Introduction

Unlike many other programmes on dispute resolution, this programme does not seek to combine a substantive subject with dispute processes; it focusses only on those methods best placed to resolve disputes. It is dedicated to dispute resolution methodology. The non-court dispute resolution industry is vibrant and growing as organisations and individuals seek to resolve their disputes outside the often adversarial, public, slow and expensive litigation process.

This programme is studied fully online.

This is an online programme for professionals who wish to enhance their non-court dispute resolution skills. The learning pace is flexible, allowing you to choose each semester how many courses you wish to take. You can study full full time over 12 months or part time taking u to 36 months. The courses provide a comprehensive grounding in essential dispute resolution techniques and theories. The quality of the programme is evidenced by its recognition by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb): certain courses may exempt you from CIArb’s Membership or Fellowship examinations .
The negotiation course will help anyone who has to negotiate disputes on behalf of a client, for themselves or for an employer.
The mediation courses will equip those who wish to become mediators (or who refer clients to mediation services) with the skills and techniques to do so. Employers and managers often find that mediation techniques help them to better handle staff disagreements and difficult discussions.
Arbitration, whether domestic or international, is an important option, especially in commercial cases. Although it is an adjudicative process, leading to a binding decision, it differs significantly from litigation; in its flexibility, its use of decision-maker expertise and its confidentiality. This programme highlights those differences,enabling students to learn how to prepare for arbitration hearings, how to present cases in an arbitral tribunal and even how, as an arbitrator, to take case through to a decision. The programme is structured to allow you to tailor your study across the disciplines depending on your learning needs, ensuring you focus on the aspects of dispute resolution most relevant to you. Should you have less time to commit to study, or are returning to study, our one year PGCert programmes provide a strong grounding in either arbitration or mediation. Alternatively, you can take a single course as a ‘taster’ before committing to further study.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Online Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM or PgCert
Duration
12 months or 36 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month
September or January

Study Options

An LLM requires 180 credits, with options from 30 to 60 credits per semester. Legal Principles is compulsory, taken at the start of your programme. Advanced Mediation has Mediation Theory and Practice as a pre-requisite. International Arbitration Practice has international Arbitration Law as a pre-requisite. The dissertation may only be studied in the final year and attracts 60 credits. It is intended that all courses will run in each semester each year, but this could be subject to change.

LLM 36 months Online Learning Part Time September or January
Degree Content

Degree Content

To be awarded an LLM 180 credits needs to be achieved. The number of credits can be accelerated or decelerated acroos each semester and each year. This flexibility enables you to study part time or full time and switch pace as your commitments require. The pre requisites are that Legal Principles is compulsory and should be taken at the start of your programme. Advanced Mediation can only be studied if Mediation Theory and Practice has been awarded. Similarly International Arbitration Practice can only be studied once International Arbitration Law has been succesfully achieved. The Dissertation is compulsory for the full time programme and can only be studied in the final part of the programme. If taken as an option withi the part time programme it has to be taken in the final part of the programme. The Dissertation attracts 60 credits.

Compulsory Courses

Legal Principles is compulsory in the the first session year one, and will run each semester.

The Dissertation is compulsory for the 12 month full time programme and can only be studied in the final part of the programme.

Legal Principles (LS552E) - 30 Credit Points

This course covers the basic principles of law which are applicable in negotiation, mediation and arbitral practice. The course is divided into 15 topics covering: Legal System and Sources, Contract Law, Reparation Law (Tort/Delict), Aspects of Civil Evidence. These subjects are taught from a UK perspective, providing a grounding in common law jurisprudence in these areas. The following topics are examples of those included in this course:

The Legal System of the UK

Sources of Law

Formation of Contract

Interpretation of Contracts

Breach of Contract

Remedies for Breach of Contract

Duty of Care in Tort/Delict

Breach of Duty of Care

Causation and Remoteness of Damage

Burden and Standard of Proof in Civil Cases

Evidential Rules around Testimony

Expert Evidence

Privilege and Confidentiality

View detailed information about this course

Dissertation (LS5910) - 60 Credit Points

In the final one third of their programme, students who opt to take this course will prepare a 10,000 word dissertation thesis on a question of their choice related to an aspect of dispute resolution.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Tailor your programme to meet your needs. Legal Principles is compuslory for most students and should be the start point of your degree, In most instances you can then choose from the 11 courses listed below. 180 credits need to be achieved to attain an LLM, 120 credits for a PG Diploma, and 60 credits for a PG Certificate.

