The LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution aims to inspire a new generation of lawyers to rethink traditional approaches to conflict and conflict resolution. Grounded in dispute resolution theory, this Master of Law programme combines solid theoretical grounding, broad interdisciplinary training and opportunities for individual study and skills development.
School of International Arbitration
The School of International Arbitration (SIA) at Queen Mary participates in and leads academic discussion on arbitration. As a research-led centre, the SIA studies the specific problems that arise in arbitration and contributes to the development of arbitration theory. Taking a practice-orientated approach to teaching arbitration, the SIA helps lawyers grasp the complex theoretical problems and parameters of the subject.
As a student on the LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution programme you will be able to take part in SIA events and activities such as:
- Annual SIA Lecture sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
- SIA and ICC Institute of World Business Law and Practice Arbitrators Symposium (London / Paris).
- Annual networking event with leading London arbitration practices.
- Annual session with the secretary general of the ICC Court and the Registrar of the LCIA.
You will benefit from the SIA’s long standing links with arbitration experts from both the UK and overseas, many of whom have given guest lectures, including Audley Sheppard, Dr Laurence Shore and Christopher Newmark. The SIA also supports students to take part in the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot.
More than 3,000 students have studied the LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution Queen Mary since the programme started in 1985. Upon graduating, you will be able to join the Alumni and Friends of the SIA (AFSIA), an invaluable network of arbitration specialists across the world, which offers a range of professional and social events.
The School of Law offers a range of LLM Scholarships each year. In addition, in 2015 the best advocate at the 2015 Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot will be offered a scholarship to study on the LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution at QMUL.
Why study your LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution at Queen Mary?
The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.
- There is a very high rate of employment of our students within six months of graduation.
- We have dedicated law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms.
- Many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs, both nationally and internationally.
- We offer a Critical Thinking and Writing in Law programme designed to improve your writing and research in law skills.
- You will be able to take part in networking and social events run by the Queen Mary Postgraduate Law Society and upon graduating join our extensive alumni network.
You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. You will also have access to the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre at the Mile End campus.
As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases.
In addition, Queen Mary provides free access to extensive online databases and collections including:
- Business Source Complete
- Index to Legal Periodicals
- International Court of Justice Reports
- Kluwer Arbitration
- Oxford Scholarship Online (Law)
- Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases
- UK Statute law database
- United Nations Treaty Collection
In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.
The Master of Laws (LLM) is available to study full-time for one year or part-time for two years.
Each of the LLM programmes follows a common format: you will take 135 credits worth of taught modules (examined in May-June) and thereafter you work on a 15,000-word dissertation worth 45 credits (submitted mid August). You are required to balance your taught modules equally across the two teaching semesters – a full explanation of this process will be available during induction and before module selection.
What differs from programme to programme is the range of modules that you are required to choose from. If you wish to take an unrestricted range of modules and any approved dissertation topic you should apply for the Master of Laws.
Induction and choosing your modules
We run a two-week induction period that includes an overview of the programme and module selection, dissertation and research skills. In the second week you will have the chance to try out the different modules within your programme before you make your final choice. Full details of the induction programme will be made available online by September each year.
LLM Year Planner
The LLM Year Planner gives you an idea of the structure of the programme and key periods for assessment and exams.
Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly.
The part-time LLM is essentially aimed at legal practitioners working full-time in the UK. You will attend the same modules and follow the same teaching timetable as full-time students.
The part-time programme is, however, spread over two academic years.
In year one, you will normally complete 90 credits of taught modules. In year two, you will normally take a further 45 credits of taught modules and submit the compulsory 15,000-word dissertation (45 credits). This can of course be changed if necessary, as the dissertation can actually be done in either year. However we would always advise part-time students to take 90 credits of taught modules in their first year if they are timetabled in a convenient slot.
Although not recommended, it is possible for part-time students, who are having difficulties in finding taught modules that fit in with their work timetable, to submit two dissertations – one per year. This would then enable you to take one taught module per year.
For more information:
Visit the School of Law website.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
If you can't find the information you are looking for on these pages, take a look at our LLM Frequently Asked Questions.
To specialise in this area, you must select 90 credits of modules from this list and do your compulsory dissertation in the field of Comparative and International Dispute Resolution (45 credits). The additional 45 credits of taught modules can be in this area or can be unrelated and therefore selected from the full list of available LLM modules.
