Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society

Master of Arts (M.A.)

  • Ashish

    about his experience in the international study programme MAHRS (English)
  • Christina

    sharing her view of the study programme MAHRS (German)

Contact at the department

Prof. Dr.

Matthias Klemm

Building 22, Room 201
Prof. Dr.Matthias Klemm+49 661 9640-4594
Consultation hours
Thursday 11.00-12.00 am

What is this programme about?

The Department of Social and Cultural Sciences introduced an innovative master's programme in the winter semester 2018/2019: Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society.

This interdisciplinary master's programme addresses graduates in the social or cultural sciences, political science, economics, communication, law or philosophy with a special interest in human rights. The master's degree in Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society qualifies graduates for a professional career as an expert in human rights issues.

Students acquire skills in the fields of social science methods, legal argumentation, as well as regional and cultural variants of the concretisation of human rights and the meaning of human rights.

Your profile

  • The master’s programme Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society is intended for graduates with a first degree in social sciences, cultural sciences, political sciences, communication, economics, law, philosophy and/or similar subjects who are interested in an interdisciplinary graduate programme that covers different approaches to the development of human rights. Openness to the various disciplines, an interest in political issues, a high study motivation as well as solid English and German language skills are required qualifications for entering this programme.
  • 30% of the student intake shall be international students.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in social, cultural or political sciences, economics and business studies, law, philosophy or a similar subject
  • Good English language skills, proven in listening, reading and writing. Possible test formats are TOEFL ibT (79), TOEFL pbT or itp (550), IELTS (6.5) or CAE/CPE
  • Good German language skills, proven in listening, reading and writing. Possible test formats are DSH (DSH-1), TestDaF (3-3-3-3) or Goethe Institut Certificates (B2)
  • Letter of application in German or English explaining your reasons for choosing the programme and outlining your professional ambitions (no longer than two pages)

Objectives of the study programme

The master’s programme Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society aims to prepare graduates with a strong interest in human rights and a first degree in social, cultural and/or political sciences as well as communication, economics, law and/or philosophy for a career as an expert in human rights issues.

In this interdisciplinary and social science-based programme, students critically study and analyse the historical and current institutionalisation and implementation of human rights in the fields of law, politics and civil society. Students get to know approaches from the social and political as well as from the legal sciences, methods of the social sciences and also learn to consider aspects of interculturality and diversity. In addition, students analyse the national, regional and global development of human rights from a legal, political and sociological perspective. Furthermore, students learn to identify and critically examine the developmental dynamics of society, politics and law which are influenced by the implementation and codifications of human rights. The political levels and social institutions are also relevant topics for the students. Additionally, students learn to independently conduct human rights-focused research using methods from the social sciences. Moreover, they acquire skills in presenting developments in human rights with undergirding facts and figures and in negotiating in intercultural settings.


The closing date for applications for the winter semester for applicants from Germany and other EU countries is 15 July.

For applicants from non-EU countries, the closing date for applications is 15 May.

For admission to the programme, the following documents are required:

  1. Proof of a successfully completed university degree in the social, cultural, political and/or sciences, communication, economics and business studies, law and/or philosophy within the area of application of the Higher Education Framework Act or from a university abroad that is deemed to be equivalent.
  2. Proof that you have good German and English language skills (with standardised tests such as DSH, TestDaF, TOEFL, IELTS); please ask for the level that is required in your case. DSH and TOEFL itp can be taken at the Language Centre.
  3. Letter of motivation in German or English stating your reasons for applying to the degree programme and outlining your professional ambitions (maximum of two pages).

Application portal for German and EU applicants:

Application portal for applicants from non-EU countries:

Study schedule

The master’s programme comprises ten modules that are spread over four semesters. During the first two semesters, historical and theoretical foundations in the study of human rights and human rights codifications are taught, as well as social science methods, and legal argumentation skills. Communication on and common understandings of human rights are further topics of the first study year before the students undertake a mandatory internship of at least 10 weeks in an organisation that is relevant to human rights matters. In the third semester, students can choose two out of three specialisation modules, focusing on business and labour, migration and (digital) communication. Students write their master’s thesis during the fourth semester investigating a research question developed during their internship or prior studies.

Study programme

The binding rules for admission, exams and modules are defined by the examination regulations, the so-called "Prüfungsordnung", which also contains the module descriptions (only available in German).


Semester fees
Current semester fees amount to approximately €300 (for the Student Services, AStA, public transport ticket and administrative expenses) which must be paid each semester.

Living expenses
You will require around €700-800 a month to cover rent, groceries, health insurance, study materials etc. The exact amount does of course depend on your personal lifestyle.

No tuition fees
The study programme is funded by the state of Hesse. Students are not required to pay tuition fees.

If you have more questions about the cost of studying and living in Fulda, please contact the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences or the International Office.

What career opportunities do you have after graduation?

The master’s programme qualifies graduates for jobs at political foundations and think tanks, at national, international and European governmental and non-governmental organisations, in media and Public Relations, in the secretariats and committees of the human rights conventions, as well as in the area of human relations in international corporations, organisations, education institutions etc.

Furthermore, the programme can also serve as preparation for entry into the PhD programme at the Doctoral Research Centre in Social Sciences with a focus on Globalisation, European Integration and Interculturality at Fulda University of Applied Sciences.

Questions about the Study programme? Please contact us!

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Prof. Dr. Matthias Klemm by email to: matthias.klemm(at) You can also ask for an online meeting.

Programme start in October 2021

In 2021, the study programme starts in mid October. More information on introductory events will be published here in due time.

Further information

Head of Study Programme

Prof. Dr.

Matthias Klemm

Sociology with a focus on Work, Organisation and Interculturality

Building 22 , Room 201
Prof. Dr.Matthias Klemm+49 661 9640-4594
Consultation hours
Thursday 11.00-12.00 am

Study Programme Coordinator

Aileen Heid

Aileen Heid

Coordinator for the Master´s programme Human Rights Studies in Politics, Law and Society

Building 22 , Room 104
Aileen Heid+49 661 9640-478
Consultation hours
on appointment


26 Jan
Die Justiz – vom Ort der Rechtsanwendung zum Motor sozialen Zusammenhalts?

Referent: Prof. Dr. Berthold Vogel (Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut Göttingen)

to event
27 Jan
themenspezifische Fragestunde für Studierende (Semesterendspurt)

Fragestunde der Selbstlernförderung zu „Lern- und Prüfungsplangestaltung im Semesterendspurt“

to event
01 Feb
"Aus Fehlern, mit Fehlern, durch Fehler lernen – forschungsorientiertes und erfahrungsbasiertes Lernen in der Lehre“

Der Workshop kann auf das Zertifikat "Professionelle Lehrkompetenz für die Hochschullehre" angerechnet werden.

to event
01 March
Anmelden zu Sprach-Intensivkursen

Noch anmelden bis 12.2.2021! Das Programm für das Frühjahr 2021 ist online.

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22 March 23 March
"Lehre in Form bringen... Veranstaltungen lerngerecht planen"

Der Workshop kann auf das Zertifikat "Professionelle Lehrkompetenz für die Hochschullehre" angerechnet werden.

to event