Courses Offerings

HRSJ Courses: FALL semester (1st year)

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 301 Seminar in Human Rights and Social Justice; Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Arman Zrvandyan

The Course Description

Human rights is often viewed only from the legal perspective, which could be described as a narrow view on human rights. However, human rights have historical, theoretical, philosophical, political and sociological dimensions worthy of examination. As a core and foundation course for the MA Program, it aims to equip students with fundamental knowledge on various dimensions of human rights, emphasizing its historical, theoretical and philosophical foundations. Students will master the key human rights concepts and vocabulary, gain knowledge on the main international human rights protection systems, as well as become knowledgeable about the recurrent debates and controversies related to human rights.

 

     

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 302: Justice, Knowledge, and Change; Core

Number of Credits: 3                  

Instructor Name: Ms. Philippa Mullins

The Course Description

The course combines theory and practice to critically question how various actors work for social change. Taught in parallel to HRSJ 307 (Foundations of Social Science Research), HRSJ 302 offers a complementary space for reflection on producing knowledge, which is turned towards change. It asks how we define and respond to injustice, providing frameworks to consider the power relationships inherent in those processes. Human rights practitioners are invited to class to discuss how they identify and respond to a particular issue in their work. HRSJ 302 will provide you with a toolkit of critical questions leading towards HRSJ 303 (Project Development, Monitoring, & Evaluation), where you will put these questions into action.

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 307 Foundations of Social Science Research, Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Ms. Philippa Mullins

Course Description

Research and evidence production are crucial to both advocacy and intervention design. This course therefore introduces you to common methods and standards in qualitative and quantitative research. It develops your ability to critically analyse research, enabling you to both challenge others’ claims and yourself propose relevant research designs to answer specific questions. This will support you to conduct your own empirical research as part of the master’s thesis project and beyond. In line with HRSJ 302, the course encourages reflection on the ethics of research. It also questions how we construct knowledge and recognize expertise, as well as how our values and positionality shape knowledge production.

 

HRSJ Courses: SPRING Semester

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 344 European Convention on Human Rights; Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Arman Zrvandyan

The Course Description

This course on the law of the European Convention on Human Rights is designed for non-law students. However, it is designed in such a way that students acquire essential legal skills and knowledge by studying human rights under the Convention. For this end, students will study the human rights protection system under the Convention, the formal requirements of making an individual application to the European Court of Human Rights, the admissibility criteria and the contents of individual rights under the Convention. Students will develop a critical and analytical approach to the legal opinions of the Court, develop case-briefing, issue spotting and legal drafting skills. They will also acquire skills for independent research on the case-law of the European Court.

 

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 309 Human Rights in the Security Sector, Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Arman Tatoyan

 Course description

Human Rights in the Security Sector will present the link between security and human rights is important. This link is reinforced if we consider that human rights define human security. Individual, international, and national developments require the protection of human rights; therefore, there is no security without the protection of human rights. Development requires respect for human rights, and respect for human rights prevents conflicts. Using the concept of human rights in the security sector helps actors like the police and the military to understand their role as duty-bearers in providing security as a public service to the people – the rights-holders. Security sector and human rights are also closely associated with democracy and the rule of law. The course will introduce such specific areas as: border security and human rights; conditions of detention and imprisonment, prohibition of torture; ill-treatment prevention issues by police and in police detention facilities; this will also include other law-enforcement bodies; right to a fair trial, etc.

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 303 Project Development and Management, Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Davit Amiryan

Course Description

Moving from identifying a problem to developing and implementing a proposal responding to that problem is a key challenge for governments, public sector organizations, and civil society organizations alike. This course develops the skills and knowledge needed to manage that process. Emphasizing practical, project-based work, it covers how to define and articulate a project scope, identify and engage key stakeholders, and define roles, responsibilities, and deadlines within a team. It also looks at how to benchmark, monitor, and evaluate whether your project is achieving its stated goals. Participants will also be introduced to the role of the project manager and the fundamental concepts and competencies necessary to lead human rights and social justice projects.

 

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 305 Social Justice and Identity; Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Ms. Philippa Mullins

Course Description 

Taking an intersectional approach, this course explores the relationship between social justice and identities/identifiers including gender, sexuality, ‘race’ and ethnicity, disability, religion, and class. It asks how identity is constructed and explores its lived social reality. It links questions of identity construction with analysis of how power relationships and structures of domination drive inequity across different social identities, statuses, and groups. It examines experiences of inequity on both individual and structural levels. Finally, it explores responses to those inequities, taking in both (a) state policy and (b) civil society and social movements’ response, as well as the interplay between the two.

