Postgraduate Taught

MSc/ PgDip/ PgCert Dispute Resolution

The course is aimed at students wishing to develop careers in dispute resolution, including as negotiators, mediators, conflict managers, complaint handlers, and ombuds. It 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.



September 2018 Start Date

In addition to the September 2018 start date, a January 2019 start date is available for this course – please email for details.

Course Overview

Taught mainly online by our experienced team of academics and practitioners, the course provides tailored and flexible learning for professionals seeking to deepen and widen their knowledge of disputes and how they are resolved.

There are several distinctive aspects to the MSc Dispute Resolution:

■ We focus on a particular type of dispute – those between ordinary individuals and powerful organisations - such as consumers and banks, for example, or citizens and the state – and we are particularly concerned with the mechanisms and principles which relate to these areas.

■ We provide both theoretical and practice-related learning, drawing on our expert team to provide a learning experience that is theoretically rich as well as highly practical.

■ The course is available as a PgCert, PgDip or MSc according to each student’s preferred outcome. The PgCert is available entirely online while the PgDip and MSc are available by blended learning (a mix of online and campus-based modules).

The MSc Dispute Resolution provides a comprehensive survey of the main forms of dispute resolution and the principles that underpin each one. This includes looking at mediation, investigative and adjudicative approaches, and complaint handling. In addition, the course allows students to consider issues that are relevant to all forms of dispute resolution through modules such as Communication in Dispute Settings. In keeping with the practice-related nature of the course, we offer students the opportunity to undertake a project-based module in an area of particular interest to them. Students completing the full MSc also undertake a significant piece of empirical research, with the potential to help develop the theory and practice of dispute resolution.

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.


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 (August 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

Single modules are available to be taken as cpd from the online MSc Dispute Resolution Programme

We also offer the opportunity for individuals to undertake single 20 credit point modules from our MSc Dispute Resolution as cpd.  We have intakes in both September and January.  The fee per module for September 2018 and January 2019 is £688.  The following modules are available:


 Contact for more information.


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. 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

The mediation practice module contains a short campus based element that is available for those who wish to qualify as mediators.


Admissions: Admissions or Carol Brennan on +44 (0) 131 474 0000

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2017/18 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

Part-time: PgCert (1 – 4 years); PgDip (2-5 years); MSc (2.5-7 years). Full-time: MSc (1 year)
Start Date
September 2018
January 2019
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies


Engage with the Team

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