Human Rights and Human Diversity (BA)

Study how individuals, organizations and states use human rights to address injustice in Canada and around the world and learn how you can join them in making a difference. Examine current issues including racism, discrimination, children’s rights, women’s and gender rights, multiculturalism, ableism, crimes against humanity, human trafficking and more. Gain skills to advocate for change, including grant writing, professional fundraising and project management.

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Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll have access to in the Human Rights and Human Diversity program:

Check out the Human Rights and Human Diversity Experience Guide.


2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or May (spring term)     OUAC code: UVH
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s.
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: low 80s.
  • English at 60%.
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Students enrolling in Laurier’s Human Rights and Human Diversity program on the Brantford campus after completing a two- or three-year diploma program may earn up to 6.0 or 7.5 transfer credits (respectively).

Learn more about our college transfer agreement.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

Program Details

About Human Rights and Human Diversity

Human Rights and Human Diversity (HRHD) prepares you for a career where you can make a difference by advancing human rights and social justice in Canada and around the world.

You will examine current issues that matter in people's lives such as:

  • children's rights
  • disabilities
  • multiculturalism
  • women's rights
  • crimes against humanity
  • racism
  • human trafficking
  • gender issues

You will study organizations that can be used to address injustice like the UN, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and nongovernmental organizations. You will develop skills that are highly sought-after by human rights organizations, such as:

  • grant writing
  • policy analysis
  • intercultural competence
  • professional fundraising
  • advocacy
  • designing social media strategies

Earn a Law Degree, Too

You can combine this program with a law degree (LLB) from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Our Bachelor of Laws (University of Sussex, UK) and Bachelor of Arts (Laurier) program can be completed in six years.

You'll complete your first two years in the Human Rights and Human Diversity program at our Brantford campus. Students who meet the GPA and progression requirements may then apply to the UK law program and are guaranteed an offer of admission to the University of Sussex law school; there is no requirement to write the LSAT entrance exam.

After three years of studying abroad in the UK and completing an LLB, you'll return for one final year at Laurier to complete your Laurier BA.

Add a Graduate Certificate from Conestoga College

Combine your BA in Human Rights and Human Diversity with a Human Resources Management or a Management in Community Services graduate certificate from Conestoga College in just four years! You take the courses to complete these graduate certificates in your third year and they are offered through Conestoga College on Laurier’s Brantford campus.

The Human Resources Management program provides you with all of the required educational components to become a Certified Human Resources Professional. The Management in Community Services program includes a work placement opportunity that provides students with practical workplace experience.

Program Options


Enhance your expertise by specializing in either the Certificate in Non-Profit Career Foundations or the International Development Specialization as part of your Human Rights and Human Diversity degree.

The Certificate in Non-Profit Career Foundations allows you to combine your studies with practical skills, enabling you to launch a career in the non-profit sector. Some skills this certificate helps develop are: 

  • grant writing 
  • governance in non-profit organizations 
  • non-profit laws and regulations 
  • leadership and ethics 
  • program development and evaluation
  • professional fundraising
  • public and media relations
  • understanding public policy

Students who maintain a B- average are eligible to participate in an 84-hour placement with a non-profit for academic credit.

The International Development Specialization enables you to develop knowledge and skills that will prepare you for a career with international development organizations or pursue further postgraduate programs in international development. Students pursuing the International Development Specialization will complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to International Development
  • The Developing World; Development Theories, Approaches, and Issues
  • Development Theories, Approaches, and Issues
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Two approved electives


Options and Minors

In addition, consider adding any of these popular options or minors which allow you to broaden your knowledge:

  • Issue Advocacy Option
  • Law Option
  • Leadership Option
  • Minor in Education
  • Minor in Social Innovation

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

Conestoga College Certificates

You can also earn one of the following graduate certificates from Conestoga College while completing your BA at Laurier:

  • Management in Community Services
  • Human Resources Management

Community Service-Learning


Community Service-Learning (CSL) courses at Laurier integrate service in the community with what you are learning in your classes. Placements are approximately 10 weeks and take place on a weekly basis from the second week of classes to the final week, typically for two hours per week.

CSL placements consist of volunteering at a local community service, such as a soup kitchen or a children's treatment centre. It’s a great way to apply classroom knowledge and gain practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, develop your network, and graduate with experience.

Interested? Learn more about Community Service-Learning.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.



We offer more than 30 courses. The following is only a sampling.

First-Year Courses

  • Human Rights and Human Diversity
  • Human Rights Violations: Advocacy and Analysis
  • Two of Modernity and the Contemporary World:
    • Modernity: Critique and Resistance
    • Academic Literacy: Social Sciences
    • Academic Literacy: Humanities

LLB (Sussex) and BA (Laurier) requires you to take all four of the following courses:

  • Academic Literacy: Humanities
  • Academic Literacy: Social Sciences
  • Modernity and the Contemporary World
  • Modernity: Critique and Resistance

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Astronomy I: Our Place in the Cosmos
  • Design Thinking I: Foundations
  • Environment, Sustainability and Society

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Crimes Against Humanity
  • Program Development and Grant Writing
  • Understanding Public Policy for Issue Advocacy
HR100: Human Rights and Human Diversity

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of human rights, human diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability), and the complex relationship between human rights and human diversity within contemporary states. The course may involve the study of specific cases, issues, debates, and important historical events. Assessment will include a short written assignment.

