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Rethink your approach to conflict resolution

Watch our on-demand webinar, where 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 LLM

Key facts
Format: part-time, online 
Tuition fees: £12,900 (LLM); £8,600 (PGDip); £4,300 (PGCert). Payment by instalment and funding options available
Course duration:  two years (LLM and PGDip); one year (PGCert)
Annual start dates:  May, September
Next start date:  19 September 2022
Application deadline:  9 September 2022 (we recommend applying as early as possible to secure your place)
Time commitment:  approximately 20 hours per week

Why study International Dispute Resolution?

Watch our on-demand virtual Q&A with Delhi-based Senior Associate Vishakha Gupta, where she explains her motivations for studying the LLM:

Watch our on-demand virtual Q&A with Legal Counsel Juan Cilliers to find out how he feels the programme will impact his career:

You can also read our Q&A interview with Juan, where he goes into more detail about networking opportunities, career advancement and how he manages his time.

Queen Mary University of London is ranked 30th in the world for law and legal studies in the QS World University Rankings 2020.

Our 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.
Your studies will combine solid theoretical grounding, broad interdisciplinary training, and opportunities for individual research 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 a Master of Law (LLM), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). The PGDip and the PGCert are shorter versions of the LLM programme.

School of International Arbitration

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

Need more information?

As the partner in a law firm, who can’t move to another country for one or two years, it was very important that the programme was online.
Catalina Hoyos Jimenez, LLM student, Queen Mary Online


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.

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. After completing your PGDip, you have the opportunity to progress onto the LLM programme. Please get in touch with a course adviser to discuss the details.

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. You will take the first two modules from the lists below, depending on whether you start in May or September. 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, you have the opportunity to progress onto the PGDip or LLM programme. Please get in touch with a course adviser to discuss the details

Module 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 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.

Combined, these 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 (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.

Module order

Depending on whether you start your course in May or September, you'll take modules in the following order:

May start 

  • International Commercial Arbitration: Theory and Context
  • International Commercial Arbitration: Selected Issues
  • Investment Treaty Arbitration
  • Investment Arbitration: Substantive Protection
  • Dissertation

September start

  • International Commercial Arbitration: Theory and Context
  • Investment Treaty Arbitration
  • Investment Arbitration: Substantive Protection
  • International Commercial Arbitration: Selected Issues
  • Dissertation

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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.

Taking your English language requirement test at home

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.

Learn more >


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.

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Tuition fees

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


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


Postgraduate Certificate (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.

Need more information?

How do I apply?

To find out about the Queen Mary Online application process steps and the documents required, please visit our application guidance page.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us to discuss the application process further.

"There are very few Masters in the industry that are as good as the one at Queen Mary University."Nicolas Paez, LLM student

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 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.

Need more information?

Resources and services

"You have a lot of resources, such as Student Advisers, to help you. And remember, you’re not going to be the first person to ask these questions, and you aren’t going to be the last. So, don’t be afraid about reaching out for advice or guidance."Nicolas Paez, LLM student

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.

You’ll also be able to turn to our helpful Student Adviser team once you enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions and to ensure your experience with Queen Mary is positive.

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 Commerical Arbitration.
LLM student, Queen Mary Online


Academic team

As a member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is committed to the highest quality teaching and research.

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.

Mr Álvaro Nistal

Álvaro is a civil and common law qualified lawyer and currently works as Counsel for the law firm Arnold & Porter. During the last fifteen years, he has specialised in international dispute resolution and public international law at law firms in Madrid, Paris and London, with a particular focus on investor-State and State-to-State disputes.

He has represented foreign investors and States before numerous international dispute resolution fora, including ICSID, the ICC, the SCC and the International Court of Justice. Álvaro also regularly speaks at conferences and publishes articles on international arbitration and public international law, which he has taught to public officials and the legal departments of multiple States and corporate entities as well as at universities in the UK and abroad.

Ms Norah Gallagher

Ms Gallagher 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

Dr Gerbay 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.

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.

Dr Javier García Olmedo

A Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Luxembourg, Dr García Olmedo holds a master's degree in Law from the University of Granada (Spain) and an LLM 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 University of Luxembourg, he was a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg and worked as an associate at Foley Hoag and Hogan Lovells, where he represented sovereign States and commercial entities in numerous arbitrations governed by the ICSID, PCA, UNCITRAL, and ICC 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.

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.

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.

Viraj Bhide

Viraj Bhide is an attorney at the Paris Bar. His areas of practice include litigation, international arbitration and consulting on questions of private and public international law. He has an LLM. in French and European law from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, and a master's degree in Litigation, Arbitration and ADR from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. 

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

Teaching and Research

Established in 1985, the School of International Arbitration (SIA) 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.

The SIA is a centre of excellence in research and teaching of international arbitration and is part of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at Queen Mary University of London – which consists of 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.

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. Graduates from our programmes go on to form part of the vibrant Alumni and Friends of the School of International Arbitration.


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.

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The networking you get in a university like this is impressive.
Catalina Hoyos Jimenez, LLM student, Queen Mary Online

How could Queen Mary's course benefit my career?

Queen Mary University of London is a member of the Russell Group of leading universities. Studying online with us gives you access to the highest quality of teaching and research, empowering you to achieve lifelong career success and make a global impact.

Queen Mary’s School of International Arbitration (SIA) is the world’s oldest and largest academic institution dedicated to the study of international arbitration. The SIA is widely recognised as a global leader in the field. 

We have students who have recently graduated from law school and are looking to start their career, preferably in arbitration or international resolution. We also have mid-level or senior lawyers who want to understand international arbitration better, because they need it in their work or want to transition from general litigation, for example, into international arbitration.
Dr Remy Gerbay, LLM Programme Co-Director

What career-relevant skills will I develop?

During the course, you will get a broad perspective on arbitration. At Queen Mary, we teach international arbitration taking a comparative law approach. Our courses are not limited to English arbitration law. Instead, we study statutes and cases from numerous jurisdictions, covering continental Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Throughout the course, you will work on questions based on real cases, conduct legal research, write legal analyses, and get feedback from our academic team.

Through our LLM, students with no background in arbitration will gain a comprehensive knowledge of both commercial and investor-State arbitration, garnering both precious practical and theoretical insights into these fields of practice.

For experienced arbitration lawyers, studying our LLM is an opportunity to take some distance from your everyday work and gain a top-down, theoretical understanding of the subject matter.

A specialised LLM will also bolster both experienced and inexperienced lawyers’ credibility as arbitration practitioners, thereby helping you achieve your professional goals. 

Hear from current student Juan Cilliers about how the course has opened up opportunities within his career in arbitration:

Read the transcript for this video

Juan [00:00:01]Just bearing in mind that this is not only a arbitration masters degree but international dispute resolution programme, I was also asked to sit as a mediator in some commercial disputes, which I was really flattered by. And that's all because the word spread that i'm enrolled at Queen Mary. And obviously, I've got a bit of a advantage over some of the colleagues who might just have exposure to domestic arbitration. So going forward, I think it will open some doors. And yeah, I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

What additional career support is available?

You’ll also have access to QM Careers and Enterprise throughout your studies and for up to two years after you graduate. The service offers information and guidance on a wide range of topics, from choosing a career to finding work experience and starting your own business.

Find out more about career guidance for Queen Mary Online students on our Career Support page

What are the networking opportunities?

You can look forward to engaging and building connections with your tutors and fellow students during webinars and in discussion forums. Through your time on the course, you will build a network that could allow you to work together in the future.

You will also have access to various extracurricular events organised by the SIA, including a range of online seminars relevant to the course on topics such as transparency and insolvency.  

Where have graduates progressed to?

From the success stories of our LLM graduates, we know the variety of careers that are likely to be open to you on successful completion of this course. A large portion of our graduates have applied their degree knowledge directly while working in private practice, in law firms big and small. Others have gone on to work as in-house counsel for private companies, government, or arbitral institutions.

Finally, some of our students have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees and joined academia. Students who had already been practicing for several years prior to the LLM have found themselves able to advance their position within their existing organisation, or to transition into a new area of law.

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

  • Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Ashurst LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  • Deloitte
  • Dentons
  • Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Intel Corporation
  • McDermott International
  • Pinsent Masons
  • The World Bank

Source: LinkedIn 

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