ERMA, European Regional Master's Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe


The Global Campus South East Europe - European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe (GC SEE / ERMA) 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, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) and the University of Bologna, Department of Political and Social Sciences.

GC SEE/ERMA is co-financed by the European Union through the Global Campus of Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, via the Italian Development and Cooperation Agency (AICS), with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Programme awards students with 60 ECTS and a double-degree diploma of both founding universities (UNSA and UNIBO).

ERMA is based on the long-lasting cooperation of 12 partner universities from the SEE region and Europe, under the coordination by the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna. Students receive diplomas from both coordinating universities after having obtained ECTS.

ERMA offers an intensive one year experience in the field of democracy and human rights studies with specific regional focus on the SEE. Recognizing that human rights are a crosscutting theme among different disciplines of study, such as political science, social sciences, law, sociology, and philosophy, ERMA nurtures strong interdisciplinary approach.

The students benefit from studying together with colleagues from all over the region, European Union and rest of the world, and have the chance to:

  • Benefit full scholarships covering tuition fees, living and travel expenses
  • Study in a highly international and multicultural environment
  • Experience advanced learning combined with empirical workshops, exercises, and skill-building semiars
  • Participate in comprehensive courses on methodology of academic research and writing
  • Benefit from full academic assistance by a team of academic tutors
  • Acquire working and research experience throughout the 6-week internship period in countries of the SEE
  • Take part in mobility period at the University of Bologna
  • Participate in the Global Campus joint activities
  • Receive awards for best MA thesis; best MA defense; MA thesis publication; and 6 months internship scholarship
  • Become members of the ERMA Alumni Network and the Global Campus Alumni Association

The degree programme is realized with the support of more than 40 lecturers, experts and practitioners from the 12 partner universities and associate regional and international organizations such as IGO`s, NGO`s, research institutes and think tanks.

The programme is managed by the International Academic Council, therefore coordinated by the Executive Board and implemented by the Administrative & Financial Unit, and the Academic & Development Unit based both in Sarajevo, in Forli'/Bologna and off-campus.

The academic consortium is composed of the following universities:

The ERMA programme is a point of reference for the teaching of human rights and democratization at university level in the SEE area, and one of the pioneer EU projects in the higher education sector in the post-conflict regional dimension.

In its 18 years of tradition, the programme has graduated over 500 human rights professionals, who rejoined their societies as agents of change.

The uniqueness of the structure and teaching curricula gives the opportunity to students to gain interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise but also offers the chance to acquire working and research experience in most of the key regional NGOs, governmental institutions, think-tanks, and academic institutions.

The courses on the methodology of academic research and writing, the assistance by the academic tutors and the intensive MA thesis field research and writing process, give a broad academic dimension to the programme, and allow students to develop the necessary skills of academic writing and research.

For purposes of mobility, cultural diversity, and flexibility students spend 45 days at the University of Bologna Residential Center of Bertinoro, where they complete their theses and foster multicultural skills and adaptability while living together. Moreover, the programme attracts students, scholars, and experts from the region and beyond establishing a global network of human rights professionals producing fruitful professional cooperation and life- long friendships among its graduates.

ERMA admits up to 36 students every academic year, from the following target groups:

Target group I 25 places are reserved for citizens of target countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and citizens of Kosovo-holders of passports of countries recognized by BiH.

Target group II 5 places are reserved for citizens of the European Union countries, countries of the Caucasus (Azerbaijan and Georgia) and the Russian Federation.

Target group III 6 places are reserved for self-funded students from other countries.

I Academic Excellence
The university degree of the applicants must be earned during studies lasting either 4 or 5 years within the former undergraduate studies provisions, or 5 years (3+2) within I and II cycle studies provisions in accordance with the Bologna process with minimum of 240 ECTS earned. Candidates must hold a university degree in social sciences and humanities, from an accredited university, particularly in disciplines relevant to human rights: law, political sciences, international relations, etc.

II English Language Proficency 
English language proficiency is a must. Applicants with English as a native language or applicants who had previous university education in English shall attest to their competency through transcripts or certificates issued by the respective universities only. Others have to provide evidence of their proficiency. The Master Programme recognizes the following international English Language proficiency certificates:

  • TOEFL – minimum score of 560 paper-based, 220 computer based, IBT not less than 83
  • British Council’s IELTS - minimum band 6.5 and no less than 6.0 in any of its subsections.
  • CAE and CPE Cambridge exams

The selection of candidates is performed by the Executive Board of the Master Programme on the basis of submitted applications and required documents in English (Application Form; University diploma; academic records / transcript; citizenship certificate; birth certificate; passport photocopy; Curriculum Vitae (CV); two recommendation letters; English language certificate ).

Tuition fee

Students coming from the countries of the Target Group I: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and citizens of Kosovo (holders of passports of countries recognized by Bosnia and Herzegovina) are exempted from the tuition fee and are required to cover solely the enrolment costs in the amount of 200€. Students of the Target Group II: citizens of the EU countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Russian Federation, and Target Group III: citizens of other countries, shall pay the 2000€ tuition fee.

Thanks to the comprehensive scholarship scheme, made possible by the EU and the Italian Government, students from the countries of the Target Group I and II receive study grants covering regular living costs (November to July) in the amount of 4.500€ gross. Costs of their lodging and dining are covered during the thesis-writing period in Italy. Reimbursements (travel, health, insurance, etc.) in the overall amount of 1.200€ are also secured for students of these target groups. Students coming from other countries have the status of self-funding students and are therefore encouraged to apply for other sources of funding.

In order to apply, register HERE.

If you have any questions, check the FAQ section or write to: info@erma-programme.eu 

The official web-page.