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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


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 non-governmental 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

There are also many career-relevant opportunities to enhance your honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) in HRHD:

  • Combine your BA in Human Rights and Human Diversity with Human Resources Management or Community and Social Service Management graduate certificates 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 Community and Social Service Management program includes a work placement opportunity that provides students with practical workplace experience.
  • Combine HRHD with a law degree from Sussex University (UK) in just six years (see below).
  • Add a specialization in International Development or in Non-profit Career Skills.
  • Add an option in International Public Policy, Leadership, or Issue Advocacy.

We also offer opportunities to do internships in Ghana, Africa and a summer course on international migration that takes place in Mexico City.

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.

Earn Workplace-Relevant Skills and Experiences

A passion for and knowledge of human rights issues is invaluable for finding meaningful careers that advance human rights. What can also help you get an edge are marketable, transferrable skills. Fortunately, the Human Rights and Human Diversity program offers many courses that develop the skills relevant to careers in advancing human rights.

Some examples include:

HR261: Multiculturalism (Required Course)

This course is taught as a Community Service-Learning (CSL) course that gets you experience in real workplaces. CSL is a teaching method that encourages you to draw connections between the knowledge you gain through your studies and practical applications in the community. You are engaged in voluntary activities while integrating your experiences with academic course work. CSL's objectives are balance between specific academic goals on the one hand and building community capacity on the other. CSL fosters student leadership and enhances connections to the community at large.

HR300: Professionalization Seminar (Required Course)

In HR300 you can hone many professional skills; the centrepiece is an assignment in which you work in a team to write real grant proposals for local non-profit organizations. How would you like to add that to your resume? Grant writing will prove useful whether you work in a non-profit NGO or continue with graduate studies.

HR/JN252: Designing Digital and Social Media (Elective Course)

If you read some job ads for non-profit NGOs that work on human rights and social justice issues, you will find that everyone is looking to hire people who can work with social media.

HR305: Fundraising (Elective Course)

Professional fundraising is the lifeblood of non-profit NGOs. Whether you want to pursue a career in fundraising and development, or hope to work in another capacity with a non-profit, an understanding of fundraising is a key skill to have on your resumé.

HR306: Human Rights Education (Elective Course)

If you are interested in a career that involves advocacy for human rights and social justice issues, this is the course for you.

HR391: Canadian Internship/Field Placement (Elective Course) / HR392: International Internship/Field Placement (Elective Course)

Internships and field placements can be valuable to you both academically (they're a chance to reflect on the relationship between material studied in class and practice in the field) and as career preparation (you can use practical job search techniques, learn work-related skills, and develop contacts and networking skills that may lead to full-time employment). HR391 and HR392 have been designed to provide qualified students an opportunity to gain academic recognition for relevant experience they may gain through internships or international volunteering during the years that they are registered as undergraduates at Laurier.

OL481: Project Management (Elective Course)

Human Rights students are encouraged to consider taking this leadership course. Much like fundraising, you can pursue a career as a project manager, or, if you work in almost any role in a non-profit NGO, you will find that project management is a major element of your job.

Dive Deeper into Your Passion 

HR402: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Human Rights, our capstone course, allows you to go in-depth on a topic of your choice. Topics on which students have chosen include:

  • "Child Marriage"
  • "The Right to Die"
  • "The Mass Incarceration of Indigenous People"
  • "Honour Killing"
  • "The Ban on Religious Symbols in Public Places: Quebec"
  • "Should FGM be Criminalized?"
  • "Gun Culture and Violence"
  • "Polygamy"
  • "Gender Non-Conforming People: the Hijra of India"
  • "Corporal Punishment"
  • "Economic Rights"
  • "Sex Selective Abortion/Female Infanticide"
  • "The Death Penalty in the US"
  • "The Criminalization of Abortion"

Interested in Transferring to Laurier?

Review our Admission Requirements and other information on how to apply in our Admissions Toolkit.

"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 large amounts of opportunities for its students. This is an amazing place to find and use your voice to cause positive change."

– Abby Myles (BA '19)


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