It is intended that alll courses will run in each semester each year, but this could be subject to change.

Negotiation Skills (LS551X) - 30 Credit Points

The vast majority of disputes and differences of a civil, that is, non-criminal nature are resolved before one of the parties commences legal proceedings. Somewhere between 85% and 95% of those disputes and differences are resolved before the commencement of the hearing of the legal proceedings.

This course will examine issues such as:

  1. Why disputes and difference arise.
  2. What is negotiation?
  3. How negotiation can be used to avoid or resolve disputes and differences.
  4. The negotiation process.
  5. Negotiation styles.
  6. Strategies and tactics.
  7. Cognitive influences.
  8. Power and persuasion.
  9. Single-party and single-issue or multi-issue negotiation.

View detailed information about this course

International Arbitration Law (LS551Z) - 30 Credit Points

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 anyone advising clients, or framing contracts carrying arbitration clauses

View detailed information about this course

Mediation Theory and Practice (LS552F) - 30 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to study the theory of mediation and to develop their skills in mediation practice. The course is designed to enable students to learn independently, with ongoing facilitation and support from experienced teaching staff. Students are encouraged to interact with tutors, peers and study groups to develop knowledge, understanding and interpersonal skills, which are critical for the effective practice of mediation. In addition, students will study conflict theory and communication skills, as well as the process and theory of different models of mediation and their application in the many areas where mediation is practised.

Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own styles and learning, a pre-requisite for effective mediation practice. It will look in detail at the full range of generic mediation skills, making it suitable for prospective mediators in all situations and jurisdictions.

A successful student will achieve a good understanding of the basic principles of conflict resolution with some practical experience of mediating disputes.

View detailed information about this course

International Investment Law (LS503E) - 15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to study the substantive legal issues arising from disputes under international investment agreements, in particular in the process of investor-state arbitration. This course examines the interplay between a state's right to regulate and substantive protections offered to foreign investors to protect their investments. These substantive protections include fair and equitable treatment expropriation, most favourable nation and national treatment. It will be an interactive and dynamic course, as students will have the opportunity to work on a substantive protections lab so that they can understand the notions of each substantive protection in real treaty practice.

View detailed information about this course

International Investment Arbitration (LS503F) - 15 Credit Points

This course studies the procedural issues arising from investor-state arbitration under international investment agreements. The course will consider the historical evolution of international investment agreements and the modern concerns of new forms of these type of instruments. The course will discuss the different aspects of the investor-state arbitration process, starting from the differences between commercial and treaty disputes, studying the notion of sovereign immunity and the understanding of the procedural issues that often arise, such as transparency, the role of amicus curiae and enforcement of international investment awards.

View detailed information about this course

International Arbitration Practice (LS502G) - 30 Credit Points

Arbitration is growing in popularity as a dispute resolution method across a variety ofsectors, and internationally. The law in this area is technical and complex,and a full understanding of how it operates is essential for anyone advisingclients, or framing contracts carrying arbitration clauses.

The principles and content of international arbitration law are considered, with the UK arbitral system asthe template. Other systems, including some of the institutional rules, arealso considered.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Mediation Practice (LS502F) - 30 Credit Points

This course builds on the learning and knowledge gained in the MediationTheory and Practice course (completion of which is a prerequisite).

Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate current practices inmediation and learn more advanced mediation techniques and strategies for usein more complex situations.

A deeper understanding ofconflict theory and peace studies will form a core part of this course as willthe legal context in which mediators operate, both from a UK and internationalperspective.

View detailed information about this course

Regulatory Law and Practice (LS552Y) - 15 Credit Points

This course explains and discusses the law and practice adopted by the main UK professional regulators when dealing with disciplinary charges.