HR232: Women, Rights, and Equality

This course examines Canadian and international, especially developing world, perspectives on the historical and current struggles of women and girls to achieve equality and recognition of their human rights. Special attention is paid to how women's efforts have been shaped by and, in turn have shaped, cultural mores and regulatory frameworks.

HR305: Fundraising

Fundraising is an important skill upon which many organizations advancing human rights and other causes rely. For some people fundraising forms part of their job; for others it is the focus of their career. This course introduces students key concepts and methods of fundraising. Topics addressed may include annual giving, special events, foundation relations, corporate relations, capital campaigns, endowed giving, and the ethics of fundraising.

HR319: Children, Youth and Disabilities: Inclusion and Human Rights

This interdisciplinary course addresses issues related to children and youth with disabilities from the perspectives of critical disabilities studies and human rights. Topics addressed may include the roles of self-advocacy, social movements, and child advocates; policy and legislation; practical modalities to facilitate active inclusion; and the transition to adulthood. Domestic and international perspectives will be considered.

HR320: Children’s Rights

This course explores the theory and practice of children's rights in North America, other world regions, and international law (especially the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Topics will include: the concept of childhood, the evolution of children's rights, and contemporary issues, such as child labour, prostitution and sex trafficking, slavery, juvenile justice and child soldiers.

HR323: Rights in Canada: Rights, Freedoms and the Charter

This course provides students with an overview of rights and freedoms in Canada, the institutions that have been designed to secure and protect them, and the impact they have had on Canadian society and politics. While the course will focus primarily on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (its origins, content, and impact) other topics may be addressed including human rights commissions and the development of constitutional rights in Canada.

HR324: Human Trafficking and Other Contemporary Forms of Slavery/Forced Labour

This course addresses the phenomena of human trafficking and other contemporary forms of slavery and forced labour. It will address the historical context of these phenomena, causes that contribute to their prevalence, efforts to eradicate these practices, and the problematic nature of the term “human trafficking,” especially how it is often used in ways that conflate consensual and non-consensual forms of labour and human migration that skirt or violate the law.

HR325: Crimes Against Humanity

This course addresses crimes against humanity and humanitarian law. Crimes against humanity will be studied in theory and in practice, including critical examination of important historical incidents of genocide, war crimes and other atrocities. Study of humanitarian law will address its origins, philosophical foundations and evolution.

HR355: Reconsidering Race and Oppression

Contemporary society is a complex network of relations among racial and ethnic groups and other minorities that occupy unequal economic, political and social positions in Canadian society and the world over. This course will examine how these relations are constantly negotiated and renegotiated. It will also consider efforts to advance equality and overcome social exclusion.

HR365: Immigrant and Ethno-Racial Minority Youth

This course applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of immigrant and ethno-racial youth in Canada and, to a lesser extent, the United States. The course will cover such topics as: challenges faced by immigrant youth and how they differ from second- and third-generation immigrant youth; marginality, racism, and exclusion; and the critical role played by the educational experience on the outcomes of ethno-racial youth.

HR375: Sexual Minorities and Human Rights

This course explores the politics, history, and cross-cultural dimensions of efforts to advance the cause and recognize discrimination against people with minority gender identities and sexual orientations (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) as a human rights issue in Canada, in other countries, and at the international level.

HR402: Capstone Course: Human Rights in Crosscultural Perspectives

This course enables students to explore interactions between international human rights and state- and sub-state-level cultures, practices, laws and policies in Canada and around the world. Among topics that may be considered are: how elements of diversity like culture, religion, gender, disability, and human rights intersect; universalism versus cultural relativism; and approaches to address local practices that conflict with international human rights. Assessment will include a presentation and a research essay.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Laurier and if I could give one piece of advice to incoming students, it would be to get involved. Laurier fosters a very welcoming, passionate and involved community, that holds so many opportunities for its students. This is an amazing place to find and use your voice to cause positive change."

Abby Myles, Human Rights and Human Diversity graduate

"What I love most about my program are all the opportunities it provides. I was able to take part in a Community Service-Learning placement, where I volunteered in an ESL classroom. I also participated in a three-week field course in Mexico on human migration, where I was able to visit and interview refugees. It is these experiences that will set me apart from other students in the future when I am applying for graduate school or a job, which is exactly why I love my program so much."

Cassandra Voets, Human Rights and Human Diversity graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • activist/lobbyist
  • communications specialist
  • foreign service officer
  • grant writer
  • humanitarian aid worker
  • immigrant settlement worker
  • international development program manager
  • lawyer
  • non-profit program coordinator
  • project manager
  • social worker

Explore more careers options, prepare for your future and see what our graduates are doing now.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Brantford Campus

The Brantford campus is woven into the downtown core of the City of Brantford and is home to more than 3,000 students. Close to great walking and biking trails, you get the best of both worlds.

There are many ways to tour our Brantford campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

"The field course allowed me to travel to Mexico and see a different perspective. It broadened my horizons. It made me a better "me" and allowed me to see the world and myself differently."

Dammee Sero, Human Rights and Human Diversity graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.