerstone and capstone units or the elective list below, with at least two units at level 3.

Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minorminor (

Students complete:

(a.) Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units ( (12 points):

(b.) Two level 2 or 3 units (12 points) as listed within the major. It is a highly recommended that students complete a second-year level unit before enrolling in a third-year level unit.

Elective list

Units are 6 points unless otherwise stated.

  • ATS2354/ATS3354 Interrogating racism: Indigenous Australians and the state
  • ATS2584/ATS3584 Australia's black history
  • ATS2600 The Holocaust
  • ATS2628 Power and poverty: International development in a globalised world
  • ATS2637 The human body and the international marketplace
  • ATS2640 The ethics of global conflict
  • ATS2694 International political economy
  • ATS2706 Foreign policy analysis
  • ATS2868 Issues in political theory
  • ATS2932 Struggles for justice: The history of rebellion, resistance and revolt
  • ATS3208 In the footsteps of refugees
  • ATS3314 Seeking justice: South Africa and Rwanda
  • ATS3340 International security studies
  • ATS3376 Anthropology of human rights
  • ATS3459 Prisons, power and punishment
  • ATS3462 Global crime and justice
  • ATS3623 Nationality, ethnicity and conflict
  • ATS3632 Post-conflict: Justice, memory, reconciliation
  • ATS3638 Global childhoods: Children's rights, welfare and mobility in a global context
  • ATS3697 Gender and international relations
  • ATS3956 Trauma and memory in the modern world

Relevant courses


  • A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts


Single degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

  • A2000 Bachelor of Arts
  • 0202 Bachelor of Letters

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts component in the following double degrees:*

  • A2005 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Art
  • A2004 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music
  • B2019 Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2012 Bachelor of Business Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2020 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2024 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • D3002 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • E3002 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • C2002 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts
  • L3003 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts

* Students cannot complete both the minor and major in the same area of study.