All modules are 22.5 credits unless otherwise stated below.
Note: Not all of the modules listed will be available in any one year and semesters listed can be subject to change. Any modules not available in the forthcoming academic session will be marked as soon as this information is confirmed by teaching academics.
The updated module list below represents the result of our ongoing modularisation of the LLM which is intended to offer students greater flexibility and choice of module options.
- QLLM009 Commercial Law Written and Oral Advocacy (45 credits) (Not running 2016-17)
- QLLM050 International Commercial Law (45 credits)
- QLLM150 Strategic Decision Making for Lawyers (Sem 1)
- QLLM151 Negotiation Theory and Practice (Sem 2)
- QLLM153 International Arbitration and Energy (Sem 2)
- QLLM187 International Investment Law (Sem 1)
- QLLM188 Regulation of International Investment and Public Policy (Sem 2) (Not running 2016-17)
- QLLM301 / QLLG003 Maritime Arbitration (Sem 2)
- QLLM314 Transnational Law and Governance (Sem 1)
- QLLM315 Transnational Law and Governance in Practice (Sem 2)
- QLLM350 Electronic Disclosure in Legal Disputes (sem 1)
- QLLM358 Cyberspace Law: Internet Jurisdiction and Dispute Resolution (sem 2) (not running 2016-17)
- QLLM370 WTO Law: Market Access and Non-Discrimination (sem 1)
- QLLM371 WTO Law: Trade Remedies and Regulatory Issues (sem 2)
- QLLM385 Alternative Dispute Resolution: Theory and Context (sem 1)
- QLLM386 Alternative Dispute Resolution: Selected Issues (sem 2)
- QLLM391 International Construction Contracts and Dispute Resolution (Sem 1)
- QLLM393 International Arbitration Law and Practice I: Theory and Context (sem 1)
- QLLM394 International Arbitration Law and Practice II: Selected Issues (sem 2)
- QLLM395 International Commercial Litigation (sem 1)
- QLLM396 Commercial Conflicts of Laws (sem 2)
- QLLM397 Investment Treaty Arbitration (sem 1)
- QLLM398 Investment Arbitration: Substantive Protection (sem 2)
- QLLM400 United States Energy Law, Regulation and Policy (sem 1)
The usual qualification for entry to the LLM programme is a degree in law, or a degree with a substantial law content, of at least 2.1 honours (or equivalent). Law graduates with 2.2 honours who also have other legal qualifications and/or substantial professional legal experience may also qualify.
Non-law graduates with a minimum second class honours degree, that have also obtained a Merit (or 60 per cent) in the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) recognised by the UK professional bodies, may also qualify. Non-law graduates may also be considered on the basis of exceptional professional experience (of at least five years) in a legal area or an area directly related to their programme of study.
In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of full application documents.
A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.
Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details of the English language entry requirements for postgraduate law programmes.
If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information you require, please contact the Admissions Office.
How to apply - one LLM programme only
You may only apply for one of the School of Law’s LLM London programmes at a time. This restriction does not include the LLM Law and Economics programme or the LLM in Paris programme, which you may still apply for. You are permitted to apply for a maximum of two Queen Mary taught postgraduate programmes, so you may still apply for a further non-LLM London programme should you wish.
If you apply for one of the LLM London programmes, then later decide you would prefer to attend a different LLM specialism, please contact the Admissions Office Law Team at firstname.lastname@example.org - prior to enrolment - to request a manual change of LLM programme. Do not submit a new application.
Learning and teachingAs a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations and group exercises as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You will have a team of advisers to support you, including the LLM and Research Directors, your dissertation supervisor and tutors and your module convenors.
Where will my lectures and seminars be held?
Teaching is based at the School of Law's postgraduate centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields (nearest Underground station: Holborn). Depending on the courses you take, you may also have classes at the Mile End Campus (nearest Underground stations: Mile End and Stepney Green) or the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (nearest Underground stations: Russell Square, Euston and Euston Square) or Charterhouse Square (nearest underground station: Barbican).
The sample LLM teaching timetable will give you some idea of the different locations used for teaching. This is a sample only and venues and times/days can change from year to year. The LLM teaching timetable is given to students during the induction period (after enrolment).
