Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution LLM
Our LLM in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution provides a unique opportunity to support the development of a career in civil legal professional practice. The 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 master's 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. Practical matters such as funding, risk assessment and strategy are also considered. There is a focus on current issues and likely future developments.
The course attracts 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 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 of between 6 and 20 students
- 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
- Full-time EU: £10,000
- Full-time Non EU: £10,000
Candidates should have very strong academic potential and good English. The entrance requirement is normally a degree in law with a minimum of at least upper second-class honours ability. However, an appropriate professional qualification and/or relevant work experience will be given credit or will be an advantage.
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
- Relevant work experience / activity
Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International StudentsIf 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.
Applicants whose first language is not English, the following qualifications are also required:
- IELTS: 7 with a minimum of 6 in each area (we do not accept TOEFL)
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, 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
For more information see our main Visa page.
- 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
ModulesThe course comprises four modules and a dissertation. It provides a thorough and practical knowledge of the processes of civil litigation, arbitration and mediation. You will learn how to use procedural and evidential rules effectively to serve clients and get the best outcome for a case. This will be set in a context of considerations such as funding, costs and ethics. All modules are based on the law in England, but the international position is also covered.
Each module is designed to provide a sound coverage of all relevant topics, but is sufficiently flexible to include some adaption to areas of particular interest. Both seminars and assessment topics give you a sufficient range to consider areas of particular relevance to your developing career. The modules are:
- Litigation - process and tactics in preparing for trial
- Dispute Resolution Options - strategy, risk and costs
- Mediation and Negotiation
DissertationYou must complete a 15,000 - 20,000 word dissertation. You will write your own proposal for a dissertation, and this can relate to any area covered by the course. You will get one-to-one supervision from a member of staff with appropriate expertise.
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?
Course StructureEach module is delivered over one term in two ten hour seminars. If you are taking the couse full time you will take two modules in each term and then complete your dissertation over one year. If you are taking the course part time you will take one module in each term and complete your dissertation over two years.
Teaching and Assessment
Each module is taught through a series of 10 seminars, each of which will last for two hours and have a maximum of 20 students. Seminars will include discussion of topics, student presentations, and sometimes skills based work. Each seminar will be structured to provide a comprehensive understanding of each topic, but will be sufficiently flexible to cover current issues and cases.
For each seminar you will be given a detailed outline which will include advanced reading, with references to practitioner books, text books, articles, cases, rules of court, websites etc. The outline will set out topics and questions to consider for discussion in class. There will also be a list of further reading for you to follow up topics of particular interest.
Some seminars will include reference to case papers based in prime civil litigation areas such as professional negligence, medical negligence and commercial contracts. This supports a focus on legal practice. These are based on realistic case papers, but reduced to make them manageable.
At master's level self-directed learning is important. You will be expected to complete core reading prior to each class, and to be ready to engage fully in class discussion. You should expect to complete at least 280 hours of study in relation to each module.
Teaching staffSeminars 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 staff that may teach you or whose work may be relevant to your interests:
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 and LawBore Professional are The City Law School's own legal resource portals. These give 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.
You will be provided with four core texts in hard copy on registration.
- A Practical Approach to Civil Litigation (16th edn), Professor Stuart Sime, Oxford University Press, 2013
- The Modern Law of Evidence (9th edn) Professor Adrian Keane, James Griffiths and Paul Mckeown, Oxford University Press, 2012
- A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation (7th edn), Susan Blake, Oxford University Press, 2010
- A Practical Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution (2nd edn) Susan Blake, Julie Browne and Professor Stuart Sime, Oxford University Press, 2012
Most modules are assessed through one formal summative assessment for which you will be asked to complete a 6000 word piece of coursework. You will be given a choice of two or three topics, each related to the areas covered on the module. You will be given clear and detailed criteria for the assessment as part of the assessment paper.
One module will be assessed in a legal skills focused assessment. Currently the Arbitration or the Mediation module is assessed in this way. Students are provided with a set of case papers, being asked to prepare a written analysis of the case papers, and to make an opening statement in the arbitration or mediation lasting up to 15 minutes.
During each module you will be given the opportunity to submit coursework and get personal feedback. You will be given a choice of topics and asked to submit coursework of about 2000 words in length. You will get the feedback and an indication of grade well before you hand in your formally assessed work to assist you in doing your best.
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.
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: £10,000
- Full-time Non EU: £10,000
FundingFinancing your study.
Scholarships & Prizes
Masters of Excellence
Our Masters of Excellence Award offers one full fee scholarship on this course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be provided when you accept your place on the course.
Future Lawyer Advancement Reward
If you have already completed a course at The City Law School you will be eligible for the Future Lawyer Advancement Reward. All you need to do is meet the minimum entry requirements for your second course and we will automatically take £1,500 off of your tuition fees.
The City Law School Prize for Excellence
To award your for your achievements when you're studying on the course we offer the following prizes:
- £1,500 for the best overall result
- £1,500 for the highest mark in a module assessment
- £1,500 for the highest mark for the dissertation
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.
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.
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.
Find out more about City University London
Applications can be made directly to The City Law School. Applications open in September each year for enrolment the following September. Late applicants run the risk that the course may be full after the initial round of offers has been made.