Human Rights (BA)

Study how individuals, organizations and states use human rights to address injustice in Canada and around the world and learn how you can join them in making a difference. Examine current issues including racism, discrimination, children’s rights, women’s and gender rights, multiculturalism, ableism, crimes against humanity, human trafficking and more. Gain skills to advocate for change, including grant writing, professional fundraising and project management.

You can also pair your Human Rights (BA) degree from Laurier with a Law (LLB) degree from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom) through our six-year pathway program!

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Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll have access to in the Human Rights program:

Check out the Human Rights and Human Diversity Experience and Career Guide.


2022 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or January (winter term) or May (spring term)     OUAC code: UVH (Human Rights); ULL (Sussex Law Pathway); UDX (Sussex Master's Pathway)

Program Details

About Human Rights

Human Rights (HRHD) prepares you for a career where you can make a difference by advancing human rights in Canada and around the world.

You will examine current issues that matter in people's lives such as:

  • children's rights
  • disabilities
  • multiculturalism
  • women's rights
  • crimes against humanity
  • racism
  • human trafficking
  • gender issues

You will study institutions that can be used to address injustice like the UN, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and nongovernmental organizations. You can develop skills that are highly sought-after by human rights organizations, such as:

  • grant writing
  • policy analysis
  • intercultural competence
  • professional fundraising
  • advocacy
  • designing social media strategies

Earn a Law Degree, Too

You can combine this program with a law degree (LLB) from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Our Bachelor of Laws (University of Sussex, UK) and Bachelor of Arts (Laurier) program can be completed in six years.

You'll complete your first two years in the Human Rights program at our Brantford campus. Students who meet the GPA and progression requirements may then apply to the UK law program and are guaranteed an offer of admission to the University of Sussex law school; there is no requirement to write the LSAT entrance exam.

After three years of studying abroad in the UK and completing an LLB, you'll return for one final year at Laurier to complete your Laurier BA.

Add a Graduate Certificate from Conestoga College

Combine your BA in Human Rights with a graduate certificate from Conestoga College in just four years! Approved certificates include Human Resources Management, Management in Community Services, Career Development Professional, Project Management and Event Management. You take the courses to complete these graduate certificates in your third year; Human Resources Management is offered through Conestoga College on Laurier’s Brantford campus, the others are available nearby in Kitchener.

The Human Resources Management program (available in Brantford) provides you with all of the required educational components to become a Certified Human Resources Professional. The Management in Community Services program includes a work placement opportunity that provides students with practical workplace experience. 

The Career Development Professional program provides the full academic component and partial fulfillment of work experience hours for certification by the Career Development Practitioners' Certification Board of Ontario (CDPCBO). 

The Project Management program allows you to earn project management education hours towards a variety of certifications: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Scrum Master (ASM), Risk Management Professional (RMP), or Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) designations. 

The Event Management program is specifically designed to meet the needs of a growing industry in the planning and management of virtual and live in-person events and provides graduate students with specialized training and practical hands-on learning opportunities. 

Program Options


Enhance your expertise by specializing in either the Certificate in Non-Profit Career Foundations or the International Development Specialization as part of your Human Rights degree.

The Certificate in Non-Profit Career Foundations allows you to combine your studies with practical skills, enabling you to launch a career in the non-profit sector. Some skills this certificate enables you to develop are: 

  • grant writing 
  • governance in non-profit organizations 
  • non-profit laws and regulations 
  • leadership and ethics 
  • program development and evaluation
  • professional fundraising
  • public and media relations
  • understanding public policy

Students who maintain a B- average are eligible to participate in an 84-hour placement with a non-profit for academic credit.

The International Development Specialization enables you to develop knowledge and skills that will prepare you for a career with international development organizations or pursue further postgraduate programs in international development. Students pursuing the International Development Specialization will complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to International Development
  • The Developing World; Development Theories, Approaches, and Issues
  • Development Theories, Approaches, and Issues
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Two approved electives


Options and Minors

In addition, consider adding any of these popular options or minors which allow you to broaden your knowledge:

  • Issue Advocacy Option
  • Law Option
  • Leadership Option
  • Minor in Education
  • Minor in Social Innovation

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

Similar Programs

Community Service-Learning


Community Service-Learning (CSL) courses at Laurier integrate service in the community with what you are learning in your classes. Placements are approximately 10 weeks and take place on a weekly basis from the second week of classes to the final week, typically for two hours per week.

CSL placements consist of volunteering at a local community service, such as a soup kitchen or a children's treatment centre. It’s a great way to apply classroom knowledge and gain practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, develop your network, and graduate with experience.

Interested? Learn more about Community Service-Learning.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.



We offer more than 30 courses. The following is only a sampling.

First-Year Courses

  • Human Rights and Human Diversity
  • Human Rights Violations: Advocacy and Analysis

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Introduction to International Development
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Leadership Foundations
  • Introduction to Indigenous Studies
  • International Development

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Crimes Against Humanity
  • Children's Rights
  • Human Trafficking

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"I chose Laurier’s Human Rights program because of the small class sizes and passionate faculty - which really allowed me to engage with the material, ask questions and know the people in my classes.”

Jamie McCourt, current Human Rights student

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • activist/lobbyist
  • policy analyst with the federal government
  • communications specialist
  • foreign service officer
  • professional fundraiser
  • grant writer
  • humanitarian aid worker
  • immigrant settlement worker
  • international development program manager
  • lawyer
  • non-profit program coordinator
  • project manager
  • social worker

Explore more careers options, prepare for your future and see what our graduates are doing now.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Brantford Campus

The Brantford campus is woven into the downtown core of the City of Brantford and is home to more than 3,000 students. Close to great walking and biking trails, you get the best of both worlds.

There are many ways to tour our Brantford campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

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"One of the most valuable characteristics of the Human Rights program is the emphasis on amplifying others’ voices and lived experiences. Whether it be collaborating with students and experts from across the world, engaging with Indigenous communities, or working with local charities, my education through Laurier has been enriched with interpersonal experiences outside of the classroom."

Teana Vickers, current Human Rights student

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 548.889.8888 or see all contact information.