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 gain the skills, confidence, qualifications and connections to make 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 working while you build qualifications.

This is an LLM entirely dedicated to dispute resolution methods, rather than combining dispute processes with a substantive subject. And with a wide range of course options, you can specialise in the methods that interest you.

Who can study 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.

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.

Complete specific courses 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 (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (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

Course options

Our distance-learning LLM in Dispute Resolution gives you a range of course options to choose from.

Tailor your qualification to the areas of dispute resolution you’re most interested in. And choose the way you want to study too:

  • Online, or via a mix of online and on-campus courses
  • Complete your final year with flexible courses, a dissertation, or a Professional Skills Summer School.

On-campus options

This LLM is delivered online with the exception of:

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

Online learning

Your online teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our 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 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.


This degree is assessed online, with the exception of our on-campus course options. These 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 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.

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 Gloria Alvarez

Gloria 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.

Amanda Rose

Amanda 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


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

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full degree fee upfront.

You can pay for your degree one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

Pay as you go allows you to spread payments over several terms.

When you pay

You make a payment before the start of each term.

How much you pay

You only pay for the credits you want to study in the upcoming term.

It’s up to you how many credits you take each term. This gives you control over your costs and your workload.

  • Taking fewer credits will increase the length of your studies.

We break down the total cost of this qualification into cost per 15 credits and your dissertation or summer school.

Costs for this degree, starting in academic year 2024/25

Course fees per 15-credits

  • £1,290 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £1,355 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £1,425 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Dissertation (60 credits)

  • £5,160 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £5,420 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £5,700 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Summer school (60 credits)

  • £5,920 in academic year 2024/25.
  • £6,220 in academic year 2025/26.
  • £6,540 in academic year 2026/27 (provisional).

Tuition fees typically rise a little each academic year and will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Fees for 2026/27 are based on a further 5% increase, but are provisional and subject to change.

This is an example payment schedule for tuition fees. It’s based on the typical route through the degree.

You can take more or fewer credits per term than is shown in this example.

Term 1) September – December 2024 | Academic year 2024/25

  • Take 30 credits worth of courses.
  • Fee for term = £2,580.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 2) January – April 2025

  • Take 30 credits worth of courses.
  • Fee for term = £2,580.
  • Payment due in January.

PgCert exit point

With 60 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgCert.

Total fee for this route to your PgCert = £5,160.

Term 3) May – August 2025

  • Summer break. There is no teaching in the first summer of your degree.
  • No payment due.

Term 4) September – December 2025 | Academic year 2025/26

  • Take 30 credits worth of courses.
  • Fee for term = £2,710.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 5) January – April 2026

  • Take 30 credits worth of courses.
  • Fee for term = £2,710.
  • Payment due in January.

PgDip exit point

With 120 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgDip.

Total fee for this route to your PgDip = £10,580.

Term 6) May – August 2026

  • Undertake your 60-credit dissertation or 60-credit summer school.
  • Fee for dissertation = £5,420.
  • Fee for summer school = £6,220.
  • Payment due in May.

LLM complete

On passing your dissertation, you’ll have earned 180 credits and will be awarded an LLM.

Total tuition fee if following this route to your Masters:

  • with dissertation = £16,000
  • with summer school = £16,800.
Infographic summarising the example payment schedule described above.

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.

Why 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 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 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

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

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

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

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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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