What happens when a foreign investor goes into arbitration with a state?

Get to grips with the rules of investment, trade and what arises when disputes occur within international investment agreements.

Give your law career global reach and develop your specialist skills in investor-state arbitration. Learn from highly qualified lawyers and experts practising in the fast-moving, topical field of international arbitration.

Take advantage of growing career opportunities for lawyers working in private practice, the corporate sector or government organisations anywhere in the world – with all the advantages of online learning wherever you’re based.

You can use the credits you earn on this course towards our LLM in Dispute Resolution and LLM in International Trade Law, both available online.

What you’ll study

Under international law, international investment agreements are the instruments that offer the legal ground for foreign investments. They:

  • enable states to set out conditions in which they expect to host an investment
  • offer substantive protections to the foreign investor.

But what happens when things go wrong under an international investment agreement?

You’ll examine the processes involved when a private or corporate investor goes into dispute with a country hosting an investment.

You’ll look into international investment agreements themselves, as well as the role and process of investor-state arbitration in solving disputes.

Topics you’ll cover include:

  • the evolution of international investment agreements
  • commercial arbitration vs. investment arbitration
  • differences between contractual claims and investment claims
  • the arbitration process itself – including provisional measures, the intervention of non-disputing third parties (role of amicus curiae), and issues of enforcement.

Why study Law online with the University of Aberdeen?

How you’ll study

Our International Investment Arbitration course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our CIArb-accredited Masters in Dispute Resolution, this course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • video lectures
  • online tutorials
  • reading list
  • projects
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Law Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from lawyers with extensive international experience and experts working in practice in the field of international arbitration.


This course is assessed entirely online.

You’ll be assessed throughout your course via three online discussion board assignments.

Your course coordinator

Online learning in the School of Law

Advocates share their experiences of working while studying law online with us.

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards further study, including our online:

LLM in International Trade Law (180 credits)

LLM in Dispute Resolution (180 credits)

  • Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
  • Available to study to Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) and Postgraduate Diploma level (120 credits).

View all our postgraduate Law degrees.

Build your learning

We offer a wide range of specialist online Law short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many are part of existing Masters degrees and can be used to build up credits towards postgraduate qualifications.


This course offers a significant career advantage to you as a practising lawyer advising clients on international deals, working in a government department or multinational company.

With Brexit requiring the UK to strike deals outside EU trade agreements, opportunities are great for skilled lawyers specialising in all aspects of international trade law.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for this course are an upper-second-class (2:1) Law degree (or equivalent).

Relevant practical experience in a related field is also beneficial.

For this course, you’ll apply through our Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents. Our admissions team will then review these and get back to you. Read How to apply via our Applicant Portal for all you need to know.

You need to apply by the course start date to ensure you are enrolled in time.

Apply for this course

Start date
27 September 2021
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