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The European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA), created in 1997 on the initiative of the Human Rights Centre of University of Padova and promoted directly by European Union, is the most important and qualified post-degree education programme in the field of human rights.
The programme offers an action and policy-oriented approach to learning about human rights, democratisation and international relations from a legal, political, historical, anthropological, and philosophical perspective. Students have the opportunity to meet in a multi-cultural environment and be taught by a considerable number of leading academics, experts and representatives of international organisations (including the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the EU) and non-governmental organisations.
It is an intensive one-year advanced master’s programme. The first semester (September to February) is takes place at the Monastery of San Nicolò, in Venice Lido; an in-field training week is also scheduled (during the past years it has taken place in various countries, such as Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo). During the second semester (March to July) students relocate to one of the 41 E.MA participating universities to follow courses in a given area of specialisation and to undertake personal supervised research, culminating in the production of a thesis.
Venice semester lessons are run by professors, professionals and officers coming from the main European university centres, international organisations and NGOs working on human rights and democratisation. The course programme is intensive and demanding; the structure and academic programme of the Master's degree course stand as reference models for many other similar initiatives around the world.
Applicants are required to hold a university degree and must have 240 ECTS credits (with a 180 ECTS minimum university title/degree) normally in a field relevant to human rights, including disciplines in law, social sciences, and the humanities. If the applicant holds a degree corresponding to 180 ECTS credits, then the additional 60 ECTS credits will normally be obtained through regular university studies but can in exceptional circumstances also be obtained through documented prior learning components that are related to the E.MA curriculum and include a minimum structure of: a) independent project research and/or b) supervised academic learning.
The selection of Italian candidates is kept by the Human Rights Centre of University of Padova.
English and French are the official working languages of the E.MA programme.
After successfully passing exams and completing a Master’s thesis, students will be awarded the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation jointly conferred by those Universities of the E.MA participating universities that will have ratified the Joint Degree Agreement.
The European Master is managed by the European Inter-University Centre in Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) and supported by the European Union, the Region of Veneto, the Municipality of Venice, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNESCO and the German NGO GTZ.