Why I chose to study MA Human Rights Law at SOAS  

MA student Anna moved across the pond to pursue a human rights law degree at SOAS. In her blog, she runs through the key reasons why, from learning about diverse global contexts to gaining hands-on work experience. 

In the last year of my undergraduate degree, I knew that I wanted to pursue a higher degree in law, but also wanted the flexibility of a shorter program with classes that had a more interdisciplinary approach. Embarking on the journey towards an MA in Human Rights Law at SOAS was driven by multiple compelling reasons that stirred my passion for the subject. Renowned for its global perspective and commitment to social justice, SOAS stands as a beacon for those passionate about the human rights field.  Let's dive into the five key motivations that fueled my final decision to attend SOAS.

Learning about human rights through diverse global perspectives   

One of the main reasons I chose to attend SOAS was the opportunity to learn through global perspectives. The curriculum and class discussions here truly offer an in-depth exploration of human rights through incredibly diverse cultural, historical, and geopolitical contexts. The program challenges preconceptions and encourages a very nuanced understanding of complex issues on a global scale. 

Group of students on SOAS Steps

The faculty has academic expertise and real-world experience

Having both academic expertise and real-world experiences, the lecturers at SOAS foster an environment of critical thinking, interdisciplinary approaches, and genuine commitment to effecting positive societal change. During my time here, I’ve found that the teaching style at SOAS encourages students to explore perspectives that may be unfamiliar, as well as promotes a dynamic and intellectually stimulating learning environment.    

Gaining hands-on experience  

The emphasis on hands-on experience was a primary reason why I chose SOAS. Having the opportunity to work on actual cases alongside legal professionals has been such a rewarding experience that has led me to find my true passion and career goals. The programs offered enable the practical application of classroom knowledge to real-world cases, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

SOAS isn't just where I study; it's where I've grown, personally and academically, fostering a profound sense of interconnectedness and shaping me into a more globally conscious individual.

Lots of networking opportunities  

Another reason I chose SOAS was the amazing networking opportunities. SOAS provides opportunities for practical engagement, guest lectures, and networking events. The campus is always busy with different events that are super informative and a great way to meet potential employers, renowned academics, as well as prominent politicians.    

Connecting with SOAS alumni around the world  

Last but certainly not least, one of my favourite parts about SOAS is the connections between current students and alumni because it offers a great platform for insight, mentorship, and industry connections. I originally learned about SOAS from an alum, and I’m still so grateful for all the alums I’ve connected with. SOAS graduates across the globe have successfully established themselves across various sectors, including law, international relations, academia, and policymaking.    

Choosing SOAS for postgraduate studies has been a transformative journey, providing a rigorous academic foundation and opportunities to translate knowledge into tangible impact and build a network that extends far beyond the classroom. 

About the author

Anna Sandt is pursuing an MA in Human Rights Law. Originally from Boston, U.S.A., Anna’s favourite hobbies include hiking, swimming, and discovering new spots to study. Her academic areas of interest are immigration law and women’s rights.