Attend an Open Evening

Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution  LLM


The Specialist LLM in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution provides a unique opportunity to support the development of a career in civil legal professional practice.

The masters course covers how to manage litigation strategically and effectively, and provides a practice focused understanding of mediation and arbitration as alternative ways of resolving a dispute that are growing in importance.

This innovative specialist Master degree is designed to provide a sound understanding of the rules under which litigation, arbitration and mediation operate, based on current scholarship including areas such as procedure, evidence and ethics.

The course covers practical matters such as funding, risk assessment and strategy are also considered. There is also a focus on current issues and likely future developments.

This specialist degree should interest and benefit a broad range of students, if you are already professionally qualified having taken the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) or Legal Practice Course (LPC) it will develop your understanding of practice and enhance your CV. If you have legal qualifications in another jurisdiction it will provide understanding of legal process in England. You can join the course straight after a law degree, but some experience of legal practice is an advantage.

As a world centre for litigation and alternative dispute resolution, London is an ideal place to study. This LLM is taught at our Gray's Inn campus, which is well placed in relation to the legal community.

Why choose City's LLM in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution?

  • Develop your knowledge of civil litigation, arbitration and mediation in a unique practice focused course
  • Learn in small classes
  • Get taught by barristers and solicitors with experience of practice
  • Benefit from lecturers that have written respected texts in the areas you are studying
  • Study in London at a School with an international reputation for training barristers

You can also explore the Master of Laws that allows you to combine modules related to civil litigation and dispute resolution with any other modules of your choice.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £11,000
  • Part-time EU: £5,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £8,000 per year

Start Date:

September 2016
January 2017

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a good first degree in law, or an equivalent qualification in a related discipline, and must be fluent in written and spoken English.

We expect applicants who are not nationals of English-speaking countries OR have not successfully completed an academic qualification equivalent to a UK undergraduate degree taught in English to have an overall IELTS score of at least 7.0.

Applicants with a first degree in a subject other than law will be considered, but it should be noted that this may restrict the choice of modules where content is dependent on a prior knowledge of law.

How do we make our decision?

In reaching our selection decisions we will take account of:

  • Academic performance
  • Reasons for choice of courses / career
  • Evidence of intellectual ability
  • References
  • Relevant work experience / activity

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities.  Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.

English Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English, the following qualification is also required: IELTS: 7 with a minimum of 6 in each area.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI 's list of SELT s we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2016
January 2017

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years (minimum)

Course Content

To qualify for this specialist Master in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution, you must complete a total of 180 credits.

You must complete at least 90 credits of taught modules in the specialist pathway as well as a dissertation (of either 30 or 60 credits) in the same area of specialisation. Below are the specific modules for Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution:

  • Commercial/High Value Litigation in London (30 credits)
  • Civil Dispute Resolution Options - Strategic Use of ADR (30 credits)
  • Arbitration (30 credits)
  • Mediation and Negotiation (30 credits)
  • International Commercial Arbitration (30 credits)
  • International Dispute Settlement (30 credits)
  • EU Litigation (30 credits)

The remainder of the credits may be completed by selecting any other LLM modules of your choice.

See our full range of LLM modules here.

Please note: Modules are offered subject to minimum numbers; where it is not possible to offer a module because of low student demand, you will be given the opportunity to write a dissertation around that subject area instead.

Those students who start the course in January will take two (or three) taught modules in the spring term (January-April), write their dissertation over the summer, before completing the remaining taught modules in the autumn term (September – December).  Please be reassured that this structure does not disadvantage January entry students in any way; the dissertation is a separate piece of individual work, it does not directly build on the teaching and assessment which takes place on the taught modules. All students are allocated dissertation supervisors who assist students topic selection and in research methodology.

Dissertation (incorporating research methods training)

  • 10,000 word Supervised Dissertation (30 credits) OR
  • 20,000 word Supervised Dissertation (60 credits)

Example topics include:

  • The implementation of the Jackson Review of Costs - is it possible to control litigation costs effectively?
  • Current issues in international arbitration
  • Is the use of mediation effectively becoming compulsory in some cases? Is this in the best interests of parties to a civil dispute?
  • How can expert evidence best be used to achieve a fair outcome to a dispute at a reasonable cost?
  • What are the implications of third party funding for civil dispute resolution?

