Dispute Resolution LLM/PgCert

Dispute resolution students in negotiation
Mode of Study
Full-time, Part-time
1 year
Start Date
September 2019


If you can see yourself in the demanding arena of dispute resolution, then our Dispute Resolution course will give you the skills you need to realise your ambitions. You can study this course to either PgCert or LLM level.

On this course, you'll learn about the causes and nature of conflict, how to minimise the damage caused by conflict, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. You'll also understand the role of ADR practitioners, and how to use ADR processes such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation.

When you finish the course, you'll have the skills for a successful career in ADR, and related professional roles in the fields of commerce, business and law.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Examine examples of ADR across private and public sectors
  • Learn techniques for negotiation and dispute resolution in both small and large scale disputes
  • Take part in simulated arbitration and mediation proceedings in our replica court room
  • Have 24/7 access to our library's extensive resources, which include books, ejournals and database collections
  • Benefit from our strong links with the legal profession
  • Receive mentoring from local professionals, including solicitors and civil servants

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Careers and opportunities

Mediation, arbitration and conciliation are regularly used across sectors such as HR and construction, and in corporate transactional disputes where parties are keen to avoid the costs and publicity of litigation.

When you complete this course, you'll understand the theory and practice of ADR and be able to apply this to a range of situations, from small scale personnel disputes to large scale international commercial arbitrations.

You'll have completed the first step towards becoming an accredited mediator or chartered arbitrator, opening the door for career progression within the public and private sectors.

Career opportunities include:

  • Accredited mediator
  • Chartered arbitrator
  • Expert adviser
  • Dispute resolution consultant
  • HR officer

Professional Accreditations

We're a recognised course provider for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), and law graduates will have the option to qualify as a Member of the CIArb if appropriate options are selected. This means you can use the letters MCIArb after your name, and provides an accelerated route to qualification as a chartered arbitrator.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full-time: £8,700 
  • Part-time: £2,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £14,700
  • Part-time: £4,900 per year (subject to annual increase)


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Part-time: £2,900

International students

  • Part-time: £4,900

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units differ depending on whether you're a Law graduate or not.


Law graduates will take the following 3 units, plus an optional unit of their choice:

  • Theory of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Optional unit

For non-Law graduates, there are 4 core units:

  • Theory of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Legal Approach to Business


  • Legal Approach to Business (for non-Law graduates)
  • Commercial and Consumer Law (for Law graduates)
  • Theory and Practice of ADR

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical exercises
  • simulations
  • case studies

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

How you're assessed​

You'll be assessed through:

  • case studies
  • preparation and negotiation exercises
  • independent research and reflection
  • examinations


Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 

Apply for this course using our online application form

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.