International Dispute Resolution LLM

Rethink your approach to conflict resolution


Our online programmes in International Dispute Resolution – Arbitration aim to inspire a new generation of lawyers to rethink traditional approaches to conflict and its resolution, and to equip them with the tools required to succeed in the field.

Your studies will combine solid theoretical grounding, broad interdisciplinary training, and opportunities for individual research and skills development. Our dynamic programmes are designed to offer you all the excellent learning opportunities you would get on campus, without the restrictions of fixed times and locations.

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Course Details

Format: part- time and online (distance learning)

Tuition fees: £13,295 (LLM); £8,850 (PGDip); £4,450 (PGCert). Payment by instalment and funding options available.

Course duration: two years (LLM); 15 months (PGDip); one year (PGCert)

Annual start dates: May, September

Next start date: 18 September 2023

Application deadline: 15 September 2023 (we recommend applying as early as possible to secure your place)

Time commitment: approximately 20 hours per week


Why this course?

Queen Mary University of London is ranked 30th in the world for law and legal studies in the QS World University Rankings 2020.

This is a programme that has been designed specifically and built specifically in order to be delivered online and in order to accommodate working professionals.



The two modules on commercial arbitration offer students a detailed view of all key legal issues arising in the course of arbitration proceedings. The modules on investment arbitration will give students an in-depth understanding of the work of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSD) and the issue of Substantive Protection. Combined, these will equip students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in this. For each module you will be awarded 30 credits and you will receive a further 60 credits for your dissertation. To graduate you must have accrued the full 180 credits, which involves completing every aspect of the modules and passing all relevant assignments.
Module 1 - International Commercial Arbitration: Theory and Context

Compulsory module for the LLM, PGDip and PGCert.

Aim: to introduce the fundamental principles of international commercial arbitration.

Topics include:

  • What is Arbitration? Forms of Arbitration; different dispute resolution mechanisms; main arbitral institutions
  • Legal framework of arbitration; theories of arbitration
  • The Arbitration Agreement  I – formal and substantive validity; separability; kompetenz-kompetenz
  • The Arbitration Agreement II – essential characteristics of arbitration clauses; pathological clauses; drafting and effective arbitration clause
  • Arbitrability
  • Appointment of arbitrators – selection mechanisms, neutrality and independence; conflicts of interest; repeat appointments; ethics
  • Arbitral Procedure I – party autonomy vs harmonization; different phases of arbitration; bifurcation; terms of reference; hearing
  • Arbitral Procedure II – evidence; discovery; tensions between civil and common law; IBA guidelines
  • Arbitration and the courts in general – provisional measures and enforcement.
Module 2 - International Commercial Arbitration: Selected Issues

Compulsory module for the LLM, PGDip and PGCert.

Aim: to establish knowledge and critical understanding of international commercial arbitration as an independent comparative law subject.

Topics include:

  • Decision making in arbitration: role of Arbitral Institutions, arbitrators, domestic courts and administrative secretaries
  • Legitimacy of the arbitration process:  due process, rule of law and other hallmarks of legitimacy
  • Applicable Law Issues I – determination of applicable substantive law
  • Applicable Law Issues II – law governing the procedure
  • Challenges to arbitrators, including standards of independence and impartiality
  • Multi-party arbitration; multi-contract arbitration
  • Provisional measures; emergency arbitrators
  • Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards
  • Funding of arbitration and costs, including third party funding.
Module 3 - Investment Treaty Arbitration

Compulsory module for the LLM and PGDip

Aim: to develop awareness of the complex international legal elements involved in the resolution of investment and trade disputes.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the subject matter and the course – Regulatory and Institutional Framework
  • ISDS – overview and history
  • ICSID – jurisdiction: consent; ratione materiae; personae
  • ICSID – procedural Issues
  • ICSID – award and annulment
  • ICSID – enforcement and sovereign immunity
  • BIT I – models and key content
  • BIT II – key procedural issues
Module 4 - Investment Arbitration: Substantive Protection

Compulsory module for the LLM and PGDip

Aim: to develop awareness of the complex international legal elements involved in the resolution of investment and trade disputes.

Topics include:

  • An evolution – from BITS to FTAs to mega-regionals
  • ECT – a sectoral FTA/BIT
  • CETA, TPP, TTIP and other endeavours
  • Substantive Protection I: expropriation
  • Substantive Protection II: fair and equitable treatment
  • Substantive Protection III: other rights and state defences to investor rights
  • MFN and umbrella clauses
Module 5 - Dissertation

Compulsory module for the LLM

Dissertation (15,000 words) – independent research. An advanced, in depth examination of a particular area of law: the chosen topic should relate to a relevant issue within the academic field.