 

HRSJ Courses: SUMMER semester

 

HRSJ 310 Human Rights Clinic (legal or social science research project); Elective

Number of credits: 6

Coordinators: Siranush Sahakyan, Philippa Mullins

Course Description

The Human Rights Clinic is optional; students may choose to complete the clinic or an internship over two months’ period. The Human Rights Clinic will provide students with the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience under supervision. Students will apply the knowledge gained in human rights to practical situations thereby engaging directly with current human rights issues in their legal jurisdictions, local communities, or more globally.

The clinic will run part-time. The first two weeks will propose a schedule of more intensive, practitioner and academic-led training. The subsequent six weeks will be composed of regular group meetings and supervision from the faculty supervisor.

Students will select one of two tracks and complete small-group projects within them: Legal Clinic and Social Justice Clinic. Projects employ a variety of methods and may support social science research, litigation, advocacy, policy and program development, or extend technical guidance on human rights to civil society organizations, national human rights institutions, governments, UN human rights bodies and other international organizations.

 

 

HRSJ 311 Internship; Elective

Number of credits: 6

Coordinators: Siranush Sahakyan, Philippa Mullins

The Course Description

The AUA HRSJ Internship program provides Graduate students with a unique chance to gain experience in the field of human rights and justice, explore new interests, develop skills and create a network of contacts. As interns, students will be actively engaged in an intensive learning experience with local and international human rights experts and policymakers, thus promoting their personal and professional growth. The internship is optional. It will run part-time over two month’s period. Throughout the internship the intern will receive direct and close supervision and instructions by the supervisors of the hosting institution. Every intern will be given a list of tasks to be performed at the hosting institution.

 

HRSJ Courses: FALL semester (2nd year)

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 312 Master’s Thesis; Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Ms Siranush Sahakyan, Ms Philippa Mullins

The Course Description

The master’s thesis allows students to independently research a question of their own choosing. It is an opportunity to develop expertise in the chosen area, requiring substantial reading and, where appropriate, empirical research. Students will be supervised by MA HRSJ faculty, with whom you will have regular meetings individually and/or in small groups to discuss and develop your work. The master’s thesis course will also propose whole-group meetings to discuss key aspects of the thesis. These include academic writing and citation practices, reviewing and synthesizing literature, and designing research questions.

 

 

Course Number and Title: PSIA344 Public Policy Analysis; Elective cross-reg.

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Uroš Prokić

The Course Description

The course consists of three parts. In the first part concepts and theories of public policy analysis are discussed. The general framework for policy analysis is presented. The second part of the course focuses on tools and methods of policy analysis, with a specific focus on one quantitative (regression analysis) and one qualitative (focus groups) method of obtaining and systematizing relevant data. The third part of the course applies theoretical and the methodological knowledge discussed in the previous two sections to Armenian reality.

 

PSIA344 is taught in two meetings of 1 hour 20min, 18.30-19.50.

 

Course Number and Title: LAW 344 International Criminal Law, Elective Cross-reg.

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Arman Tatoyan

The Course Description

One of the main reasons for development of the modern international criminal law (ICL) in the 20th century was to end impunity of individuals responsible for mass atrocities, which today carry such legal labels as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Eradication of impunity is achieved by prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of international crimes by international criminal tribunals and domestic courts, as well as by provision of reparations to victims of international crimes. During the course students will study the key areas of ICL, such as general principles of ICL, rights of victims and reparations for harm caused by international crimes, jurisdiction and reparation regimes of International Criminal Court and other tribunals, modes of criminal liability, objective and subjective elements of core international crimes. Students will study these and other areas of ICL through completion of various individual and group assignments, e.g. reading, writing legal materials and making presentations, analyzing and discussing complex situations

 

 

Course Number and Title: HRSJ 313 Public Advocacy; Core

Number of Credits: 3

Instructor Name: Mr. Arman Tatoyan

Course Description

Increasingly lawyers, because of their insight into public policy, are called upon to use their skills to advocate in the court of public opinion and other fora beyond the formal courtroom and deliberative assembly. This course aims to equip students with models and skills to be effective public advocates. In addition to learning theoretical models and case studies, students will be called upon to design advocacy strategies and make written and oral presentations in simulations of public deliberation.

 

 

Course Number and Title: ENV 300 Natural Environment and Humans

Number of Credits: 1

Instructor Name: Mr. Alen Gasparian Amirkhanian

AUA Acopian Center for the Environment

 Course Description

The course is for graduate students with interest in business, management, and economics. It offers an overview of environmental challenges facing the planet today including climate change, loss of biodiversity, natural resource depletion, chemical pollution, and more. The course discusses corporate responses, political activist and governmental pressures on corporations, regulatory and market-based policy solutions, and technological innovations that are helping address these environmental challenges. Topics are supplemented by Armenia and Caucasus-specific cases. This is a lecture-based course. Students will have in-class as well as out of class readings and activities.