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Build on your knowledge of international arbitration law to study the arbitration process in detail: principles, process, and how it is enforced.

Learn from experts in international law and the specialist field of arbitration practice as you work towards accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Gain a valuable career boost as a lawyer working in private practice, inhouse, or government organisation anywhere in the world - with all the advantages of distance learning wherever you are located.


This course builds on the course on International Arbitration Law (completion of which is a prerequisite), to develop your understanding of the key stages in any international arbitration process from inception to conclusion and beyond.

Arbitration is growing in popularity as a dispute resolution method across a variety of sectors, and internationally. The law in this area is technical and complex, and a full understanding of how it operates is essential for any legal professional advising clients, or framing contracts carrying arbitration clauses. Although it is an adjudicative process leading to a binding decision, it differs significantly from litigation in a number of key respects, not least its flexibility, its use of decision-maker expertise, and its confidentiality.

You’ll gain significant professional advantage as a lawyer advising clients on international activity, or if you work in a related capacity in a government department or a multinational private company.

Aberdeen is the obvious choice for this topic, with a proven track record in theory and practical training in many aspects of international law. You’ll be taught by lawyers with extensive international experience and experts working in practice in the field of international arbitration.

This credit-bearing programme is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators(contributing to Fellowship). You may wish to proceed to the online PgDip in International Arbitration, or use your credits towards a full online Masters programme in Dispute Resolution.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of track record, strong international outlook, breadth and depth of expertise in teaching, research, and in influencing public policy, makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education in all areas of national and international law.

Our international School of Law is one the UK's elite training grounds for lawyers, ranked 5th of over 100 law schools in the UK (The Complete University Guide 2019,) and number one for Graduate Prospects (The Times Good University Guide 2018). We are consistently very highly rated for teaching, research and student care, with scores consistently over 90% in National Student Surveys.

We are highly rated for teaching, research and student care, and score 93% student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2017).

Previous graduates have gone on to enjoy highly successful careers, including senior positions in legal firms, in industry, NGOs, and with government organisations across the world.

We boast one of the largest and most internationally-experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school, with huge experience and connections in all areas of international law. You will also have access to the wonderful online resources of the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Law Library, with a first-class collection of reference works in law and related subjects.

The topic of dispute resolution is a particular strength at Aberdeen, with academics highly experienced in teaching and researching this subject. We teach this at undergraduate, professional postgraduate and Masters levels This course is accredited by leading professional body, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) (contributing to Membership) as is our on-campus Masters programme in Professional Arbitration Skills.

What you'll study

This course builds on the International Arbitration Law course to develop your understanding of the key stages in any international arbitration process from its inception to its conclusion and beyond.

You’ll journey through the full arbitral process, covering such important practicalities as:

  • Drafting arbitral agreements
  • Selecting arbitrators
  • The arbitrator contract
  • Preliminary issues
  • Preservatory and injunctive relief
  • Discovery, preliminary meeting
  • Directions (including drafting)
  • Preparing for the arbitral hearing
  • Conducting the arbitral hearing
  • Practicalities of arbitral costs
  • The award
  • Challenging the award
  • Enforcing the award

How you'll study

This online, 12-week distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

You’ll be guided through your programme with podcasts of lectures, videos, tutorials and reading list. Our first-class support structure will ensure that you are not alone in your study, and you’ll enjoy plenty of interactive learning, contact with your tutors, and with your virtual classmates on discussion boards.

Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the career advantage of this course combined with the convenience of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


  • Coursework - 20% of the overall grade
  • Practical Exam - 75% of the overall grade

The coursework will be a Directions drafting exercise following a Preliminary Meeting.

The exam is an Award Writing exam based on the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators equivalent assessment. Papers will be made available in advance of the Award Writing exam so that the award can be partially prepared. In the exam, the remaining papers are provided and the student completes the award.

Entry Requirements

Normally, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this course. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.