MA (Human Rights and Democratisation) – APMA Programme


 Student Handbook


The Master of Human Rights and Democratization (Asia Pacific) (APMA – formerly known as the MHRD) is based at Mahidol University’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP). With partial funding from the European Commission, the APMA partnership has been running for seven years and has graduated over 140 students. The degree has contributed much to the capacity of emerging leaders in the Asia Pacific region who protect and promote human rights and democracy. The partner universities are:

  • Ateneo de Manila Law School (the Philippines)
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)
  • Katmandu School of Law (Nepal)
  • The University of Colombo, Centre for the Study of Human Rights (Sri Lanka)

Outline of the Program:

Designed for early to mid-career professionals and highly motivated undergraduates, the APMA is tailored to people working in human rights and democratization professions: governmental, non-governmental and international organisations, education, the police or military, business and other fields where human rights perspectives are critical.

Many of those coming into the degree will already be working in the field of human rights, democratization or related sectors such as development, peace, humanitarian, democracy, and environment. It is anticipated that the research and advocacy skills, as well as the expanded knowledge base that students will acquire through the degree, will significantly assist them when working in the internationalized context of rights and democracy. Graduates will be qualified to work in policy, advocacy and research positions in non-governmental, governmental and inter-governmental organisations.

Program costs and Financial Support

The program will cost approximately €6,000. There will be 20 scholarship positions available for applicants from the Asia Pacific region. This includes countries in the Pacific, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Full financial cost details, lists of countries which can apply, and the condition of the scholarship are available from IHRP (email below).

Program Structure

The APMA program is taught across two campuses. All students will study first semester at the IHRP, Mahidol University (Thailand). For the second semester students will study at one of the four partner universities in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

The first semester at Mahidol University consists of four courses and runs from August till November 2017. There is an intensive course at IHRP in January 2018, before students travel to the partner university for the second semester which runs from February to July 2018. At the partner university, students study two courses and undertake a research project.

Study Plan

Semester One (IHRP, Mahidol University):

  • Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms I
  • Human Rights and Democratisation Research
  • Dynamics of Human Rights Violations
  • Democratisation: Theory and Practice
Semester Two (IHRP, Mahidol University):

  • Human Rights Intensive (January, 2018)
  • Applied Research in Human Rights (independent research project
Semester two Partner University

  • Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms II
  • Critical and Emerging Regional Issues
  • Dissertation or Applied Research Dissertation

The research project takes two forms:
a. MA Dissertation: A Master’s level dissertation supervised by program academic staff

b. Applied Research Dissertation: A research paper done in cooperation with an internship placement


– Students must study at a partner university for second semester

– Scholarship students will be assigned to a partner university according to their choice, best fit with their preference and study interests. Fee-paying students can select any of the partners.

Global Campus of Human Rights and Democratisation Programmes

The APMA is part of a network of human rights and democratization Masters courses made up of over 100 universities around the world. This network, the Global Campus of Human Rights and Democratization Programmes, is funded through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) enabled by the European Commission. The APMA represents the Asia Pacific region in this programme of seven regional Masters taking place across five continents, details of these can be found at the EIUC webpage ( Every year, the one-week Global Classroom is held in Venice, with the participation of an equal number of students from each regional programme. The Classroom involves students and faculty presenting, analysing and discussing of an issue of global and regional interest, with the participation of guest experts.

Admission Requirements and Process

Applicants must:

  1. Have an undergraduate Bachelors degree (or equivalent from a recognized university)
  2. Have high English language proficiency (at least a score of 550 for TOEFL (paper-based), 61 for TOEFL iBT or 6.0 for IELTS).

Scholarship applicants will be competitively assessed based on the applicants:

  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights and democratisation;
  • Relevant professional experience;
  • Strong academic background and/or research ability;
  • Prospective contribution to the field of human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific region.
 How to Apply

Application forms are available from the IHRP (contact details below).

The APMA program will begin accepting applications from late 2016. The first round of applications is open to all applications and closes on 1 April, 2017. The first round is also the deadline for scholarship applicants. Applicants in the first round, including scholarship offers, will be notified of their results by 30 April.

The second round of applications open to all non-scholarship applicants and the closing date is on 30 May, 2017. Second round applicants will be notified of their results by 10 June.

Announcements including application forms, country criteria, and study programs are available from IHRP. Please keep in touch through the IHRP website (address below). For any enquiries or requests for application forms, please contact the Program Secretary at the APMA email below:

Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies,
Panyaphiphat Building,
Mahidol University, Salaya Campus,
999 Phuttamonthon 4 Rd, Nakhon Pathom
Thailand 73170.Office Tel : (66) 2-441-0813-5
Fax : (66) 2-441-0872-3
Office Email :
Highlights of the Inauguration – 29th January 2016
PhotoGalleryIconKeynote speech by Mr. Saliya Pieris