Master of Human Rights – M.H.R. » Practicum Faculty Advisor FAQ

Below are some of the most common questions for Practicum Faculty Advisors:


Q1. How does a Practicum differ from a Thesis?

A Practicum differs from a Thesis in its emphasis on the application of theory; though it is similar in scope, span, and rigour. The extent of work required for the Practicum is equal to that required for the Master’s Thesis. Practicum students pay a fee for the Practicum, and complete 300 unpaid supervised hours in a human rights-based organization and write a 7500-10,000 word paper instead of a Thesis.

Q2. What elements are required to complete the Practicum stream?

• create a Practicum ‘contract’ outlining goals and learning expectations for the Practicum
• complete 300 unpaid supervised hours in an approved Practicum site
• develop and write a 7,500-10,000-word Major Research Paper and obtain a Pass grade.
• attend at least three (3) professional seminars (if applicable)
• attend all mandatory Practicum progress meetings.
• develop a 2-page Brief and participate in the Student-led Symposium in November

Q3. Are there fees associated with the Practicum?

Yes, the MHR Practicum fee for 2020-21 is set at $500 per Practicum. The University also charges Continuing Fees until the degree is complete. Make sure your student understands these fees.

Q4. What is required for the Major Research Paper?

This is a publishable quality academic paper that critically reflects and contextualizes the impact and influence of the student’s Practicum within the broader field of human rights. It can be no longer than 10,000 words including Bibliography and Notes. The MRP must be passed by the Faculty Advisor and the appointed Examiner, presented at the annual MHR Student-led Symposium, then uploaded to the Student Research Portal on the MHR Website.

Q5. What is the role of the MHR Professional Development Coordinator in the Practicum?

The MHR Professional Development Coordinator oversees the practicum process, including the development of learning objectives, determining suitable placements, and the delivery of multiple professional learning opportunities for MHR students throughout the academic year. The MHR PDC is the main contact throughout the practicum placement, but we encourage FAs to be involved as interested parties during this phase.

Q6. What is the role of the Faculty Advisor?

The Faculty Advisors’(FA) primary responsibility pertains to the development and defence of the Major Research Paper. The FA assists the student in the development of their Major Research Paper. While the student is in a practicum site, the FA can assist the student in the development of a topic and purpose for their paper related to their Practicum. The FA becomes more actively involved as a mentor in the Practicum process once the Practicum placement is completed. The Faculty Advisor then oversees and grades (Pass/Fail) the Major Research Paper in collaboration with the Examiner. The FA is also responsible for Annual Reports and to ensure the student is aware of any fees associated with their program plan. Some Advisors take a more active role in connecting students with relevant Practicum placements, but these must be coordinated with the MHR Professional Development Coordinator and approved by the MHR Director before the commencement of any placement.

Q7. How and when are Faculty Advisors appointed?

Advisors are approached typically by students. When an agreement to work together is reached, the Faculty Advisor is formally appointed by the MHR Director. This must be done prior to the progress report (June 1 every year). Students and Advisors must complete the advisor-student guidelines form together on JUMP:

Q8. How are Examiners appointed?

Examiners are recommended by the FA to the MHR Director.

Q9. What is the role of the Examiner?

Purely evaluative. They Pass/Fail the Major Research paper.

Q10. Do Practicum students require an annual Progress Report?


Q11. Who is responsible for finding the student a Practicum placement site?

The Faculty Advisor is not responsible for finding a Practicum placement, though may have recommendations for the student. The logistics and learning objectives of the Practicum placements, the primary relationship with the student during their Practicum is guided by our Professional Development Coordinator, Dr. Laura Reimer (, who is responsible for developing/coordinating/monitoring/evaluating the work placements and development and achievements of student learning objectives.

Q12. What kinds of organizations are appropriate sites for an MHR Practicum?

The Practica must be human rights related. The MHR currently has organizations we work with, including the Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties, KLINIC, Public Interest Law Centre and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, and each yar have expanded so that now we have over 30 in our network. We interpret human rights related work broadly, so final approval is granted by the MHR Director.

Q13. Can students do a Practicum physically outside of Canada?

Yes (but not during COVID19 restrictions), but this is complicated and is primarily coordinated through the International Centre.

Q14. Does the University of Manitoba provide funding for Practicum placements?

No, placements within Winnipeg are not eligible for funding. There are funds available for some placements through application to the Mauro Travel Fund outside of Winnipeg (including both those elsewhere in Canada and outside of Canada).

Q15. Can Practica be paid?

There are no stipulations preventing paid Practica, but most are not paid.

Q16.When will the Practicums begin?

Typically they begin in May after the completion of Winter term. All required coursework and legal documents must be completed before the placements begin.

Q17. What is the duration of the Practicum? Can Practica be part-time?

Practica are normally be part-time and are worked as 25 hours/week for 12 weeks, though this can vary. The Supplementary Regulations indicate that Practica shall normally occur over the course of three months during one semester. This can be extended but requires approval from the MHR Director.

Q18. What is the MHR Student-led Symposium?

The MHR Student -led Symposium takes place at the end of November and is coordinated by the MHR PDC. Student research from both the Practicum and the Thesis streams present their major research papers/theses from a Briefing Note format, which is coached by the PDC.

Q19. What happens once the Major Research Paper is passed and has been presented at the Symposium?

Once the paper has passed, FAs are responsible for some last oversight: students must upload their paper to MSpace in accordance to the format and procedure set out here: The Advisor and Examiner must also fill out the final report form ( and return it to the MHR Director ( for signature and submission to graduate studies.

Q20. How does COVID-19 affect the Practica?

The University has mandated that our Practica take place remotely until they announce that there is no COVID19 health risk for in-person placements.