View detailed information about this course

PgCert 12 months Online Learning Part Time September or January
Year 1

Year 1

Postgraduate Certificate International Arbitration

This one year specialist arbitration qualification is available only to those students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction. It is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, exempting the successful student from the CIArb’s membership exams on the International Arbitration Pathway.

Postgraduate Certificate Mediation

This is a one year specialist qualification in mediation, for those who wish to focus on this method of dispute resolution only. This year of study includes an on-campus intensive one-week workshop in Aberdeen, to enable skills to be developed and assessed.

Compulsory Courses

Postgraduate Certificate International Arbitration

  • International Arbitration Law
  • International Arbitration Practice

Postgraduate Certificate Mediation

  • Mediation Theory and Practice
  • Advanced Mediation Practice
Mediation Theory and Practice (LS552F) - 30 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to study the theory of mediation and to develop their skills in mediation practice. The course is designed to enable students to learn independently, with ongoing facilitation and support from experienced teaching staff. Students are encouraged to interact with tutors, peers and study groups to develop knowledge, understanding and interpersonal skills, which are critical for the effective practice of mediation. In addition, students will study conflict theory and communication skills, as well as the process and theory of different models of mediation and their application in the many areas where mediation is practised.

Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own styles and learning, a pre-requisite for effective mediation practice. It will look in detail at the full range of generic mediation skills, making it suitable for prospective mediators in all situations and jurisdictions.

A successful student will achieve a good understanding of the basic principles of conflict resolution with some practical experience of mediating disputes.

View detailed information about this course

International Arbitration Law (LS501Z) - 30 Credit Points

Arbitration is growing in popularity as a dispute resolution method across a variety of sectors, and internationally.

The principles and content of international arbitration law are considered, with the UK arbitral system as the template.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Mediation Practice (LS502F) - 30 Credit Points

This course builds on the learning and knowledge gained in the MediationTheory and Practice course (completion of which is a prerequisite).

Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate current practices inmediation and learn more advanced mediation techniques and strategies for usein more complex situations.

A deeper understanding ofconflict theory and peace studies will form a core part of this course as willthe legal context in which mediators operate, both from a UK and internationalperspective.

View detailed information about this course

International Arbitration Practice (LS502G) - 30 Credit Points

Arbitration is growing in popularity as a dispute resolution method across a variety ofsectors, and internationally. The law in this area is technical and complex,and a full understanding of how it operates is essential for anyone advisingclients, or framing contracts carrying arbitration clauses.

The principles and content of international arbitration law are considered, with the UK arbitral system asthe template. Other systems, including some of the institutional rules, arealso considered.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to change. Further information about potential changes can be viewed here.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

There will, in general, be three main methods of assessment on this programme:

  • Online interaction (grade based on work on online activities throughout the course)
  • Coursework (may be written, oral or role-play based)
  • Examination (usually closed book, can be taken in a venue near to the student)

Where there is more than one method of assessment, the percentage weighting of each will be indicated in the online Course Catalogue entry for the course.

Why Study Dispute Resolution?

This programme enhances dispute resolution skills essential to all dispute -related work.  Mediation is becoming increasingly popular across the commercial, family, employment, consumer, education, public sector and civil court arenas as well as in many complaints procedures. Its efficiency and potential to reduce costs, particularly those associated with litigation and formal processes, mean it is now widely seen as a cost effective and successful process.  Those representing clients who may use mediation will benefit from understanding the type of techniques a mediator will use.  Anyone in a management position would benefit from understanding  the principles, theories and practical techniques used in successful mediation.

Those representing clients in an arbitral process need to fully understand how it differs from litigation, and this programme allows legal professionals to diversify their practice into this lucrative growing area, especially internationally.  Transactional lawyers and professionals need to know what is involved in arbitration too, since many commercial contracts contain a dispute resolution clause; if it is poorly drafted, this can cause considerable problems later.

