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LLM International Dispute Resolution

Queen Mary University of London - Offered by CEG Digital, United Kingdom


Next enrollment cycle

September 2023

See all cycles

First Year Course Fee

USD 8,987

Course Accredited By


  • 2 Years
  • Online
  • Postgraduate
  • Degree

The programme has made me more confident when advising clients. Catalina Hoyos Jimenez. LLM student. Queen Mary University of London is ranked 30th in the world for law and legal studies in the QS World University Rankings 2020.   

Queen Mary's 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. They combine solid theoretical grounding, broad interdisciplinary training and opportunities for individual study and skills development. Further, 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.

The online tutors are really active, responsive, knowledgeable, highly encouraging and helpful at all times. I have had the most stupid doubts and they have cleared them up without any hindrance whatsoever. It's only made me have a better understanding of International Commercial Arbitration.

The online programmes in International Dispute Resolution can be studied part-time as Master of Law (LLM), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). The PGDip and the PGCert are shorter versions of the LLM programme. Unlike the LLM, they do not require completion of a dissertation but provide you with masters-level content. The difference between the PGDip and the PGCert is the number of modules required (the PGCert is shorter than the PGDip).

As a student at Queen Mary Online, we ask you to play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. We use a mixture of discussion forums and group webinars, designed to generate informed discussion around set topics.
Each module will consist of assessed tasks, a module essay and final assessment exercise (take-home exam). Continuous assessment will enhance the student-tutor relationship and you will be provided with regular feedback by expert tutors. You will also be able to address questions and concerns directly to the course convenor and the course director.
The final dissertation required for the LLM will involve more in-depth study and independent research, on a topic agreed with your supervisor. 

Independent study

  • At Queen Mary Online we take your studies seriously and in return we hope that you will do the same. Each week you will need to invest additional time on individual study. This could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and undertaking research for your dissertation.
  • The direction of your individual study will be guided by the online weekly content, along with your reading lists and assignments. We expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
  • Independent study helps foster 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 you throughout your working life.

Enrollment Cycles

  • September 2023
  • May 2024

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.

Taking your English language requirement test at home
For the May 2021 start date only, the following at-home tests are also being accepted:

  • HOME TOEFL: 100 overall including 27 in Writing, 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking.
  • IELTS Indicator Test: 7.0 overall including 7.0 in Writing, and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

The LLM in International Dispute Resolution is available for part-time study offered over two academic years. During that time you will undertake four taught modules and a 15,000 word dissertation. 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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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