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
You will be assessed by a mixture of formal examinations and coursework in the three taught modules, followed by more self-directed work on your 15,000-word dissertation.
You will also complete a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teachers contributing to this programme include:
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.
These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.
School of Law scholarships
The School of Law offers a range of scholarships for Law Masters programmes each year. Full details are made available on the law funding page from October – November each year.
Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships
We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.
Read more about funding a masters
Alternative sources of funding
Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.
Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country.
Detailed information about postgraduate funding options is available in our Postgraduate Funding Guide (pdf).
Read more about funding a masters.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Postgraduate Funding (pdf)
- Planning your budget and cutting costs (pdf)
- Part-time and vacation work (pdf)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717
Dyah Ayu Paramita
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution 2015-16 (Indonesia)
I am part of a team of law practitioners, academics and former Supreme Court Justices planning to establish an international arbitration institution in Jakarta, Indonesia, to complement the currently existing national arbitration institution. I decided to go to QMUL since it has the best school of international arbitration and a very notable competition law teaching team. I took the Dispute Resolution specialism to enrich my knowledge in international arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and competition enforcement with UK, EU, and globally. I hope to apply the knowledge I harvested to develop my country in these subjects.
QMUL is known for its excellence in teaching international arbitration - a colleague said that QMUL is the best school to study arbitration in the world. What I enjoy most about the LLM is the enthusiasm of the teachers. It is clear that they love their subject and that radiates to the students. The teachers are very engaging and they are very happy to assist you with your study (or even for other things that might not be related to your study).
It has also been easy to make friends. There are a lot of international students in QMUL and it is easy to connect with them as we have similar interests and issues, such as housing, food, and many others. The international atmosphere of London adds a very vibrant flavour to the experience of studying in the UK. I like the thought that almost every single person in London is bilingual (at least! Some of them may speak more than 3 languages), how awesome is that?!
Hugh Carlson, USA
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution 2010-2011
“The quality of instruction in Queen Mary’s LLM program greatly exceeded my already high expectations. I had the pleasure of studying under Professor Loukas Mistelis and Dr Stavros Brekoulakis, both remarkable in their command of the material and ability to effectively communicate it. I arrived after completing a law degree at Georgetown Law, and appreciated that the subject matter of the LLM complemented rather than merely reviewed that of my previous studies. While a student at Queen Mary I practiced international arbitration at a law firm in London. I was surprised to find that a good deal of my in-class learning overlapped with my work assignments, impressing upon me the practical value of my LLM education. Perhaps more telling is that I have continued to rely on my course materials for assistance with challenging legal questions. The relationships I formed while at QM will be another lasting benefit. The program attracts talented advocates from many parts of the world, and encourages the exchange of ideas with recurring seminar style classes and university-sponsored events. The result is a rich, diverse network of practitioners.This is especially valuable in a practice whose focus is necessarily international.”
Lucrecia Ortiz, Costa Rica
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution 2011-12
I obtained my degree in law at the University of Costa Rica as well as a specialisation in Commercial Law. I have had the opportunity to work as a practitioner in one of the most prestigious law firms in Costa Rica on international dispute resolution for the last three years, and also got involved in the academic field, collaborating as an interim professor at the University of Costa Rica in the area of Private Law of Obligations from 2004 to 2009. In the context of major economical changes in my country and new alliances for free trade, as well as the topical increase of arbitration in Latin America as one of the favourite dispute resolution methods, my personal involvement and interest in International Dispute Resolution have influenced my decision to apply for the International Dispute Resolution LLM programme at Queen Mary. The obvious link with London as a preferred seat of arbitration, as well as the involvement of highly qualified lecturers in the area made Queen Mary a natural choice. The programme has given me the opportunity to discuss and analyse the topical problems and challenges in International Dispute Resolution. The acquired comparative perspective of legal analysis is without a doubt an invaluable asset from this academic year. The collaborative attitude of Professors and their commitment to provide us with updated and high quality knowledge to approach the challenges of this fascinating discipline has made my experience at Queen Mary an exceptional one. Finally, the opportunity of sharing this year with students from the most varied cultures and traditions has definitely made this experience unforgettable.
Dalibor Valincic, Croatia
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution 2008-9
An absolutely unique experience! I chose Queen Mary because of its well-known School of International Arbitration, which is widely recognized throughout the arbitration community. However, I could not have expected to find myself in such a diversified community of students and teachers coming from literally every part of the world.
