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Develop your personal skills in negotiation, applicable in every area of work and personal life.

Specialist skill in negotiating is now recognised as a distinct area of expertise increasingly in demand in many sectors of public, political, commercial life.

Enjoy a career advantage in a fast-growing area of professional need and personal gain - with all the advantages of fitting your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.


Negotiation is the primary method of resolving differences and disputes, differing from arbitration in the lack of a third party. This topic is a compulsory element of our LLM in Dispute Resolution - and we’re delighted to offer it as a standalone online short course.

This course offers a huge career advantage in a fast-growing area of professional expertise. Specialist skill in resolving disputes is increasing being recognised as a distinct area of expertise increasingly in demand in many sectors of business, employment and law.

The vast majority of disputes and differences of a civil (non-criminal) nature are resolved before one of the parties commences legal proceedings, be that by application for resolution by a court, arbitration or mediation. Anecdotal feedback from UK Barristers Chambers suggests that between 75% and 95% of these disputes are resolved before the commencement of the hearing of the legal proceedings by the court or arbitration tribunal or the mediation proper.

We all have innate skills in negotiating, which develop from childhood. This course guides you in understanding and developing your own skills (identifying your strengths and weaknesses) and how you can use them to best advantage in negotiating disputes in a professional or personal capacity.

You’ll enhance your professional skills in negotiating in whichever sector in which you work, including commercial, employment, consumer, and family law. You’ll learn the essential techniques and theories to ensure that you secure the best result, whether in negotiating disputes with colleagues, on behalf of a client or employer, or for yourself.

You’ll learn from highly-experienced lawyers at a UK top-ten School of Law, and other practising experts, as you grow your own knowledge, expertise and career prospects while enjoying all the practical advantages of online distance learning.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of track record, breadth and depth of expertise and experience, plus acknowledged teaching and research strength, makes Aberdeen an outstanding provider of education in all areas of law. A qualification in law from Aberdeen is highly respected by employers.

Our international School of Law is one the UK's elite training grounds for lawyers, ranked 10th out of over 90 law schools in the UK, (The Complete University Guide 2018) and number one for Graduate Prospects (The Times Good University Guide 2018). We are highly rated for teaching, research and student care, and score 93% for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2017).

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, with the on-campus Masters programme in Professional Arbitration Skills accredited by leading professional body, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

Our Law School offers a range of specialist Masters programmes, including in Oil and Gas Law, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Public and Private International Law, Arbitration, Human Rights, Intellectual Property Law and Criminal Justice. The LLB(Hons) and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice are also taught here. You can use this credit-bearing, online course as a taster for continuing your professional education through a wide range of online and on-campus options across a wide spectrum of law.

What you'll study

The course is structured around a weekly negotiation exercise, starting with basic skills, and moving on to using emotional intelligence (EQ), heuristics, and psychology.

You’ll keep a weekly journal of your learning, on which we give you feedback. Every two weeks you’ll submit a short essay on a task away from the classroom (such as negotiating a discount).

You’ll learn to become self-aware through examining how you personally react to conflict situations, and grow your understanding of what makes people angry, what makes them trust others, and the ethical issues involved when we try to resolve disputes. And you’ll practice your growing skills in your online classroom, including feedback and discussion among your virtual classmates.

The issues you’ll examine include:

  • Why disputes and difference arise
  • What is negotiation?
  • How negotiation can be used to avoid or resolve disputes and differences
  • The negotiation process
  • Negotiation styles
  • Strategies and tactics in negotiation
  • Cognitive influences
  • Power and persuasion in negotiation
  • Single-party and single-issue or multi-issue negotiation

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 video lectures, tutorials, reading list, assignments, and plenty of interaction with your tutors and your virtual classmates, including discussion boards and practising of your growing negotiation skills.

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


You’ll be assessed on the learning you demonstrate through your online interactions and course work, and by an end-of-course essay on a topic of special interest.

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.