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Postgraduate Distance Learning Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Mediation

M3D6 One year part-time - Next intake: January 2015

Course description

The Postgraduate Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Mediation has a strong focus on mediation and conciliation. The Diploma not only provides an understanding of the theoretical, practical and ethical problems relating to international mediation, but can also provide a stepping stone for professionals to become involved in international alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Traditional online modules are supplemented by a residential weekend that concentrates on practical negotiation and mediation exercises.

Why is the course relevant?

Mediation is developing at great speed in many countries. For example, it is part of the civil justice system of England and Wales through the Civil Procedure Rules and the provisions in the rules which encourage the use of mediation. Additional government initiatives in England and Wales have been introduced such as:

  • A pilot scheme for the automatic referral to mediation in the UK County Court Money Claims Centre for claims of less than £5,000.
  • Automatic referral to mediators for small claims court matters (claims up to £5,000).
  • A Court of Appeal scheme whereby appeals of personal injury and contract claims of up to £200,000 will be automatically recommended for mediation.
  • The Department for Business, Innovations and Skills has instituted a pilot scheme for two regional mediation networks for small and medium sized enterprises.

In Europe, the EU Directive on Cross-Border Mediation (2008/52/EC) has led to the implementation of mediation legislation throughout the EU. Beyond Europe, other developments continue: for example, Japan has introduced mediation in its financial services sector; Hong Kong is promoting mediation through new legislation protecting confidentiality of the process; the International Bar Association has drafted investor-state mediation rules; Nigeria continues to develop its multi-door courthouses through which mediation is a primary process.

Whom is the course aimed at?

The diploma is aimed not only at lawyers, but also at other professionals who may be involved in mediation - be it as a disputant, representative or perhaps as a mediator - due to some expert knowledge that they have: a legal qualification will not be a pre-requisite for admission. The course will introduce you to the process of mediation and its role in the resolution of disputes. All candidates will be expected to appreciate that the course will involve, inevitably, an understanding of law and legal implications. References and materials will be legally orientated, but this will enable the non-lawyer to be better equipped to deal with the issues raised in international business mediation.

Teaching methods

Teaching operates via an interactive online platform and other tangible media.

Programme structure

The programme is a postgraduate degree course involving part-time study for a period of 18 months, starting during January each year.

The diploma requires the successful completion of 120 credits which can be completed as follows:
Students will be required to take the two core modules:

Students must take a further 45 credits from the elective module list below: (a minimum of 3 student is required for a module to run)    

Modules and Dissertation

The year is divided into two seven-month terms, with a selection of optional modules and dissertation being offered during the second term.

  • Taught modules (22.5 or 45 credits)
    Each module requires around seven and a half hours of work a week over one term. Each module assessment will vary and consist of assessed tasks, a module essay and final assessment exercise (take-home exam).
  • Dissertation (15,000 words)  (45 credits) – topic of your own choice

Continuous assessment will enhance the student-tutor relation and will provide regular feedback. Students will also be able to address questions and concerns directly to the course convenor and the course director. Participants are entitled to use the specialist electronic databases, such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Teachers contributing to this programme include:

Important information

For more information see the School of International Arbitration website.

Professional Exams Exemptions

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) have approved the following exemptions:

  • CCDD002 – exempt from CIArb Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution/Associate Level
  • CCDM113 – exempt from CIArb Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution

Entrance requirements

An upper second class honours degree in law (or with law as a major element) at a British university or the equivalent in other universities. Equivalent professional qualifications and experience are accepted at the discretion of the Programme Director.

Application date

  • January 2015 start - deadline for applications is 15 December 2014

As this is a distance learning programme, we understand that applicants may live overseas or outside London and are unable to deliver supporting documents in person. Electronic copies of supporting documents are acceptable for the online application. To comply with official admissions procedures, if you are made an offer, applicants must submit original certified or notarised copies of the supporting documents by post or courier and make a payment of part or full fees to be received no later than 12 January 2015. We have set the deadline to ensure that your documentation arrives in time for us to process it. This also allows time for you to receive the required course materials ready for the start of the programme.

How to apply

Apply online

Full guidance notes are provided during the online application process.

If you are unable to access the online form or would prefer to submit a paper application, please contact the Admissions team by email on The Admissions team will also be able to help with advice, or if you have any difficulty using the online application form.


For further information on all our online courses, please contact:
Michelle Dean, Distance Learning Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8099
Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 8101

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