Business and Human Rights

Masters Course

Implementing the Responsibility to Respect

The Business and Human Rights course examines how human rights violations can be linked to corporate activities and possible dilemmas when businesses operate in different countries. Part time course at the University of Bergen each Autumn. Still available spots!

Business has significant impacts on human rights. Companies create jobs and pay taxes that provide governments with resources to create the infrastructure needed for people to realize and assert their human rights. However, corporate conduct can also adversely affect the rights of workers, consumers and communities.


Course content

This course provides a better appreciation of the nature of human rights violations that can be linked to corporate activity, regardless of corporate intent. The course does this by examining the ethical and legal standards, duties, and expectations of companies. Focus will be on the dilemmas of operating in a space where local standards and rules may vary from and sometimes contradict global standards or policies. Furthermore, the course will explore emerging initiatives in order to deal with human rights and business, and assess the effectiveness of voluntary corporate codes of conduct.

The course will enable students to develop strategies consistent with international human rights standards and to identify policies and practices that do not undermine human rights.

The course is developed and offered by the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, in cooperation with the Rafto Foundation and Institute for Human Rights and Business.

How is the course organized?

The Business and Human Rights course is a part time masters´s course (15 ECTS). The course is taught each Autumn semester, as a fully digital course with four online gatherings throughout the semester:

The course will focus on what corporate human rights due diligence means in practice, including how companies can effectively address human rights dilemmas across their global operations and throughout their supply chains. Participants will explore emerging sector-specific and thematic issues on the human rights and business agenda, and assess the effectiveness of existing efforts of relevance in Norway and globally.

The course will provide participants with a deeper understanding of how human rights concerns relate to a range of industry sectors. It will also provide practical guidance for developing corporate strategies that are consistent with international human rights standards.

Sessions Autumn 2021:

  • Gathering 1: September 17-19
  • Gathering 2: October 15-17
  • Gathering 3: November 12-14
  • Gathering 4: November 26-28

Lectures and discussions each of the days from appr. 12-17, CET
Course assessment is submittance of a 4 week take home exam of maximum 4500 words.
Submittance deadline: December 17, 2021

Admission criterias

To qualify for acceptance you must fulfil both of the following criterias:

  • Hold a bachelor´s degree or the equivalent
  • Have a minimum of 2 years work experience (full time)

  • Course fee: 19.000 NOK

How to apply

All applicants must register their application online.

Application deadline is June 1st.

We will do a second uptake early August.
New applicants in the period June 3 and August 4 will be contacted regarding their application in week 32 (August 9-13).

Go to University of Bergen's website for more information.

Photo: Adobe/IHRB


Picture of Therese Jebsen

Therese Jebsen

The Rafto Foundation, Senior Advisor
Means of contactContact details
Phone:415 11 390

Responsible for the Business and Human Rights programme including Thorolf Rafto Challenge and Masters course at UiB.
Read more about Therese