Human Rights and Equity Studies

Are you concerned with the inequity present in today’s society - be it social, economic or rights-based? Do you see yourself in a field studying or working on issues revolving around questions of contemporary human rights, their development and implementation around the world? If you want to make a difference for the world’s underprivileged after you finish university, by working to improve the lives of millions around the world, majoring in Human Rights and Equity Studies at York may be a fantastic option. Offered by the Department of Equity Studies, you will delve into issues ranging from refugee policy and international ethics, politics and justice to social theories of human rights and economics.

Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Human Rights and Equity Studies. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Human Rights and Equity Studies degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Human Rights and Equity Studies than others.

  • Author
  • Activist
  • Blogger
  • Charity Event Planner
  • Child Rights Advocate
  • Community Centre Director
  • Community Worker
  • Cultural Consultant
  • Editor
  • Embassy Ambassador
  • Entrepreneur
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Fundraiser
  • Government Administrator
  • Journalist
  • Judge
  • Immigration Rights Advisor
  • Immigration Advocate
  • International Human Rights Worker
  • Magazine Contributor
  • Media Correspondent
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aid
  • NGO Director
  • Policy Advisor
  • Politician
  • Refugee Rights Advocate
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher
  • Trade Union Representative
  • UN Representative
  • Women’s Rights Advocate

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Human Rights and Equity Studies Degree

A background in Human Rights and Equity Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills a Human Rights and Equity Studies degree can help you develop:

Core Human Rights and Equity Studies Skills

  • Knowledge of the ethical questions raised by issues of human rights and the challenges faced by those who aim to improve the lives of millions around the world
  • Understanding of social theories and contemporary research methods in equity studies
  • Ability to target your interest through courses on specific issues and a familiarity with the international institutions which work at reducing inequity across the globe

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to learn new information and apply this to professional demands
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Human Rights and Equity Studies that you may want to visit as you research career options for Human Rights and Equity Studies graduates.