Postgraduate Taught

MSc/ PgDip/ PgCert Dispute Resolution

This course is aimed at students wishing to develop careers in dispute resolution, including as negotiators, mediators, conflict managers, complaint handlers, and ombuds. The course is  delivered online and a short campus-based element is available for those who wish to qualify as mediators.

We have designed a flexible framework of dispute resolution modules which will be attractive to those in complaint handling, ombudsman, mediation and negotiation roles and welcome applications for individual modules as part of our range of continuing professional development (CPD) courses

The MSc Dispute Resolution is no longer available for entry in 2018. If you would like to register for the full MSc in September 2019, please apply from October 2018.


You will find case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.




Course Overview

This course will suit those who are already employed in dispute resolution, career changers, and recent graduates. 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 people 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.

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 develop an 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.

The modules that make up this Programme can be taken as single CPD short courses.  Please see Single Modules for CPD tab below.

Exit Awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

The student learning experience has been designed to be interactive, rich and rewarding. 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. 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 200 hours of learning. An optional campus-based element is available for those wishing to qualify as mediators.


The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (September 17), 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.

Single Modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest.  The modules available are:


For further information please contact Carol Brennan who is the Programme Leader.


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.

Dispute resolution is a growth industry: the UK’s central government alone spends an estimated £1.5 billion a year on resolving disputes. At the same time, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution 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 Scottish Mediation 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, this course will help you to stand out and become a leader in the field.

Quick Facts

  • 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 Scottish Mediation
  • Our existing CPD courses 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.

Entry Requirements

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

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.

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.

Application Deadline


More Information and Contacts

Admissions or the Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.


Please Note:
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Start Your Application

Course Overview

Online. A short campus-based element is available for those who wish to qualify as mediators.
Minimum and maximum completion times: PgCert (1 – 4 years); PgDip (2 – 5 years); MSc (2.5 – 7 years).
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies


Engage with the Team

Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre