Human rights and Welfare Policies - Master



Mål og innhald

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with knowledge of human rights law and its application on domestic welfare law and policies. Securing access to healthcare, education, work, and social security are important responsibilities of modern welfare states, addressing essential human needs and determinants of a dignified living. While the nature, content and scope of socio-economic human rights and obligations are at the center focus, civil human rights (autonomy, liberty, privacy) are explored insofar relevant for analyses of how to understand and balance different rights and state obligations in the field of socio-economic human rights and welfare policies. An important objective of the course is to strengthen the student´s ability to critically evaluate and assess domestic welfare law and policies in light of international human rights norms.



By the end of the course, students are expected to have solid knowledge and understanding of

  • human rights law and underpinning values
  • notions and significance of universality and relativity
  • relationship between different rights
  • state obligations, especially related to socio-economic human rights
  • core content of rights and state obligations
  • the duty of non-discrimination
  • negative and positive aspects of rights and state obligations
  • conflicting rights and duties in welfare law and policies
  • the notion and significance of state´s margin of appreciation
  • theories of state´s complying with socio-economic human rights.


By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • explain and discuss the content of central human rights instruments and sources
  • identify and apply relevant sources and arguments in human rights assessments of welfare law and policies
  • make independent and critical assessments of state´s human rights performance in welfare law and policies
  • identify conflicting rights and obligations in welfare law and policies, and to discuss how to balance them
  • compare and assess different theories and possible strategies of states to fulfil socio-economic human rights
  • contribute to the discussion on how to effectively protect human rights in welfare law and policies
  • Cooperate with law students from other countries, and gain perspectives on common legal challenges from students from a legal background different than their own
  • Contribute with perspectives from their own country and legal background.

General competence

After successful completion of the course, students should have general competence in:

  • human rights law, analysis and communication, especially in the field of socio-economic human rights
  • academic legal discourse, presentation and writing skills
  • critical thinking and independent legal assessments

Presenting and evaluating legal analyses and points of view in English, both orally and in writing

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)

Master level




Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
Krav til forkunnskapar
Three years of law studies
Tilrådde forkunnskapar
Good level of English language

Combined with JUS276-2-A Human Rights Law: Special Focus on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, JUS276-2-C Human Rights and Welfare Policies or JUS2313 Human Rights and Welfare Policies - Bachelor this course will generate no new credits.

This course combines well with

JUS250-2-D Velferdsrett

JUS2322/JUS3522 Health and Human Rights

Krav til studierett

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the five-year programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Admitted to the master's programme in sustainability
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed master in law degree at UiB
  • Exchange students at the Faculty of Law

The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures, master classes or paper writing seminars with paper presentations.

Master classes look to go one step further than regular lectures - requiring more in-depth and specific preparation (i.e. reading of specific cases, articles, reports etc.), and charging students with responsibility for teaching and learning from each other through the use of flipped classrooms, group and/or individual presentations and debates.

Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
It is mandatory to attend the master classes and paper writing seminars, including giving a paper presentation.

The exam consists of two parts:

1. Paper of max 3000 words.

Individually chosen topic, approved by the course supervisor. The paper constitutes 60% of the final grade.

2. Four-hour digital school exam. The school exam constitutes 40% of the final grade.

Information about digital examination.

Exam language

Exam question: English

Answer: English

A-E for passed, F for failed.


Students who fail the home exam may re-sit this part before the school exam. It is a requirement that the home exam is approved in order to be allowed to sit the school exam.

Students who do not pass the school exam may re-sit in the following semester, provided that the home exam and other mandatory activities have been approved and when the examination result is due to

  • legitimate reason for non-attendance (see Section 3-4, paragraph 3 b ii in the Supplementary Regulations)
  • failed result

For rules regarding voluntary re-sit, (see Section 3-4, paragraph 1 c.)

The reading list will be ready 1st July for the autumn semester.
According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen

Support materials allowed during the school exam

Students may bring their own copy of a bilingual dictionary to/from English and any other language, in one or two volumes.
For further info see section 3-9 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

In addition: Course compendium supplied by the Faculty of Law.

The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course.
Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen
Administrativt ansvarleg
The Faculty of Lawss section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.