QMUL Online

International Dispute Resolution LLM

In our on-demand webinar, programme co-directors Ms Norah Gallagher and Dr Remy Gerbay discuss the course structure, content and career progression opportunities.

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International Dispute Resolution

Queen Mary University of London’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 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).

School of International Arbitration (SIA)

These three programmes are offered by the School of International Arbitration (SIA) within Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS). The SIA is a global leader in teaching and research in International Dispute Resolution. As a research-led centre, the SIA studies the specific problems that arise in arbitration and contributes to the development of arbitration theory. Taking a practice-orientated approach to teaching arbitration, the SIA helps lawyers grasp the complex theoretical problems and parameters of the subject.  

CCLS is a centre of national and international excellence in legal study and research. CCLS specialises in the knowledge and skills in commercial law that can be placed at the service of government, public bodies, overseas institutions, the legal profession, industry and commerce.

For more information about CCLS please visit ccls.qmul.ac.uk.


Our online students enjoy the same status as those who attend Queen Mary on campus. You will have access to our extensive online resources and if you are able, are welcome to attend any of the extra-curricular events run by various research centres to complement your studies. We provide free access to extensive online databases and collections, including:

  • Kluwer Arbitration
  • Lexis
  • Westlaw
  • HeinOnline
  • Oxford Scholarship online
  • Jstor

Queen Mary has law careers advisers who organise events and internship opportunities with top UK and international law firms. Senior practitioners and academics from leading law firms, chambers and other universities also contribute on our programmes, providing excellent online networking opportunities for our students.

In addition, you will benefit from dedicated tutor support, enhanced online material and a range of interactive features. There will be lively online discussions with your peers and webinars led by academic members, all accessible at a time that suits you. For face-to-face contact, networking and social interaction, online students are offered one residential weekend a year at our centres throughout the world. These are not compulsory but we would encourage you to attend if possible.

An online Student Adviser will be appointed to you when you first enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions and to ensure your experience with Queen Mary is positive and stress-free.


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 20,000 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.

Postgraduate Diploma

The PGDip in International Dispute Resolution is available for part time study offered over two academic years. During that time you will undertake four taught modules. For each module, you will be awarded 30 credits. To graduate you must have accrued 120 credits, which involves completing every aspect of the modules and passing all relevant assignments.

Postgraduate Certificate

The PGCert in International Dispute Resolution is available for part time study over one year. During that time, you will undertake two taught modules. For each module, you will be awarded 30 credits. To graduate you must have accrued 60 credits, which involves completing every aspect of the modules and passing all relevant assignments.

After completing your PGCert or PGDip you have the opportunity to progress onto the next level (PGDip or LLM). Please get in touch with a course adviser to discuss the details.


The two modules on commercial arbitration offer students a detailed view of all key legal issues arising in the course of arbitration proceedings. The two modules on investment arbitration will give students an in-depth understanding of the work of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSD) and the issue of Substantive Protection. This will equip students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in this field, whether as in-house lawyers, outside counsel, academics or arbitrators.

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.

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.

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  

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
  • NAFTA 
  • 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


Compulsory module for the LLM

Dissertation (20,000 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.

Entry requirements

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. 

In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each application is considered on its merits and on sight of comprehensive application documents. 

A full and detailed CV is required for all applications and is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.

If you would like to apply but are unsure whether you are qualified, please contact our course advisers.

International applicants

At Queen Mary we are proud of our global community and we have a long history of welcoming students from around the world. Over the years, many thousands of our international graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers.

For any questions about the English language requirements or about entry qualifications specific to your country, please contact our course advisers.

Tuition fees

LLM: £11,900 (2 years, part-time, including dissertation)

Postgraduate Diploma: £8,000 (2 years, part-time, no dissertation required)

Postgraduate Certificate: £4,000 (1 year, part-time, no dissertation required)

As an International Dispute Resolution student at QMUL Online you may be eligible to receive a postgraduate loan. More information on requirements and how to apply is available here.

We realise this is a considerable financial investment on your part. To help you, we have a number of payment options. Details of these can be found by visiting our fees and funding page

The YIAG bursary

The Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) bursary is available to all Queen Mary Online International Dispute Resolution LLM, PGDip and PGCert students who are a member of the YIAG. The YIAG is an association for practitioners, students and younger members of the arbitration community that's sponsored by the London Court of International Arbitration. Please speak to a Course Adviser on +44 (0) 20 7269 7421 for more information on the bursary.


