Director's welcome

Dear Prospective E.MA Student,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA). As the incoming Programme Director (and a former longstanding member of the E.MA/EIUC community), I am thrilled that more than 90 students from diverse backgrounds representing almost all regions of the world have chosen to enrol in E.MA this year. This confirms the status of E.MA as a leading international master’s programme in the area of human rights and democratisation. We will be joined in Venice by some 70 eminent scholars and experts, and I foresee that this will provide for a most exciting and enriching encounter for all of us. I look forward to sharing this with you. 

Established in 1997 at the initiative of ten pioneering universities and in cooperation with the European Commission, E.MA is both the oldest master’s programme supported by the European Union and a flagship activity of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC). Since 1997 E.MA has continually expanded, attracting an increasing number of participating universities and students. Its aim is to prepare high-level professionals for work in the field of human rights and democratisation as academics, experts, field officers, or staff members of inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organisations. Given the excellent reputation that E.MA has earned over many years, it may be said without exaggeration that this unique master’s programme is an intellectual powerhouse where theoretical insight meets practical experience.

As you will learn first-hand in the course of the upcoming year, E.MA distinguishes itself form other similar programmes in a number of ways, including notably:

  • a rich and highly intense academic curriculum designed to cover a wide range of academic perspectives and essential practical skills;
  • a teaching methodology stimulating active student participation in courses, seminars, workshops, thematic clusters, skill-building sessions and project work – all in a spirit of true ‘democratic citizenship’;
  • the opportunity for students to relate their emerging knowledge and expertise to the living reality of a post-conflict situation during the week-long field trip to Kosovo;
  • the opportunity to benefit from a rich variety of cultural experiences at EIUC in Venice and at participating universities in the second semester;
  • the opportunity, offered to the top students in each academic year, to engage in an internship or fellowship at a leading international organisation in the field of human rights and democratisation.

The present Student Guide has been designed to help you settle into the E.MA experience and understand the requirements of the programme. Here you will find information about teaching activities, rules and methods of assessment, library support, academic and administrative staff, practical information about living on the Lido and in Venice, as well as an overview of this year's group of 'masterini'. I recommend that you regularly consult the Student Guide throughout the first semester and whenever uncertainties arise. The friendly and competent E.MA Team is at your disposal in case you have further questions.

I am very pleased to welcome you to the Human Rights Village at the Monastery of San Nicolò and wish you much success during the upcoming academic year.

Dr. George Ulrich
E.MA Programme Director