Join our accredited LLM in Dispute Resolution and develop your qualifications in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

Prepare for a career in the non-court dispute resolution industry.

Dispute resolution is faster, less adversarial, and less public than the traditional litigation process. It’s why organisations and individuals are increasingly choosing to resolve disputes outside of court.

Join our online LLM in Dispute Resolution to earn the skills, qualifications, and connections to move into a career in this area.

  • Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
  • Flexible, so you control your workload each term.
  • Part-time, so you can keep earning while you learn.

Focused on dispute resolution

This LLM is entirely dedicated to dispute resolution methods, rather than combining dispute processes with a substantive subject.

Flexible study options

This flexible programme allows you to study for specialist Postgraduate Certificates in Mediation and International Arbitration, from which you can continue on to the LLM.

Tailored to you

With a wide range of course options to choose from, you can tailor your qualification and specialise in the methods that interest you.

Who can join online LLM Dispute Resolution?

This distance-learning LLM is open to professionals without a law degree.

It’s ideal for any professional keen to enhance their non-court dispute resolution skills and qualifications.

In this LLM, you’ll cover all essential dispute resolution techniques and theories


You’ll learn to negotiate disputes on behalf of:

  • a client
  • yourself
  • an employer.


You’ll graduate:

  • as a qualified mediator
  • better able to handle staff disagreements and difficult discussions.


You’ll learn to:

  • prepare for arbitration hearings
  • present cases in an arbitral tribunal
  • take a case through to a decision as an arbitrator.

Accredited by the CIArb

We’re a recognised course provider for CIArb Membership and Fellowship on the International Arbitration and Mediation Pathways.

Accreditation will expire on 30 June 2024.

Complete specific courses in this LLM to the required standard and you’ll be exempted from certain CIArb learning modules. See full exemption details in the United Kingdom section of this CIArb webpage.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for an:

  • LLM in Dispute Resolution (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (120 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Mediation (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in International Arbitration (60 credits), or
  • start with one of the short courses that make up this degree (15 or 30 credits).

How you’ll study

Customise your learning

LLM Dispute Resolution gives you a range of course options to choose from, so you can:

  • tailor your qualification to the areas of dispute resolution you’re most interested in
  • choose to study either fully online or through a mix of online and on-campus courses, and
  • choose how you want to complete your final year – via courses, a dissertation, or a Professional Skills Summer School.

On-campus learning

This online LLM features one optional on-campus course:

  • Professional Arbitration Skills – this optional course features on-campus teaching and workshops at the University of Aberdeen in summer.

Online learning

Online teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access MyAberdeen on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources available, including:

  • lecture podcasts
  • online tutorials
  • case studies
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with your tutors and peers

Law library access

You’ll also have online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Library, a dedicated resource for law students. Both have first-class collections of reference works in law and related subjects. Find out more about our libraries.

Your tutors

This course is delivered by our School of Law.

You’ll learn from a team of internationally experienced academics, lawyers, researchers, and dispute resolution specialists.

This degree is assessed online, with the exception of our on-campus course options, which feature on-campus teaching and assessments.

Hours for online courses

If you plan to study part-time, especially around full-time work, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term.

30-credit courses

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

15-credit courses

  • Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 8 – 10 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

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 each week 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 that are scheduled at fixed times, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each online course at your convenience.

Hours for optional Advanced Mediation Practice course

This is a blended course. The majority of teaching takes place online. But you will also spend three days on campus at the University of Aberdeen in late March.

Hours for optional Profession Arbitration Skills course

This is an on-campus course. It takes place at the University of Aberdeen over two weeks in June. Classes will run from 10am – 4.30pm on each day of the course timetable. You may also have to complete tasks yourself during some evenings and weekends while preparing for your Oral Jurisdiction Assessment, and sometimes for class activities.

Hours for 60-credit dissertation

A 60-credit dissertation is around 600 hours of study time.

This is around one term of full-time study.

You will dedicate a full term to your dissertation and work on it full-time.

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 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 studies 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.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. 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:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Dr Patricia Živković

Patricia is the degree coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Dr Annji Kinoshita-Bashforth

Annji is part of the School’s support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question

Online learning in the School of Law

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

Where this will take you

Your accredited LLM qualification

You’ll graduate with a CIArb-accredited LLM in Dispute Resolution from the University of Aberdeen, one of the UK’s six ancient universities.

You’ll receive exactly the same LLM qualification online as you would on campus. Your degree title will not mention online or distance learning.


This degree will prepare you to pursue work in all dispute resolution disciplines.

Mediation careers

You will graduate from the LLM as a qualified mediator. Although some mediators are lawyers, many are not. This degree caters for professionals from all disciplines who want to become mediators.

  • As a lawyer representing clients who may use mediation, you’ll be at an advantage understanding the techniques a mediator will use.
  • Anyone in a management position will benefit from learning the principles, theories and practical techniques of mediation too.

Arbitration careers

This LLM will also help any professional enhance their career prospects in arbitration.

Arbitrators are drawn from a range of professional groups, including lawyers, engineers, surveyors, construction professionals, the financial and accounting professions and more.

  • As a lawyer representing clients in an arbitral process, you need to fully understand how it differs from litigation. This degree will allow you to diversify your 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.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fees quoted above are based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative costs include a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

This is a pay-as-you-go degree.

You do not have to pay the full tuition fee upfront.

You can spread the cost and pay as you go, term by term.

How it works

  • You decide how many credits to study for each term.
  • At the start of term, you pay only for the credits you’re taking that term.
  • This gives you control over your costs and workload for each term of your degree.

Your personalised cost breakdown

Use the degree scheduler to plan your studies and see your cost breakdown, term by term.

On-campus course costs

This degree features on-campus course options. If you take an on-campus course as part of your degree, your fee covers the tuition for this.

However, it does not cover the cost of any travel, accommodation or visa you might require in order to join us on campus. You will have to pay for your own travel, accommodation and visa costs.

Learning resources

Access to all the essential books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

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.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for online law courses

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.


CIArb accredited

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.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements differ slightly depending on the qualification you choose.

LLM, PgDip, and PgCert in Mediation

  • 2:1 (upper-second) honours degree (or equivalent) in Law, or
  • 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in another discipline, or
  • significant professional experience.

PgCert in International Arbitration

  • 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.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

Short course route to online LLM Dispute Resolution

If you do not meet these entry requirements, or are not ready to commit to a full LLM, you may be able to use our online short courses as a route into this degree.

Find out about our short course route to entry

Entry requirements

We welcome students from around the world.

See our minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications for your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a visa to study online with us.

But if you will be joining us on campus for part of this degree, you may need to obtain a visa to do so. You will need to make your own transport, accommodation and visa arrangements to study with us here in Aberdeen. If you have a visa query, email for advice.

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 for this course or degree.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI 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 Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening and speaking
  • 65 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and 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 apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

You can apply to start in either September or January.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

For our September 2024 intake, the application deadline is 8 September 2024.

You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 15 September 2024.

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

January 2025 intake

Teaching starts on 27 January 2025.

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

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

We recommend:

  • 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.

NEW: Try our degree scheduler

Choose your courses

Choose your courses

See all the courses that are part of this degree and choose what you want to study.

Manage your study schedule

Manage your study schedule

Control the pace and cost of your degree. Decide how much you want to study each term.

Save to your wishlist

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Customise your degree

Master of Laws

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Diploma

120 credits


This indicative cost is based on 120 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Certificate

60 credits


This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month
September or January

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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