L’E.MA – European Master’s degree in Human rights and Democratisation è un programma di studi post-laurea di durata annuale e carattere multi-disciplinare tenuto da accademici ed esperti internazionali in materia di diritto e relazioni internazionali, filosofia, scienze politiche e sociologia applicate ai temi dei diritti fondamentali e dei processi di democratizzazione. Il corpo docente proviene dalle 41 università europee che sono parte del programma; partecipano anche esperti provenienti da organizzazioni governative e non-governative impegnate nella tutela internazionale dei diritti umani. I motivi che sono alla base della richiesta di riconfermare l’E.MA quale “Master” sono legati principalmente alle seguenti specificità: carattere intrinsecamente internazionale; visibilità europea ed internazionale; alto livello di specializzazione degli studi; inserimento degli studenti nel secondo semestre in programmi accademici presso le università partner; opportunità formative di training pratico (settimana di formazione sul campo, programma di internship per i migliori quindici diplomati, programma avanzato di fellowship per diplomati provenienti dal paese dell’Unione che esercita la presidenza di turno).
Below are 10 reasons why people choose E.MA:
- Interdisciplinary nature of programme compared with more traditional approach of other universities
- Range of high level academics, experts, officials from a variety of institutions and organisations, most of whom engage on a daily basis in human rights practice and thus are always abreast of the latest developments and debates
- Combination of theory and practice
- A week-long field trip to a post-conflict country
- European mobility: first Venice, historically at the centre of a multicultural approach to international relations, and then one of the many prestigious universities and human rights centres participating in the programme
- Possibility to do internships and fellowships in leading human rights organisations
- Ties with EU institutions and links with international governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations for a regional and at the same time global experience
- Extensive worldwide E.MAlumni Association for contacts, job opportunities, career development, projects, research
- Excellent value for money
- A unique human experience during which all those involved (students, faculty and resident staff) develop long-term bonds and networks with each other
One of the most significant contributions of the EU to human rights education is represented by the E.MA programme. E.MA has been designed in order to establish a common pool of highly qualified and motivated human rights experts who will work either in European governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental human rights institutions or who will be sent, on behalf of the EU or other organisations, to work in the field.
The aims of the E.MA Programme are:
- To form high-level professionals in the field of human rights and democratisation qualified to work as academics, staff members or field workers for inter-governmental, governmental, and non-governmental organisations
- To provide its graduates with some practical field/work experience
- To create a European network of curriculum development and staff exchange among universities in the field of human rights and democratisation
The E.MA learning outcomes bridge knowledge, understanding and skills in a holistic approach:
Knowledge and understanding
Upon successful completion of the E.MA Programme, students will be able to:
- Master in-depth knowledge of recent and current developments in human rights and democratisation
- Examine human rights and democratisation debates through a solid understanding of theories, concepts and methods
- Refer to and apply thematic, country and comparative approaches
At the end of the E.MA Programme students will also have acquired the ability to:
- Conduct independent research at an advanced level and evaluate and critically use materials
- Show articulated oral and writing skills including style, organisation of ideas, clarity of expression, argumentation and presentation
- Display analysis of research carried out on primary and secondary materials providing a foundation for professional work and academic research
- Engage in meaningful academic and policy debates
- Apply practical and operational skills in diverse working environments
E.MA is open to EU and non-EU citizens.
The criteria used during the selection process are:
- academic ability and background
- language competence
Applicants are required to hold a university degree of a high standard in a field relevant to human rights, including disciplines in law, social sciences and the humanities and must have a minimum of 180 ECTS (Bachelor/General Degree).
Candidatures can be considered as long as the applicant has obtained a degree corresponding to:
- 180 ECTS credits (generally a 3-year course) or
- 240 ECTS credits (generally a 4-year course) or
- A combination of a degree of 180 ECTS and relevant proven additional experience or studies (such as 1-year MA or summer courses)
Applicants completing the degree entry requirements subsequently to the application deadline are requested to provide a current transcript of exams. Eventual admission into the Programme will be conditional upon receipt of documentation of the completed degree (by August).
All selected candidates who hold a non-EU degree are required to produce upon admission a “declaration of value” of their degree. Non-EU candidates are moreover required to obtain a study visa which must cover the entire duration of the academic year (September – September). Both the study visa and the “declaration of value” are preconditions for enrolment and should be requested from the competent Italian Embassy or representation offices.
Additional studies and practical experience in the area of human rights in inter-governmental, governmental, or non-governmental organisations are helpful.