Why the University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen’s School of Law is ranked 10th in the UK by the Complete University Guide (2018), and Times Good University Guide (2017). It is therefore highly rated for teaching, research and student care. Its graduates have a very high graduate employment rate.
The University’s Law School has a track record in dispute resolution tuition. This subject is taught here at undergraduate, professional postgraduate and Masters levels.
Further, the Law School here offers a range of specialist Masters programmes, including in Oil and Gas Law, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Public and Private International Law, Human Rights, Intellectual Property Law and Criminal Justice. This demonstrates a breadth and depth of expertise at Masters level. The LLB(Hons) and the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice are also taught here.

 

 

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally, a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this programme.

Alternatively, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in another discipline may be accepted.

Significant experience in a professional pursuit may, exceptionally, be accepted as a substitute for a Bachelor’s degree.

The exception to the above is that entry to the PgCert International Arbitration requires the applicant to have a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law from a common law jurisdiction. The reason for this additional requirement is that students on this route do not require to take the Legal Principles course.

The Programme Director retains sole discretion for any admission decisions.

Applications may be made up until September or January each year (depending on whether a September or a January start is sought). However, early applications are encouraged.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

International Applicants

Should your programme necessitate a visit to the University you may find the following information helpful.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below:

LLM 36 Months Online Learning Part Time with September or January start

LLM 12 months Online Learning Full Time with September or January start

PG Cert 12 months Online Learning Part Time January or Septmeber start. All students tuition fees for 2017/18 academic year £3,500

LLM 36 months Online Learning Part Time September or January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
All Students £9,600
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year The programme is charged per stage as follows: PgCert: £3500 PgDip: £7000 LLM: £9600
All Students £1,000
Modular fee programmes - Tuition fees for 2018/19 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis. Fee quoted is per 15 credits.
PgCert 12 months Online Learning Part Time September or January

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact law-pg-enquiries@abdn.ac.uk.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

This programme can enhance dispute negotiation skills, essential to all dispute-related jobs.

Becoming a mediator requires, for credibility, a robust, quality postgraduate qualification which imparts the skills necessary to help parties to reach a negotiated solution. Those representing clients who may use mediation would also benefit from understanding their advice on the techniques a mediator will use. Anyone in a management position would benefit from an understanding of the principles, theories and practical techniques an education in mediation imparts. Although some mediators are lawyers, many are not, and this programme caters for those from all disciplines who may wish to become a mediator.

Those representing clients in an arbitral process need to fully understand how it differs from litigation and this programme would allow a legal professional to diversify his/her practice into this lucrative, growing area, especially internationally. Transactional lawyers and professionals need to know what is involved in arbitration too, since many commercial contracts contain a dispute resolution clause; if it is poorly drafted, this can cause considerable problems later. Arbitrators are drawn from a range of professional groupings, including lawyers, engineers, surveyors, construction professionals, the financial and accounting professions and many others. This programme is designed to allow any professional wishing to become involved in the world of arbitration (or to build on their involvement) to enhance career prospects.

This LLM programme also enhances the practical skills of graduates to tackle difficult situations or disagreements, whether they are among colleagues, business associates or clients. It exposes students to a range of other professionals. It will enhance problem solving skills as well as writing, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

Accreditation

The University of Aberdeen is a Recognised Course Provider for CIArb Membership/ Fellowship on the International Arbitration and Mediation Pathways. Students who complete certain courses to the requisite standard will be exempt from the Membership or Fellowship examinations of the CIArb. See below:

A. CIArb Membership Examination Exemption [International Arbitration]

Successful completion of:

Legal Principles
International Arbitration Law

B. CIArb Fellowship Examination Exemption [International Arbitration]

Successful completion of:

Legal Principles
International Arbitration Law
International Arbitration Practice (including award writing graded according to CIArb marking scheme)

C. CIArb Membership Examination Exemption [Mediation]

Successful completion of:

Mediation Theory and Practice
Advanced Mediation Practice

Plus successful completion of CIArb’s Module 2 Assessment, (see CIArb's Mediation Courses for further information)

This degree holds accreditation from

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Law
University of Aberdeen
Taylor Building
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB