MHRD Program

Kathmandu School of Law (KSL) has been a part of an international collaboration to develop a new Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) –The Course commenced since 2010 consisting a foundational semester at the University of Sydney and a second semester at the partner Universities i.e. Kathmandu School of Law, Nepal, GadjahMada University, Indonesia and University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Mahidol University, Thailand and Ateneo Law University, Philippines[1]. Since 2016-17 cohort, the foundational semester has been shifted from Sydney University to Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), Mahidol University, Thailand.Mahidol University, Thailand. Since then, the University of Sydney has remained an associated partner.
The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) (MHRD – recently replaced by the name APMA). The APMA partnership has been running for seven years and has graduated over 140 students,out of whom, KSL has hosted 41 students from 17 countries as of now.

The degree is based on the successful European Masters programme introduced by the EC in 1997 A.D, which has since expanded to include regional courses in the Balkans, Africa and Latin America. All the application forms should be directed to the Mahidol University, Thailand. 

Course Date
Foundational Semester: Mahidol University, Thailand. 
1) Semester begins: July
2) Semester ends: November

Semester II-Kathmandu School of Law :
Compulsory Courses: 
HPRD 544 Human Rights and Democratisation Intensive and  
HPRD 553 Applied Research in Human Rights and Democratisation
Semester begins: February
Compulsory courses teaching sessions completion: June

Aims and Objectives

The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program) – MHRD (Asia Pacific) – is the only program of its kind in the Asia Pacific. The programme aims to develop the capacity of people working in the Asia Pacific region to effectively advocate for, promote awareness of and encourage respect for human rights and democratic principles, both across the region and within their local communities. The APMA (MHRD) is an interdisciplinary intensive one-year postgraduate degree that reflects the inseparable links between human rights, democracy, peace and development in the region. Designed for midcareer professionals and highly motivated undergraduates, the degree offers students a unique opportunity to engage firsthand with regional and international human rights issues, and to interact with internationally renowned human rights academics, practitioners and experts. Complemented by funding from the European Commission, this degree provides students with exposure to leading international human rights academics and practitioners.


The APMA program is taught across two campuses. All students will study first semester at the IHRP, Mahidol University (Thailand). Second semester students will study at one of the four partner universities in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, or Nepal.

First Semester-Mahidol University
The first semester at Mahidol University consists of four courses and runs from August till November. The first semester curriculum consists of a foundational program, made up of four core units of study. These units are compulsory for all students and include the following:

1) HPRD 551 Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms Part 1
2) HPRD 541 Human Right and Democratisation Research
3) HPRD 542 Dynamics of Human Rights Violations
4) HPRD 543 Democratisation: Theory and Practice

Second Semester – Regional University

There is an intensive course at IHRP in January, before students travel to the partner University for the Second Semester which runs from February to July.

1) HPRD 544 Human Rights and Democratisation Intensive
2) HPRD 553 Applied Research in Human Rights and Democratisation

Second Semester- Regional Partner University

At the partner university students study two courses and undertake a research project. Scholarships students will be assigned to a partner for their second semester according to the best fit with their study preferences. Fee-paying students can select any of the partners for their second semester.

1) HPRD 552 Human Rights Norms and Mechanism Part 2
2) HPRD 546 Critical and Emerging Issues in the Asia Pacific‚Äč
3) HPRD 698 Thesis (Dissertation or Applied Research Dissertation)

Compulsory Courses at KSL

During the second semester, students will complete two semester long courses at KSL. The course will be undertaken by full time faculties and a number of visiting faculties and resource persons having national and international experiences and expertise on thematic areas of human rights and democratisation. 

Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms II (HPRD 546) will expose students to some of the most critical issues of concern in the region. In particular, it will cover issues of development, human rights and the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural difference and the challenges of promoting human rights in societies where the rule of law, freedom of the press and civil society may not be strongly developed. Students will engage with new and emerging issues and the contestation of human rights that is taking place in their own region. The unit will also allow for students to explore the different meaning of human rights principles or the differing priorities within the body of human rights norms in this region and how this might require different types of approaches to those developed in the global north. 


Human Rights and Democratisation Dissertation (HRTD6909 and HRTD 6911) offers students the opportunity to undertake supervised original research in an area of specialisation pertaining to human rights and democratisation. Each student writes a thesis consisting of an original academic piece of work consisting of 15,000-18,000 words. The research may incorporate field research undertaken in-country.

KSL has identified a number of supervisors with an area of specialization pertaining to human rights and democratization. The list of supervisors and their research interest can be found. Students can contact the supervisors as per their research interest and the area of specialization. Students should submit the proposal for dissertation beforehand and Dissertation Coordinator will assist student to identify and locate supervisor based on their research interest. 


Human Rights and Democratisation Internship (HPRD 698 Thesis Dissertation or Applied Research Dissertation)) will give selected students an opportunity to immediately put into practice the knowledge acquired throughout the academic year with an aim to acquiring and improving practical work experience, establishing a dialogue between the students and the host organisation, and fostering access to the job market. Students should undergo total eight weeks internship placement in an inter-governmental, governmental or non-governmental organizations working in the area of human rights and democratization in Nepal. 

KSL has identified the areas of research and internship opportunities in consultation with different national and international organizations. These organizations have been briefed about the course objectives, learning outcomes and objectives of the internship. Students will be placed on the following organizations based on their research interest and working area:

a) Center for Legal Research & Resource Development (
b) Kathmandu School of Law (
c) Pro-public (
d) Informal Sector Service Center ( 
e) Center for Victims of Torture (
f) Child Workers in Nepal (
g) Terre des homes-Nepal (
h) South Asia Partnership-Nepal ( 
i) National Human Rights Commission (
j) National Women’s Commission (
k) Amnesty International Nepal ( )
l) INHURED International (
m) ICRC Nepal (
n) Center for Constitutional Dialogue (CCD) ( 

Possible research area and internship opportunities in each organization can be found at  Internship Coordinator will assist students to identify and locate the appropriate organization for internship.

Library and Internet Resources

KSL owns extensive collection of resource materials in manifold issues related to social science, law and justice. The collection of resources has been placed in main library, reference library and moot court hall. The books and documents are computerized and classified in Dewey Decimal Numbering basis. The library has also developed manual system to search the required books and documents. Readers can search the resources either by using the manual or the computer, which shows the number of books and documents on specific subjects and their call number and location. The library has also compiled news paper cuttings on thematic issues for ten years. A separate Human Rights and Democratisation block has been developed which includes books and publication on Human Rights and Democratisation issues. 

Similarly, KSL has a separate IT Resource Center to provide students an internet facility encouraging them to carry out online research as a part of their regular curriculum. The center assists the students in learning through web by involving them into online legal research method. It also maintains wireless internet connection within KSL boundary.

VISA Arrangement for Nepal

All foreigners except from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal. The Immigration offices in such points are opened 24 hours. Entering and departing from other places except the point is treated as the violation of Immigration Act and the Regulation.

All students must enter the country getting an on arrival visa (preferably 30 days tourist visa). After their arrival they should apply for a study visa. The study visa is generally granted for one year at a time but the students can choose to get it for less than a year.

For this, KSL should approach the Home Ministry to obtain approval of Nepal Government to allow students to study at KSL. The recommendation of the Ministry of concerned has to be submitted for the study visa. Therefore, KSL requires name list of students who are coming to undertake second semester at KSL. An application for the study visa has to be submitted in the format as referred to in Schedule-2 of Immigration Rules, 1994. the application is to be submitted online and a summary of the application is to be printed out for further processing.

The non-scholarship stuents will have to open a local bank account in Nepal and show a balance of USD 3000 per annum in yearly or monthly installment basis. A certificate of the exchange of foreign currency equivalent may as well be used if they do not wish to open a bank account. 

Related information/documents about the VISA:
VISA Arrangement for Nepal l Immigration Rules l Immigration Act