Certified fluency in English is an admission requirement to the programme. While not a prerequisite, the ability to understand lectures and read academic texts in French is a definite advantage for participation in the programme.
Impieghi presso organizzazioni internazionali (inter-governative, governative, non-governative) o presso istituzioni accademiche impegnate nella protezione/promozione dei diritti umani; istituzioni governative (es. Ministeri Esteri), ONG nazionali, o istituzioni locali di protezione dei diritti umani (es. Uffici del Difensore Civico) con impieghi che vanno dalla consulenza legale, al giornalismo, all’attivismo per i diritti umani. Missioni internazionali di monitoraggio dei diritti umani o osservazione elettorale sul campo.
The first semester curriculum consists of:
- A core programme (the first stream) aimed at the plenary group of students and assessed for the purposes of the degree
- A series of second stream activities consisting of specialised units devised for smaller groups
- A field trip
First stream courses are organised in five Thematic Sections (subject to modification):
- TS1: Human Rights Institutions, Mechanisms and Standards (United Nations; Council of Europe; EU; OSCE; Organisation of American States; African System; perspectives on Asia)
- TS2: Human Rights in Context: History, Philosophy, Religion and Anthropology of Human Rights;
- TS3: Democratisation (Transition and Transformation Processes; Political Participation; Electoral Processes)
- TS4: Human Rights and Globalisation (Stakeholders in Economic Globalisation: States, International Economic Organisations, Companies, NGOs; Human Rights and Development; Business and Human Rights; Corporate Social Responsibility)
- TS5: Human Rights and Security (Humanitarian Law; International Criminal Law; Human Security, Vulnerability and Human Rights; Field Missions; Fact-finding in the field)
Some distinctive features of the first stream include:
- Focused lectures on EU legislation and policies regarding human rights and democratisation
- Special classes on human rights and democratisation in specific countries or regions (China, Russia, MENA Region)
- Mock elections: the whole cohort of students is involved in simulating the preparation, running, monitoring and evaluation of an election in a country in transition to democracy
- Project week: students work in groups and learn how to manage a project aimed at researching, analysing and reporting, both in writing and orally, on the human rights situation of a specific country
Second stream courses consist of different components tailored to students’ academic background, capabilities and interests:
- Workshops and skill classes aimed at deepening some aspects of the first stream courses
- Rolling seminars aimed at reinforcing the foundations of law, philosophy, international relations and research methods
- Semester-long special projects involving students in the production of a collective event
- Advanced Cluster classes that foster specialised knowledge of specific human rights issues
Highlights of the second stream include:
- The Moot Court: small groups of interested students are divided in two teams and act as the State and the defendant simulating a case in front of the European Court of Human Rights
- The E.MA Human Rights Film Festival: organized every year by a group of students together with the Municipality of Venice and local organisations on the occasion of Human Rights Day
- Workshops and skill classes where students learn about UN human rights mandates, develop their skills to write a funding proposal or practice how to conduct interviews in the field.
The field trip is a trademark of E.MA and has been organized for years, first in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-2003) and then in Kosovo since 2004. This field training aims at providing deeper insights into the practical tasks, difficulties, and expectations with which human rights officers in the field are faced, and to get a better understanding of the real situation in a post-conflict country.
The field trip usually takes place in Mid-January and comprises visits to international organisations and institutions and to local and regional non-governmental organizations working on the most essential human rights issues, such as property claims, torture related questions, legal advice, women’s rights, democratic elections, free media and children’s rights. Students usually stay with host families and are required to participate in all activities and events organised by the E.MA academic staff, external facilitators from the EU and other experts.
During the E.MA second semester students relocate to one of the 41 participating universities to follow courses in an area of specialisation of their own choice and to undertake personal supervised research finalised to the writing of their Master‘s thesis.
This part of the programme is conceived as a European exchange which implies that students will be hosted for the second semester activities in a university located in a country other than their own. The process of defining individual thesis topics and identifying suitable E.MA Universities to host these studies is undertaken with the assistance of the E.MA Academic Team in the course of the first semester from September to December, according to an established format. The maximum number of students that can be hosted by each participating University is three. Students may be allocated to any E.MA University on the basis of both the student and the university’s interest, the fittingness of the thesis topic in the respective department and the quality of the thesis proposal. The decision is made by the E.MA Council and is final and binding.
Durata 12 mesi, a partire da settembre. The E.MA academic year is divided into two semesters:
- First Semester: September to January (Venice)
- Second Semester: February to July (one of the 41 participating universities within the members states of the European Union)