skip to page content
home | course search | site map
Queen Margaret University Edinburgh logo and also link to the homepage

» back to list all postgraduate courses for 2017

MSc/ PgDip/ PgCert Dispute Resolution*

This link will take you to the online application form

  • Introduction
  • Key details
  • Entry requirements
  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- Online course for those interested in how to resolve disputes
- Focus on consensual dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, negotiation, and complaint and ombuds techniques
- Taught by an expert team of practitioners and academics
- Accredited by the Scottish Mediation Network

*The content of this course has been revised since the printing of our Postgraduate Prospectus for entry in 2017. The new content (outlined here) is currently due for validation in April 2017.

Why study dispute resolution?

The world of dispute resolution is changing fast. For many years, across the world, courts were the dominant forum for settling disputes. Recent years have seen a dramatic shift, with alternative forms of dispute resolution now becoming mainstream.

With the role of legal institutions in problem-solving increasingly reduced, a new breed of dispute professionals has emerged: mediators, conciliators, arbitrators, adjudicators, complaint handlers, and ombuds. These professionals are now the first port of call for many everyday disputes.

As consumers and citizens become more vocal in pursuing their rights, and as public policy seeks to mainstream alternative dispute resolution within justice systems, there has never been a better time to study dispute resolution.

Why study with Queen Margaret University?

The MSc Dispute Resolution covers the whole spectrum of dispute resolution, from adjudicative forms (such as arbitration) to non-adjudicative forms (such as mediation). Our particular emphasis is on more consensual approaches such as negotiation, mediation, and complaints and ombuds techniques.

The MSc is available online, throughout the world, and has been designed to provide a global perspective on dispute resolution. It will appeal to students based in the UK and overseas who are seeking to broaden their understanding of dispute resolution in an international context.

Students are taught by lecturers who are experts in this field, and who combine professional expertise with academic insight. They are active researchers and their teaching draws on the latest developments in dispute resolution research, policy and practice.

View course film

EXIT AWARDS: MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Delivery: Online learning. The course also includes an optional campus based element for those wishing to qualify as mediators.

Single Modules: Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest.

Duration: Full time MSc students are normally expected to complete the course within 1 year. Part time students are normally expected to complete the course within 3 years.

Start date: September

Application deadline: July

Teaching, learning and assessment: The student learning experience has been designed to be interactive, rich and rewarding. The online modules use the latest technology to engage students in a variety of tasks, discussions, and quizzes to assist their learning. The course is based around the idea of creating an online learning community with fellow students, where experiences and insights are shared and developed together.

Across all modules you will be involved in a range of varied and relevant activities, including group work, reports, case studies, personal reflections, essays and projects. The teaching team are enthusiastic about their areas of expertise and just as enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with you. Your fellow students will come from a wide range of both geographical and organisational backgrounds, enhancing the overall experience.

Teaching hours and attendance: Each module requires approximately 150 hours of learning. An optional campus based element is available for those wishing to qualify as mediators.

Students will normally have a degree or equivalent in any subject. Prospective students without a degree but substantial relevant professional experience are also welcome to apply following discussion with the programme leader.

Accreditation of prior learning: You may be granted exemption from studying a module or modules up to a maximum of 60 credit points, provided you can demonstrate successful achievement of all the learning outcomes.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Fees information: Special Information for EU Applicants

The home fee rate will continue to apply to postgraduate EU students entering in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. EU students will continue to be eligible to apply for the SAAS tuition fee loan for the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19. For more information, see the SAAS website.

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

Fundamentals of Dispute Resolution/ Negotiation/ Mediation Theory and Practice/ Complaints and Ombuds Techniques/ Communication in Dispute Settings/ Research methods/ Dissertation

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (Feb 2017), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to students

This course allows students to access or develop careers in many areas of dispute resolution such as negotiation, mediation, complaint handling, ombuds work, and conflict management.

Will the MSc Dispute Resolution help my career?

The programme is aimed at professionals who are already employed in dispute resolution, career changers, and recent graduates. Whether you want to become a leader within your current role and organisation or develop a new career, the programme will give you the skills and knowledge to succeed.

Queen Margaret University’s existing CPD programmes are extremely well regarded by employers in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sector and we have trained over 2,000 individuals across the UK and beyond.

Dispute resolution is a growth industry - the UK’s central government alone spends an estimated £1.5 billion a year on resolving disputes with citizens. At the same time, mediation and other forms of ADR are increasingly being encouraged in what is part of a global trend towards reforming traditional justice systems.

The mediation aspects of the programme are accredited by the Scottish Mediation Network and completion of the MSc Dispute Resolution will allow you kick start your career as a professional mediator.

With more and more people employed in dispute resolution roles and more and more opportunities available for dispute resolvers, the MSc Dispute Resolution will help you to stand out and become a leader in the field.

Will the MSc Dispute Resolution benefit my current and future employers?

The programme has been specifically designed to deliver tangible benefits that will make you more attractive to current and prospective employers. Specific skills you will develop include using:

- advanced communication skills to de-escalate conflict
- negotiation and mediation skills to achieve quick, consensual outcomes
- research methods to evaluate and develop best practice

Knowledge you will gain includes understanding:

- how to design, develop and review dispute systems
- how to enhance the experience of those involved in disputes
- how regulation and public policy affect dispute resolution

You will also complete a dissertation which allow you to develop your specialist knowledge and deliver relevant, business-focused research.

Case study: "The course gave me a real understanding of the multiple roles that a dispute resolution professional can fill, and the importance of developing a broad range of skills to be deployed according to the problems you are dealing with. It’s a role which spans many traditional boundaries, from helping people understand the extent of their problem to creatively developing remedies to fix issues."
Nial Vivian, MSc Dispute Resolution student

"I’ve learnt a lot about how people react to situations where they feel they are in dispute, how the other party’s reaction can help or hinder the communication process, and techniques for acknowledging these things while moving forward towards a mutually acceptable solution. Not only is this helping me to deal with situations professionally, but I’ve also found it to be helpful in understanding my own reactions in dealing with conflict in day to day life."
Claire Doherty, MSc Dispute Resolution Student



further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Chris Gill
+44 (0)131 474 0000

This link will take you to the online application form

» how to apply

»Visit the Business, Management and Enterprise webpages

This link will let give you printer friendly pages

^ to top

last modified 09/11/2015
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
find us | contact us Copyright © Queen Margaret University. terms of use | accessibility | FOI & data protection