The next intake date for the International Dispute Resolution programme is:

April 2020

International Dispute Resolution LLM

International Dispute Resolution PGDip

International Dispute Resolution PGCert

In all cases, a full online application is required in order for a fair assessment and decision to be made. Each applicant is considered on their merits and on sight of full application documents.

All applications must be accompanied by a full and detailed CV. This is particularly relevant where professional experience needs to be considered.

We aim to process your application within two weeks. To avoid unnecessary delays with the application process, please ensure all the above required documents are uploaded at the time of application.

More information is available on our "How to apply" page.

How you are assessed

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 you 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.

Taught by leading academics

The DL programmes in International Dispute Resolution are taught by academics under the direction of Norah Gallagher and Remy Gerbay, the co-Directors of the Distance Learning programmes.

  • Ms Norah Gallagher (Senior Lecturer) is a specialist in the areas of international arbitration and public international law. She has acted in arbitrations under ICC, ICSID, LCIA as well as ad hoc arbitrations. She regularly advises on issues concerning arbitration agreements including defective or pathological clauses, bifurcated clauses and multiparty arrangements as well as all procedural aspects of international arbitration and enforcement of awards.
  • Dr Remy Gerbay (Lecturer) is an international arbitration lawyer and academic. He is an Attorney (admitted New York) and a Solicitor (England and Wales). He is a former Deputy Registrar of the LCIA and a leading author on that institution. Remy frequently sits as arbitrator (co-arbitrator, sole and chair) and has been appointed in ad hoc, ICC, LCIA, Swiss Chambers, DIAC and KIAC arbitrations. Remy was named as number 1 in the non-partner, Americas region category of the Who's Who Legal Future Leaders in Arbitration 2019.

A team of accomplished Associate Lecturers is actively involved in the day-to-day teaching of the programmes. The team includes: 

  • Mr Mohamed Mahayni: A dual qualified Solicitor (England & Wales) and Avocat (Paris Bar), Mr Mahayni spent six years with White & Case LLP in London, Paris and Hong Kong. During this time he acted in international arbitrations under various institutional and ad hoc rules, both as counsel and as secretary to tribunals. He also worked as counsel at the LCIA and DIFC-LCIA. Mohamed now splits his time between private practice and doctoral research at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

  • Mr Javier García Olmedo: A Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Luxembourg, Mr García Olmedo holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Granada (Spain) and an LL.M. in Private International Law and Arbitration from King’s College London. He is also a dual-qualified Abogado (Spain) and Solicitor (England & Wales). Before joining the Max Planck, Javier was an associate in the International Arbitration Group of Hogan Lovells in Paris, where he represented private entities and states in arbitrations under the ICSID, ICC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules. He also practiced arbitration with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Paris, and worked as a research assistant for Professor Martin Hunter at Essex Court Chambers in London.

  • Professor Stavros Brekoulakis: Professor in International Dispute Resolution: Stavros Brekoulakis studied law at Athens and London and obtained a first class LLB from Athens and his LLM from King's College London. He is also member of the Athens Bar having practiced in shipping law and dispute resolution.
  • Dr Debbie De Girolamo: Debbie De Girolamo teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Theory and Practice in the LLM Programmes at CCLS and in Paris. She is also Academic Director of the Postgraduate Diploma Course in International Mediation (taught by distance learning) and the Postgraduate Diploma Course in International Dispute Resolution (Mediation). Her research interests include all areas of dispute resolution processes.
  • Professor Catherine Rogers, Professor of Ethics, Regulation and the Rule of Law: Catherine Rogers is an expert in international arbitration and professional ethics. She leads on the development of the Institute in Ethics, Regulation and the Rule of Law at Queen Mary. Professor Catherine Rogers is also a Professor of Law at the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University. She is a scholar of international arbitration and professional ethics and a former Visiting Professor at QM (2008). Her research focuses on the convergence of the public and private in international adjudication, and on the attorney as a global actor. Before entering academia, she practised international litigation and arbitration in the US and Hong Kong and has since held teaching posts across the world.
  • Mr Denis Parchajev. Denis is a Senior Associate at Motieka & Audzevicius PLP in Vilnius, Lithuania. Denis has been involved in arbitration cases under the Rules of ICC, SCC, LCIA, IAC at the BelCCI and Lithuanian Arbitration Court. Denis also specialises in sports matters, including matters before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Olympic Committee. His primary focus is arbitration, both commercial and investment, as well as litigation of complex cases with an international element. Denis has worked on a number of major enforcement matters before Lithuanian courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union. In addition, Denis is actively involved in cases in Russia and other CEE markets. Denis holds an LLM from QMUL and is a PhD candidate at QMUL.
  • Mr Rutger Metsch, Associate Lecturer.
  • Ms Agnieszka Ason. Agnieszka holds Polish and German law degrees and specialises in energy investment law and international arbitration. Having worked on complex investment and commercial disputes, mainly in the natural gas sector, she is now a Lecturer at the Technische Universität Berlin,  Guest Teacher at the London School of Economics, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Her current research focuses on sovereign risk and gas price review arbitrations.

