Whatever your profession, gain an understanding of the legal principles of the UK legal system.
Study the legal aspects of dispute resolution.
As a professional in any field, you’re likely to become involved in resolving disputes, mediating or simply handling disagreements among staff.
In this accredited course, you’ll gain the skills and legal knowledge to tackle these challenges with confidence.
- Cover contract law, compensation law and the law of evidence.
- Learn from lawyers and academics at a top UK law school.
- Study with us anywhere, with part-time hours that fit around full-time work.
Who can join this online legal course?
This distance-learning course is designed for non-lawyers and those without a UK legal qualification.
It’s ideal for professionals in any field whose work includes resolving disputes, arbitration, or mediation.
This course is accredited by
We’re a recognised course provider for CIArb Membership and Fellowship on the Mediation and International Arbitration and Pathways.
What you’ll study
This course provides a thorough grounding in the UK legal system, contract law, compensation law and the law of evidence.
- the main principles and mechanics of contract law – important in underpinning negotiation, arbitration and mediation contracts
- the law of tort (delict in Scottish law) – ie, compensation law, which deals with potential liability, negligence or breach of duty of care
- rules of civil evidence – which apply to how a case is proved in court and, in certain circumstances, arbitral tribunals.
Why study Law online with the University of Aberdeen?
Study at a university with one of the largest and most internationally experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school.
Top 10 UK law school
We’re delighted to be ranked a Top 10 UK Law School by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.
The content of this course is prescribed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning Legal Principles course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.
You can learn anywhere in the world, with no need for a study visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at LLM level.
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:
- lecture podcasts
- online tutorials
- case studies
- reading materials
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Law Library.
The portal was fantastic. I think a lot of places could take a leaf out of Aberdeen’s book with respect to how they present courses online.Simon Cook, online Legal Principles student.
This course totals approximately 300 hours of study and assessment time.
That’s around 15 – 20 hours per week in regular topic work, with more time required around assessments.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled at a fixed time, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Professor Derek Auchie
Derek leads our LLM in Dispute Resolution. A practising civil and criminal litigation solicitor before moving into teaching, he’s a CIArb Fellow who’s written and taught extensively on dispute resolution processes (court, tribunal, arbitration and mediation).View Derek’s profile
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 an LLM
You’ll earn 30 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards:
LLM in Dispute Resolution
Enhance your non-court dispute resolution skills with this online Masters accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.View LLM Dispute Resolution
LLM in International Trade Law
Develop the knowledge to practise trade law or work for governments, international businesses and NGOs. Join this flexible online LLM you can study part-time, with the option to attend Professional Skills training.View LLM International Trade Law
Move into a career in law, one short course at a time
Meet Simon, an IT manager. Using our online short courses, Simon’s now on a new career path – and fulfilling his teenage dream of attaining a law degree.
Build your learning with more short courses
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.
The course will give you significant career benefit as a professional in any field whose work includes resolving disputes, arbitration, or mediation.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.
English language tests and scores
If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:1 (upper-second-class) degree, or
- alternative qualifications and an appropriate level of relevant experience.