How you will learn

Benefits of learning online with us

How you will learn
Your time is valuable. Our 100% online courses are designed to fit around your existing lifestyle. Part-time and flexible enough to continue working, you can further your education and enhance your prospects without sacrificing your current commitments.
Your virtual learning environment
Lectures are delivered in Canvas, our virtual learning environment, using a combination of video, podcasts and online presentations, with clear links to further resources and downloadable materials, available on-demand.
Your interactive learning experience
Discussion forums will encourage you to interact with your peers, sharing opinions and debating current topics and issues in your field. You will also have the chance to engage with members of the academic team during regular webinars. All of the programme material will be made available for you to access whenever you need. Our rigorous online courses are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to move forward in your career. All our online modules are developed by Queen Mary academics and our approach ensures a learning experience equal in quality to our campus programmes. Find out more on our student support page.
Face-to-face events
Your course will be delivered completely online, however, you will get the chance to meet your coursemates, academic team, and guest speakers in real life at our optional face-to-face conferences and workshops.
Academic Team
As a member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is committed to the highest quality teaching and research. The DL programmes in International Dispute Resolution are taught by academics under the direction of Norah Gallagher and Remy Gerbay, the co-Directors of the Distance Learning programmes.
Resources and Services
Our online students enjoy the same status as those who attend Queen Mary on campus. You will have access to our extensive online resources and if you are able, are welcome to attend any of the extra-curricular events run by various research centres to complement your studies. We provide free access to extensive online databases and collections, including: Kluwer Arbitration Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline Oxford Scholarship online Jstor Queen Mary has law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms. Senior practitioners and academics from leading law firms, chambers and other universities also contribute on our programmes, providing excellent online networking opportunities for our students. In addition, you will benefit from dedicated tutor support, enhanced online material, and a range of interactive features. There will be lively online discussions with your peers and webinars led by academic members, all accessible at a time that suits you. You’ll also be able to turn to our helpful Student Adviser team once you enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions and to ensure your experience with Queen Mary is positive.

How students study with us

• No visas or moving costs
• Access course from anywhere in the world
• Spend approx. 20-25 hours studying each week
• All course materials are available on demand
• Revise on the days and times that suit you best
• Course modules broken down into weekly
• Fit studies around work, family and social life
• Support with non-academic queries from a
student adviser team

Additional Support

As one of our students, you’ll have access to a range of services designed to support your studies and make your time with us as enjoyable as possible. -Our comprehensive online library of books, journals, and resources -A Student Advisor team to answer non-academic queries -Online software tutorials via LinkedIn Learning -The Students’ Union community -Career advice, CV creation, practice interviews, and more via our careers platform

Career prospects and opportunities

Queen Mary University of London is a member of the Russell Group of leading universities. Studying online with us gives you access to the highest quality of teaching and research, empowering you to achieve lifelong career success and make a global impact.

Queen Mary’s School of International Arbitration (SIA) is the world’s oldest and largest academic institution dedicated to the study of international arbitration. The SIA is widely recognised as a global leader in the field.

What career-relevant skills will I develop?

During the course, you will get a broad perspective on arbitration. At Queen Mary, we teach international arbitration taking a comparative law approach. Our courses are not limited to English arbitration law. Instead, we study statutes and cases from numerous jurisdictions, covering continental Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Throughout the course, you will work on questions based on real cases, conduct legal research, write legal analyses, and get feedback from our academic team.

Through our LLM, students with no background in arbitration will gain a comprehensive knowledge of both commercial and investor-State arbitration, garnering both precious practical and theoretical insights into these fields of practice.

For experienced arbitration lawyers, studying our LLM is an opportunity to take some distance from your everyday work and gain a top-down, theoretical understanding of the subject matter.

A specialised LLM will also bolster both experienced and inexperienced lawyers’ credibility as arbitration practitioners, thereby helping you achieve your professional goals.

What additional career support is available?

You’ll also have access to QM Careers and Enterprise throughout your studies and for up to two years after you graduate. The service offers information and guidance on a wide range of topics, from choosing a career to finding work experience and starting your own business.

What are the networking opportunities?

You can look forward to engaging and building connections with your tutors and fellow students during webinars and in discussion forums. Through your time on the course, you will build a network that could allow you to work together in the future.

You will also have access to various extracurricular events organised by the SIA, including a range of online seminars relevant to the course on topics such as transparency and insolvency.

From the success stories of our LLM graduates, we know the variety of careers that are likely to be open to you on successful completion of this course. A large portion of our graduates have applied their degree knowledge directly while working in private practice, in law firms big and small. Others have gone on to work as in-house counsel for private companies, government, or arbitral institutions.

Finally, some of our students have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees and joined academia. Students who had already been practicing for several years prior to the LLM have found themselves able to advance their position within their existing organisation, or to transition into a new area of law.

The skills developed through our programme – combined with the extra-curricular activities we offer – have enabled Queen Mary graduates to move in to careers in the UK and around the world at companies such as:

  • Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Ashurst LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  • Deloitte
  • Dentons
  • Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Intel Corporation
  • McDermott International
  • Pinsent Masons
  • The World Bank

How to apply

Benefits of learning online with us

To be eligible for entry to the LLM, PGDip, or PGCert International Dispute Resolution programme you should have the following:

Law graduates

  • The usual qualification for entry to the programme is a degree in law, or a degree with a substantial law content, of at least 2.1 honours (or international 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

  • Non-law graduates with a minimum 2.2 honours degree who 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 substantial professional experience in a legal area or an area directly related to their programme of study.
  • English language requirements

    If your first language is not English, you should also have one of the following:

    • IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall including 7.0 in Writing, and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.
    • TOEFL: 100 overall including 27 in Writing, 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking.
    • PTE Academic: 68 overall including 68 in Writing, and 51 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to apply, please get in touch with our course adviser team for advice.

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Share your details in order to receive information about this high quality online masters course.

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