LL.M. in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Master of laws (LL.M.)
  • Starting date: January; September
  • Tuition Fee: $19,620.00 USD
  • Language: English
  • Program type: Part-time; Full-time
  • Duration: 1 year; 2 years
  • Specialization: Resolution

Who is it for?

This specialism offers a rigorous and practical program of study into the process of civil litigation and alternative forms of dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation.


This Specialist LLM in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution 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 career. If you have legal qualifications in another jurisdiction it will provide understanding of legal process in England. You can enrol in the course straight after a law degree, although some experience of legal practice is an advantage.



The Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution LLM provides a unique opportunity to enhance the development of a career in legal professional practice as a barrister, solicitor or other qualified legal practitioner. The course investigates the ways in which civil litigation can be managed strategically and effectively, and provides a practice-focused understanding of mediation and arbitration as alternative ways of resolving a dispute, both of which are becoming increasingly important to commercial and non-commercial practice alike.


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.



Each year a small number of internships become available and you will be provided with information about such opportunities and how to apply during the year of your study.


Academic facilities

As a City Law School student you will benefit from everything City has to offer including the Learning Success department and Lawbore, an online resource designed to help you find the information you need for the course modules. All course modules have online depositories through Moodle.


The City Law School has its own dedicated administration team and you also have access to two legal libraries, one at the Gray’s Inn campus and the other based on site at our Northampton Square campus.


As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.


Our excellent location in London puts us within walking distance of the British Librarywhich has a collection of over 150 million items and a extensive law resources.


We offer a free language course for City, University of London students. Find out how to apply


Teaching & Learning

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.

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 of 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.


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.



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.


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


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.


Specialism modules

Choose from the 30-credit modules:


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

Elective modules

For your remaining elective modules you can choose from more than 50 modulescovering diverse subjects – everything from Human Rights and Energy Law to Mergers or Money Laundering.


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?

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.


As a graduate of this specialist LLM you will be well placed to pursue careers in this area of law in private practice, in-house in a law firm, policy and government, non-governmental organisations and a wide range of non-legal careers in litigation and dispute resolution.


The City Law School has a vibrant Pro Bono programme including our award-winning commercial law clinic for tech start-ups Start-Ed.

Mediation and Arbitration

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

Postgraduate Experience

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