The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation Programme is designed for academics, professionals and highly motivated graduates. The degree offers students a unique opportunity to engage first-hand experience with regional and international human rights as well as democratisation issues, and to interact with internationally acclaimed academics, practitioners and experts. It also provides the learning opportunity to interact with a group of international students from the Mahidol University, Thailand.

Objectives/ Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide the candidates in their early and mid-career professions, an opportunity to enhance their basic knowledge on more contextualised and practical understanding on human rights and democracy. The design of the curriculum, teaching and learning methodology will enhance necessary skills of the candidates related to monitoring and preparing practical/advocacy related tools for human rights and democracy. In addition, the eventual objective of this course of study is positive influence of attitudes and perception of students in reater competence at working with human rights and democratisation defenders.

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Have an excellent knowledge of theory and practice of the promotion and protection of human rights and democratization.
  2. Can undertake independent scholarly research on current issues in human rights and democratisation in the Sri Lanka and the Asia Pacific.
  3. Have the capacity to put their academic understanding and practical experience to use in real situations.

Target Group

The primary target group of this course are the officers of the highly motivated undergraduates, mid-career professionals in the fields of human rights and democratisation. Other interested candidates can be from the military (Army, Navy & Air Force), executive officers of government, private & non-governmental organizations and members of civil society are eligible for nomination by the relevant authorities or can apply independently subject to their qualification and experience in the relevant fields. Such nominations will be considered as an invitation to treat, and the CSHR will conduct an interview to select potential candidates subjected to the governing rules and regulations of the University of Colombo.

Programme Structure

This course is designed based on the credit value system of Sri Lanka Qualification Framework Level 9 (SLQF 9) and it allows a candidate to earn 30 credits within the period of one year (01) by successfully completing six course modules along with a supervised researched component or an internship placement of 180 hours with a research.

Course Modules

First Semester

  • Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms – Part I ( HRNM Part I)
  • Human rights and Democratisation Research (HRDR)
  • Dynamics of Human Rights Violations (DHRV)
  • Democracy Theory and Practice (DTP)

Second Semester

  • Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms – Part II (HRNM Part II)
  • Critical and Emerging Issues in the Asia Pacific Region (CEIR)
  • Dissertation or Internship Placement Report


  • Bachelor’s Degree in humanities, social sciences or law
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any other area and with relevant work experience in the field of human rights and democratisation
  • Professional qualification with experience as deemed relevant
  • Excellent knowledge in English (*competency in English will be tested in the interview)

Course duration: 1 Year

Lecture dates: Friday afternoons and Saturday

Application Fee: LKR 2000/-

Course Fee: LKR 250,000/-

How to apply

Application can be downloaded from HERE and will be processed after providing the paying voucher of LKR 2000/- to any branch of the People’s Bank, in favour of ‘University of Colombo – Main Collection Account’  No: 335026000003

Completed application along with certified copies of certificates and the payment receipt of the application fee should be submitted by email to and should be sent by registered post on or before 30 June 2022.

Payment of the application fee can be done through the following options.

Option 1

Pay to any branch of the People’s Bank, in favour of ‘University of Colombo – Main Collection Account’ to the Account number 335026000003

Please note that you cannot make direct transfers through online banking to the account number given above and can only make the transaction through the web portal mentioned in the option 2.

Option 2

Through the university payment portal. Click here to make an online payment : 

Use the following details;

Fee Type: Course Fee-CSHR

Account reference Number: 335026000003

For more information contact us on:

Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo,

94 Cumarathunga Munidasa Mawatha, Colombo 03

Tel: 011 2500879/2503017, Fax: 011 2598462