WHAT IS ERMA
The European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe is a one year, full time, interdisciplinary Programme, lasting from November until October. Its aim is the development of democracy and human rights in South East Europe. It is a joint initiative by the University of Sarajevo, CIS Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and University of Bologna. ERMA is co-financed by the European Union through the EIUC (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy via the Embassy of the Republic of Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Programme is awarding students with 60 ECTS and a double-degree diploma of both founding universities (UNSA and UNIBO).
The Master Programme is an academic educational activity intended for students who wish to combine studies with practical and field research in human rights and democratization issues. Recognizing that human rights are a crosscutting theme among different disciplines of study, such as political science, social sciences, law, sociology and philosophy, ERMA is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach. Enrolled students have the benefit of studying in a highly international environment together with colleagues from all over the region, European Union and the world, attending lectures and workshops held by over 38 professors from 12 partner universities: University of Bologna, University of Sarajevo, University of Banja Luka, University of Belgrade, Karl Franzens University of Graz, University of the Ruhr, University of Peloponnese, University of Zagreb, New Bulgarian University, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Higher School of Economics-National Research University, Moscow and University of Pristina, Kosovo.
The Master Programme promotes the development and realization of young generations of officials for state management, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, for universities and think-tanks in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, as well as in the countries belonging to the EU, the rest of Europe, and worldwide.
STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS
The Programme consists of two semesters with three terms.
The First Term is taking place at the University of Sarajevo, CIS Center for Interdisciplinary Studies from November to mid-June. It is structured in six educational clusters and three elective courses ( 30 ECTS ). Students are taught by professors and lecturers from the participating universities. The language of instruction is English and attendance is compulsory. The structure of the lectures and its research dimension are shaped in order to emphasize a shared consciousness among the students about the democratic development and the human rights promotion as well as their protection and implementation in the SEE Region.
Cluster 1: PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY (5 ECTS)
Cluster 2: DEMOCRACY (5 ECTS)
Cluster 3: ETHNICITY, NATIONALISM AND RELIGION (5 ECTS)
Cluster 4: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (5 ECTS)
Cluster 5: MECHANISMS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND IMPLEMENTATION (5 ECTS)
Cluster 6: METHODOLOGY OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND WRITING (4 ECTS)
ELECTIVE COURSES (1 ECTS):
- LIFE STORIES AND DIALOGUES
- GENOCIDE AND GENOCIDAL ATROCITIES IN THEORY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
- INTRODUCTION TO REFUGEE LAW AND PROTECTION RIGHTS
Alongside with the lectures and seminars, students have also visits to state institutions, international and intergovernmental organizations, as well as to NGO’s active in the field of human rights and democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, students take part in two academic field trips to Mostar and Srebrenica/Potočari.
The Second Term is designated for students to acquire working experience in the field of human rights and democracy throughout the SEE, boosting their mobility and international experience, and most importantly, conducting their research and data gathering related to the MA thesis topic. In this framework, from mid-June to end of July, students take up six-week assessed internships at selected IGOs, NGOs, think-tanks and research institutes across the region choosing from a list of over 100 partner organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The internship is worth 10 ECTS.
During the Third Term of the Programme, from September to mid-October, ERMA students focus on the finalization of their Master’s Theses accommodated at the Bologna`s University Residential Center of Bertinoro (CEUB). During this period students benefit from comprehensive tutorship assistance, attend short seminars and lectures led by professors participating in the ‘‘Europe and the Balkans International Network (EBIN)’ within the yearly international summer school organized by the Institute for Central-Eastern and Balkan Europe (IECOB). Moreover, they enjoy living together, excursions and field visits. This term is compulsory and awards 20 ECTS.
During the first term in Sarajevo, students benefit from methodology courses on academic research and writing, information retrieval, comparative analysis and data gathering techniques. Also, they undertake consultations with their potential supervisors and academic tutors about the dissertation topic. By the end of May students are required to submit a thesis proposal to the Executive Board of the Programme and to select a suitable internship partner organization for their placement and field research period.
The Executive Board, on the basis of student applications and Faculty availability approves the dissertation topic, the internship choice and the supervisor for each student. Eligible supervisors are professors’ members of the Programme from partner universities. ERMA’s students are required to finalize a master’s thesis on the current issues related to human rights and democracy development in the SEE region at the end of the third period.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the regional dimensions of issues connected to human rights and democratization, students are strongly encouraged to write the MA thesis on countries other than those of their citizenship and to do comparative studies on the countries from the SEE region.