I completed my legal studies at the University of Zagreb, School of Law and started working as a legal trainee in a Croatian law office. After having spent three years as a legal trainee, I registered with the Croatian Bar Association and became a fully qualified lawyer. Having practiced for a year as a lawyer, I was determined to specialise in the field of dispute resolution, especially in international commercial arbitration. Since I was looking forward to coming to London, Queen Mary was a logical choice.
As our classes proceeded during the year, I began to realise why the School of International Arbitration is so renowned. Legal theory lectures were interwoven with practical issues, which was very useful for me as a practicing lawyer. On the other hand, lectures were balanced with table discussions with practicing lawyers and small group tutorials, which all gave me a thorough insight into the world of international commercial arbitration.
Having completing my studies at Queen Mary, I have now returned to Croatia and am continuing to work in my own law office. I am convinced that my LLM degree in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution will show to be an important asset both for myself and my clients.
Melike Tas, Turkey
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution
"After having studied law at Istanbul University, I was eager to complete my LLM degree in law. I was determined to be specialised in comparative and commercial law and following my research on this area, I was convinced that QMUL was the best option to apply for.
During my studies at the University, I realised I made the best choice. The course provided an excellent foundation for a professional career in International Arbitration, focusing on the key elements of practice and procedure in International Arbitration. I found a top-quality LLM program at QMUL. The university offers an excellent program and variety of different lectures as well as extremely reputable and well known academics. Direct contact with the professors, frequent tutorials, feed-back sessions with the students, individual research support and out-of-London inductions, parties, well located lecture venue and friendly staff, which gives a completely new meaning to the word administration. Following my graduation, my CV was found very attractive not only in London, but also in Turkey when I returned. My LLM degree from QMUL proved to be a great asset during my job applications and interviews. I am now an Attorney here in Istanbul at Paksoy & Co."
João Paulo Tannous, Brazil
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution 2008-9
João Paulo Tannous, Attorney, Litigation and Dispute Resolution- Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados, Brazil
"After facing the first arbitration disputes in my career and as arbitration is a recent subject in Brazil, I decided that it would be interesting to study the subject abroad, in a country where this sort of dispute resolution is traditional. Having those premises in mind, and after a brief research of the best Law Schools in Europe, applying for a place at Queen Mary was the reasonable thing to do.
When I arrived at the Queen Mary Campus I knew I had made the right choice. And, after the classes started, I was absolutely sure about it. Even having to adapt to a common law environment, I was amazed by the knowledge of the professors and their ability in transmitting it during a class. In addition, due to their availability and kindness, the professors also became good friends of mine outside College life. It is needless to say how important this is for someone who is living abroad and far away from his family and old friends. At the end of the course, I was quite surprised how fast everything happened - and how much I had learned in a short period - and a bit sad for realizing that my experience in UK was finishing.
Back in Brazil, I noticed how important the decision of doing the LLM at Queen Mary was. The knowledge I obtained has been very helpful and it is well valued by my colleagues at the law firm and by my clients. Today, grateful for the whole support I got from the Queen Mary staff, I definitely recommend the College and encourage my friends to apply for a place there too."
Mauricio Gomm Santos, Brazil
LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution
Mauricio Gomm Santos, Foreign Legal Consultant, Brazil
"In 1992, as a law professor of Commercial Law at the Catholic University in the State of Parana, Brazil, I was graced with a scholarship from the British Council to attend a Master's Degree Program (LLM), at Queen Mary and Westfield College, with a special focus on international commercial arbitration. It turned out to be an outstanding personal and academic experience because QMW provided me with accurate tools to obtain a substantial knowledge regarding international arbitration, at the moment where a new arbitration bill was being sent to Brazilian Parliament. Since then, I have been involved with international arbitration, as counsel, arbitrator and law professor. Currently, I teach Arbitration in Latin America at the University of Miami, School of Law, and serve as Foreign Legal Consultant at the prominent law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC, at Miami offices.
It is beyond any doubt that Queen Mary is in the forefront of the world's law schools; especially in the area of International Commercial Arbitration. It offers legal training, in a friendly atmosphere, for those who will be the architects of a changing and challenging world."