Other academic members of the School of International Arbitration, who have some limited involvement in the Online Learning programmes include the following:

  • Professor Loukas Mistelis (Director of the SIA): Professor Loukas Mistelis is a member of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies where he is Director of the School of International Arbitration. He teaches on the LLM programme and is the co-ordinator of the courses in International and Comparative Commercial Arbitration, International Trade and Investment Dispute Settlement, International Commercial Litigation and ADR.
  • Professor Maxi Scherer, Chair in International Arbitration, Dispute Resolution and Energy Law: Maxi Scherer is an Avocat at the Paris bar and a solicitor (England and Wales). She has practiced international arbitration for over 10 years, both as counsel and as arbitrator. She is the Academic Director of the new Queen Mary LLM in Paris and she teaches international arbitration in the London LLM programme.

Teaching and Research

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) has 32 full-time academic staff and more than 50 practitioners, judges and visiting academics contributing to the teaching, research and life of the centre. Involving leading practitioners and business in the delivery of our courses continues to ensure that the teaching and training we deliver is relevant and practical whilst retaining the highest academic rigour. CCLS’s advisory council (chaired by The Right Honourable Lord Justice Kitchin) and its Development Board are comprised of judges, solicitors, barristers, general counsel, business leaders and academics.

The School of International Arbitration (SIA) is a centre of excellence in research and teaching of international arbitration and is part of the CCLS at Queen Mary University of London. 

Established in 1985 to promote advanced teaching and research in the law and practice affecting international arbitration, the School of International Arbitration is the oldest academic institution dedicated to the study of international arbitration and dispute resolution, and one of the largest specialist PhD programmes in the world. Graduates from our programmes go on to form part of the vibrant Alumni and Friends of the School of International Arbitration.

CCLS has approximately 100 doctoral and 1000+ LLM and MSc students from some 80 countries and has trained over 10,000 lawyers since its establishment. Our students benefit from learning from leading academics who in turn involve experienced practitioners in their teaching teams. View School of Law postgraduate law programmes.


The School of International Arbitration is widely considered as one of the world’s pre-eminent academic institutions for the study of international arbitration. 

The School of Law at Queen Mary is consistently ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching and our students enjoy a very high employment rate within six months of graduating. It is also often ranked as the top law school in London.

Queen Mary is in the top 120 universities in the world and the top 50 in Europe. We're also a member of the UK's 24 leading universities, the Russell Group.

Where we could lead you

We know from the success stories of our LLM graduates the variety of careers that are likely to be open to you on successful completion of this course. As you would expect a large portion have applied their degree knowledge directly working as solicitors, barristers, lawyers, legal associates or paralegals. Others have gone on to work in areas such as financial and energy regulation, consultancy, patents and trade marks. Many students who are already fully qualified and have been practicing for several years have found themselves able to advance their position within their existing company or to specialise in a new area of law. A significant number have gone on to undertake PhD’s in law and have been successful in attracting funding for these projects either at QMUL or other universities in the UK or overseas.

The skills developed through our programme – combined with the extra-curricular activities we offer – have enabled our recent graduates to move in to careers in the UK and around the world at companies such as:

  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Dentons 
  • Cubb Insurance
  • Nomura
  • Deloittes
  • Latham & Watkins
  • European Union Delegation
  • Ofgem
  • Honda

Source: DLHE 2014-15 Leavers


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