Taught course

Alternative Dispute Resolution

University of Portsmouth · Portsmouth Business School

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.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) enables disagreeing parties to resolve disputes through a wide spectrum of avenues such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation, without having to resort to litigation. ADR is a fast-growing area offering a challenging and satisfying career through an array of emerging professional roles. It will appeal to graduates, lawyers, business managers and professionals who are interested in exploring this fascinating and diverse subject.

If you are unable to commit to our full LLM ADR programme, we offer a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) ADR.

Find out more about the School of Law, our facilities and generous scholarships by attending one of our regular open evenings where you can meet teaching staff and current LLM students.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Examine recent ADR examples across a broad range of sectors
  • Explore the techniques of resolving conflict in small and large scale disputes
  • Take part in simulated arbitration and mediation proceedings using our replica court room
  • Develop effective and practical skills for negotiation and dispute resolution

What opportunities might it lead to?

Undertaking this new LLM programme will enable you to understand the theory and practice of negotiation and conciliation from mediation of small scale personnel disputes to large scale international commercial arbitrations. It is a step on the route to becoming an accredited mediator or chartered arbitrator which offers a wealth of opportunities for career progression in this rapidly developing area of professional practice.

We are a recognised course provider for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). Law graduates will have the option of qualifying as a Member of the CIArb subject to meeting certain criteria. This will allow you to use the letters MCIArb after your name and offers an accelerated route to qualification as a chartered arbitrator.

Module Details

You can take the course over one year full time or three years part time. You can choose to undertake either a dissertation or professional practitioner project. In addition, you will take the following compulsory units:

  • Theory of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • Commercial and Consumer Law (for Law graduates)
  • Legal Approach to Business (for non-Law graduates)

Programme Assessment

The course offers a balanced structure of lectures and seminars together with practical exercises such as simulations and case studies. Teaching is in small groups providing an informal, friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Your learning will be assessed through a combination of:

  • Case studies
  • Preparation and negotiation exercises
  • Independent research and reflection
  • Examinations

Student Destinations

There are currently thousands of roles being advertised by employers in the private and public sectors looking for the skills and knowledge required to successfully handle dispute resolution. Career prospects could be unlimited for those with a passion and ambition to aim for top roles in large and diverse organisations or to become a consultant in this arena.

Here are some routes our graduates might pursue:

  • Accredited mediator
  • Chartered arbitrator
  • Expert adviser
  • Dispute resolution consultancies
  • Industry specific roles in construction, HR and related sectors

Information for international students

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.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
30 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 2991