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment will draw on a range of approaches which include written coursework, presentations, skills work, in-class tests, projects and a dissertation.  The purpose of this is to assess a range of different skills and knowledge, as well as exposing you to different approaches.

The majority of modules will be assessed on the basis of written coursework of 5,000-5,500 words.

The 30-credit dissertation module will involve the submission of a dissertation of 10,000 words on a subject agreed with your supervisor/Programme Director. If you decide to offer the 60-credit dissertation instead, you are required to submit a dissertation of 20,000 words on a subject agreed with your supervisor/Programme Director.

Most modules have a single summative assessment with 100% weighting but there are some where there is more than one assessment and the weighting for each will be 50%.

You have the option of completing formative coursework in each module. The formative assessment will give you an opportunity to understand and appreciate the academic attainment levels expected. At different stages of the programme, it provides you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate legal research, quantitative, cognitive and other skills in addition to your knowledge and understanding of the subjects.

The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to display competence in legal research. It allows some autonomy and enables you to show that you can manage information as well as developing complex arguments and innovative ways to solve problems.

Each assessment tests whether you:

  • have grasped the relevant principles;
  • are able to analyse and interpret those principles critically;
  • are able to apply them to complex factual problems; and
  • can present the relevant points in concise, clear and grammatical terms.

Teaching staff

Seminars are delivered by distinguished City Law School staff, most of whom are qualified barristers or solicitors with experience of practice, with several being well-regarded writers in areas relevant to this LLM.

Find out more about our academics

Online learning

You will have full use of the Law School library at Grays Inn Place.  The City Law School also provides substantial online resources to support your learning. The prize-winning LawBore is The City Law School's own legal resource portal. This gives you access to the latest research materials, legislative updates, library services and study news. In addition, Moodle provides online access to seminar outlines with online links to videos, sample documents etc.


Events and networking

During your studies you will be invited to a range of relevant talks given by legal practitioners, judges and other experts provided by the City University London and by The City Law School. We will also alert you to other events in central London related to litigation, arbitration and mediation that you can attend free of charge or for a low fee. We support an alumni organisation so that those who take this LLM can keep in touch.

Legal London

We encourage you to make the most of legal London. Early in the course we will provide a walk round the Inns of Court and central London courts. During the course visits to the High Court, the Commercial Court and the Supreme Court can be arranged.

Keeping up to date

Dealing with current issue and cases is central to the course. We will advise you on relevant updating services, and e-mail updates on current issues in civil litigation, arbitration and mediation will be provided each term. Tutors will be happy to answer individual questions.


  • Full-time EU: £11,000
  • Part-time EU: £5,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £8,000 per year


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

See our range scholarships, prizes and loans that can help you pay for your course.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

For further information and ideas about funding your course, visit Financing your study.

Career Prospects

It is an important objective of this course to assist individual students who wish to build effective careers in managing and conducting civil cases, whether through litigation, arbitration, negotiation or mediation. With so much competition for those seeking to enter and develop a career in the legal profession, this LLM is designed to provide a depth of understanding and a range of skills that can make a real difference in building your career.

The City Law School has a vibrant Pro Bono programme and all students are able to take up opportunities within this.

Mediation and Arbitration

The course will include guidance on national and international options for training as a mediator or arbitrator.

Career Development

You will be given a personal tutor who will guide your academic and professional progress. City University London's Career Skills and Development Service provides a range of events and advice services that may help to make you aware of career options.

Postgraduate Experience

Students who complete the LLM may wish to continue their academic studies by enrolling in a PhD or MPhil offered by The City Law School.

Apply for the Specialist LLM in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Applications are now open for 2016 entry and can be made through the links below. Late applicants run the risk that the course may be full after the initial round of offers has been made.

September 2016

The application deadlines for September 2016 entry are as follows:

  • Home/EU students: 12 September 2016
  • International students: 24 August 2016
  • January 2017

    We encourage online applications, however you are also able to apply by completing the below application and reference forms and sending them to the following address:

    The City Law School Admissions
    City University London
    4 Gray's Inn Place
    WC1R 5DX