E.MA Teaching Programme

The E.MA is an interdisciplinary programme that reflects the indivisible links between human rights, democracy, peace and development. The programme offers an action- and policy-oriented approach to learning about international relations, law, philosophy, history and anthropology of human rights. While studying in a multicultural environment, students have the opportunity to meet and be taught by leading academics representing the 41 E.MA participating universities, representatives of international organisations (including the European Union, the United Nations and the Council of Europe), NGO experts, and activists and human rights defenders. 

Degree components

The degree components are the following:

  • First Semester courses in Venice-Lido
    Thematic Sections 1-5 (50% of the total mark, equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
  • Second Semester courses at one of the participating Universities
    At least two assessed course units (15% of the total mark, equivalent to 9 ECTS credits)
  • Thesis (35% of the total mark, equivalent to 21 ECTS credits)

Learning methodology

The E.MA learning methodology encompasses a variety of approaches: lectures; workshops; seminars focused on post-graduate level studies in politics, philosophy, and law; skill-building sessions; project work; student initiatives and events; discussion lounge; moot court; tutorials; and individual research.

Upon completion of all the degree components, E.MA students are equipped with both academic and practical skills: on the one hand, the ability to conduct independent and interdisciplinary academic research in relation to human rights and democratisation issues; on the other hand, the fundamental know-how in areas which are relevant to human rights practice such as reporting, lobbying, project managing and fundraising.


Below is a timeline of key moments throughout the year:

  • Introductory activities: August 2015
  • Arrival in Venice-Lido: 9-10 September 2015
  • Orientation days: 11-12 September 2015
  • Introduction week: 15-21 September 2015
  • Opening Ceremony for the Academic Year 2015/2016: 21 September 2015
  • First Semester: 15 September 2015 - 31 January 2016
  • Second Semester: 2 February - 31 July 2016

Introductory activities

Introductory activities are aimed at engaging students with a list of basic readings, on line materials, videos or lectures on Human Rights and Democratisation issues in preparation of the Master’s course. These activities are set up by the E.MA Programme Director before arrival in Venice. They are intended to provide basic information about human rights settings, actors and instruments and to familiarise students with the key disciplinary concepts as well as current issues and debates.

Orientation Days

Students are expected to arrive on 9 and 10 September 2015. On the following days, 11 and 12 September 2015, the E.MA team organise various orientation sessions providing students with information on the fundamental aspects of the course and the learning environment: curriculum, rules and methods of assessment, thesis procedure, financial arrangements, venue and infrastructures, etc. Orientation days also include group activities to introduce staff and students.