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Postgraduate Diploma - International Dispute Resolution

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The Diploma in International Dispute Resolution not only provides an understanding of the theoretical, practical and ethical problems relating to International Dispute Resolution, but also provides a stepping stone for professionals becoming more involved in international alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes.

All taught modules are taught as part of the LLM degree. On this Diploma there are core modules which you must take in order to qualify.

There are two distinct Diploma routes, Arbitration or Mediation, to choose from, each with their own specialised focus.

PG Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Arbitration M2D3

Core or required elements

One further module from the following list (free choice)

Why is the course relevant?

Arbitration is becoming an increasingly popular and more specialised method to resolve disputes:  

  • The International Chamber of Commerce in Paris has increased the number of cases from 325 in 2006 to 508 in 2011
  • LCIA from 160 in 2008 to 240 in 2012
  • New ICC Rules and Swiss Rules in 2012, imminent new Vienna Rules

PG Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Mediation M2D4

The core module, entitled Alternative Dispute Resolution, interprets the subject as a truly interdisciplinary field comprising law, social science, economics, psychology and others. This is a newly emerged and vibrant area of scholarship, hence it is impossible to give yes or no answers to most of the questions. Accordingly, the module will employ critical thinking and an open discussion approach. It is expected that students will be willing to share results of their research and be involved in active discussion of all issues.

Core or required elements

One further module from the following list (free choice)

*Modules QLLM150 and QLLM151 need to be taken together.

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

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 £100,000 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.

Teaching Staff

Staff contributing to this course include:

Entry Requirements

An upper second class (2.1) honours degree in law (or with law as a major element) at a British university. Equivalent professional qualifications and experience will also be considered.

Overseas students should contact the programme administrator about the suitability of their qualifications and English language skills.

Professional Exams Exemptions

The School of International Arbitration is currently reviewing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) professional exemptions. An update will be published shortly on this page.  

How to apply


For more information about the diplomas contact:

Penny Loizou, Diploma Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8093

Nicholas A Lawn, UK

Nicholas Lawn

Associate, International Arbitration and Litigation Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

PG Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Arbitration 2011-12

The PG Diploma in International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration) was recommended to me by John Rhie, a friend and former colleague who had taken, and benefited from, the course in 2007. My former partner also highly commended the course to me highlighting its practical benefits as well as the high regard with which the School of International Arbitration is held within the international arbitration community.

As a senior associate in the International Arbitration group at Skadden in London, with a number of years of practical experience, I was interested not so much in the nuts and bolts of arbitration as in the conceptual framework of the area. The Diploma has certainly deepened my understanding of this framework as well as the current issues and debates within the discipline. The international and comparative approach to the subject has not only broadened my knowledge of regulation in key arbitral fora but has sharpened my understanding of the positions taken on important procedural issues under English law.

Of course, there are now many arbitration specific courses offered in London (and throughout the world) from which to choose. The Diploma at Queen Mary, however, must be the oldest and one of the best. I have been able to achieve my academic objectives taught by an outstanding faculty, both at the cutting edge of academic research and deeply experienced in practice, and I have been able to do this while continuing to work in my firm. While this takes some juggling of commitments, it is entirely possible to do.

Many of the students on the Diploma course are already qualified lawyers in a range of jurisdictions. Attending the Diploma has, therefore, also allowed me to meet many other practitioners of international arbitration from jurisdictions far and wide, from San Jose through Prague to Mumbai - learning from each the nuances of arbitration practice in their jurisdictions...and also providing a great way to build up a network of international contacts.

James Freeman, UK

James Freeman

PG Diploma in International Dispute Resolution - Arbitration 2009-10

Graduate with Distinction, Senior Associate, Allen & Overy LLP

''Although I already had considerable experience of international arbitration in practice, I felt that I lacked a conceptual overview of the subject. The Diploma in International Arbitration at CCLS allowed me to study in depth and debate the controversial issues and has, I feel, made me a better practitioner as a result.''

John Rhie


Diploma in Comparative International Commercial Arbitration

John Rhie, Associate, Solicitor-Advocate (All Higher Courts), International Dispute Resolution McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

"I am currently a senior associate in the International Dispute Resolution Group of Mcdermott Will & Emery.  I undertook the Post Graduate Diploma in Comparative International Commercial Arbitration and Investment Treaty Disputes at the School of International Arbitration ("SIA") in 2006 - 2007.  This course was ideal for me for a number of reasons.  

First, I was able to do this course on a part-time basis whilst continuing to work at my firm.  The lectures and tutorials were held in the evenings which fitted my work hours.  

Second, although currently my practice is focused on international arbitration (both commercial and investment treaty), I had trained and qualified as a solicitor at Herbert Smith where I focused on litigation. I felt this course was a perfect way to enhance my knowledge of arbitration that I may have lacked as I started my career as a litigator.

Third, part of the course is a comparison of various arbitration acts and rules around the world which is incredibly helpful in advising clients as to the choices they may have in choosing the proper forum or laws in resolving their disputes or potential disputes.  The course has met and sometimes exceeded my expectations and I certainly have a great deal more knowledge and understanding of international arbitration which has benefited my practice as well as a great deal more friends that I met through the course."

Judith Gill


Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration

Judith Gill, Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

"I attended the inaugural Diploma course in International Commercial Arbitration in the late 1980s. 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. What particularly distinguished the Diploma course was its international dimension, which is such an important feature of the subject for the practitioner, and the excellent teaching faculty, all of whom were experienced practitioners."

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