Conflict Prevention, Dispute Resolution MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You are expected to have a good UK Honours degree in Law or a non-Law subject (such as – but not limited to – Politics, Psychology, and Management) or the equivalent from a non-UK university, and satisfactory references. Other qualifications or experiential routes can sometimes be agreed. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent in each of the elements. Pre-sessional summer programmes are not normally appropriate for this course.
This course embraces a wide range of public, private and domestic issues relevant to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and disputes, including the roles of laws, decisions, risks and justice. The course includes (but is not restricted to) negotiation and arbitration, and also the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes such as mediation and conciliation.
You will be able to mix with students on other Masters courses at Westminster Law School. Classes are usually small, allowing for an interactive approach to learning. The course combines academic and practical approaches to teaching and learning.
The course aims to provide an opportunity for in-depth study of the issues and the practices involved in the field of conflict prevention and dispute resolution, including the mechanisms of prevention, emergence, avoidance, management, resolution and regulation.
The course content is not explicitly concerned with 'peace studies', but the processes of prevention and the processes of resolution embrace the concepts of securing and maintaining peaceful cooperation.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
PERSPECTIVES ON CONFLICTS AND DISPUTES
You will be introduced to the field of conflict and dispute prevention and resolution. You will cover domestic, commercial, municipal and international aspects of the subject, and the main processes involved in conflict and dispute prevention and resolution.
This module allows you to develop a knowledge and understanding of a specialist portion of the field of conflict and dispute prevention and resolution. You will have the support of a supervisor for this independent research and writing work. You must agree the topic with the module leader. The topic must not replicate your own prior work or anyone else's work. Your work for this module should provide you with advanced research skills, and advanced skills of analysis, evaluation, synthesis, application and writing, all of which should stand you in good stead for any subsequent academic or practitioner career.
RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE
This module introduces you to the general concepts of legal and social scientific (empirical) methods of research, and gives you a greater understanding of the principles of advanced research. You will consider the relevance of these methods for the study of law, which will enhance your understanding of the legal, social scientific and philosophical debates on methodology and practice. It will also enable you to evaluate your own work and that of other researchers and authors.
This is an independent module with its own rational and assessment; but it is also necessarily linked to the dissertation module.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION: NEGOTIATION
You will examine the theoretical and practical approaches to conflict and conflict resolution, and you will study the structure of conflict within and between organisations. You will also evaluate the ways in which negotiations are formed, and what processes may be applied to enable or disable the negotiation process. The module will develop your understanding of cultural differences within the area of negotiation and associated inter-personal priorities.
INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION
You will be introduced to the study of international commercial arbitration, from the perspective of the English jurisdiction. The aim is to study four pairs of overlapping relationships: between parties and tribunals; between parties and courts; between tribunals and courts; and between England and foreign fora. There will be focus, inter alia, on the ICC (institutional arbitration) and the New York Convention.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
The module introduces you to the protection of human rights in international law. You will gain an overview of the historical and philosophical background of human rights, and a greater understanding of the protection of human rights at the international level though the UN and regional systems (with particular emphasis on Europe). You will also study contemporary issues in international human rights law, such as refugees, humanitarian intervention, responsibility to protect, and terrorism and torture.
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND DEVELOPMENT
You will study law and policy relating to international development, including the right to development in international law, international development assistance and poverty alleviation, and law and policy relating to overseas development assistance in the UK and the EU. The module will give you a greater understanding of the global challenges for development, and will give you the skills to undertake informed policy and advocacy work internationally.
MEDIATION: CONCEPTS, EVOLUTION AND PRACTICE
This module introduces you to the modes and culture of mediation as a dispute resolution process in a range of contexts, with a detailed analysis of the growth of mediation practice and theory as well as current and possible future trends. You will become familiar with the conceptual, legal and practical frameworks of mediation, and how it is used in the UK and internationally. You will also develop basic mediation skills, learn to appreciate the roles of those taking part in the mediation processes, and acquire communication and other skills which are particularly useful in the mediation context.
NEGOTIATION: THEORY, CONTEXTS AND PRACTICE
The aim of this module is to introduce the study and practice of negotiation in the contexts of international and municipal commerce, and international affairs and international law, examining inter alia issues arising out of conflicts and disputes in those contexts. Among the areas covered are the relationships between pairs of negotiators; negotiators and the law; negotiators and ambient cultures; and theories and practices of negotiation.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: CULTURES, INTEGRATION AND LAW
This module provides an introduction to the field of restorative justice, covering international, domestic and public aspects of the field, and the main processes involved in dispute prevention and resolution. The module includes consideration of conflicts within and between groups, and victim-offender mediation and other processes within the field, including reconciliation after civil disturbances.
Other approved modules, such as Private International Law, may be made available if there is a very strong demand and the Head of School approves.
Richard Earle, Senior Lecturer in Law
This course is designed to benefit a wide range of individuals, including graduates progressing towards a PhD programme, practising lawyers wanting to further their knowledge and skills, other graduates and practitioners (such as arbitrators, civil servants, insurers, journalists, judges, linguists and mediators), and anyone managing people and risks. The course is also ideal if you are on a gap year between career stages, and for those from the European Union and other countries who want to improve their English for personal and career purposes.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Career Development Activities
Westminster law students benefit from the following:
- Dedicated 1-2-1 appointments with careers advisors.
- Feedback and advice on CVs, applications and interview preparation.
- Employer panel events and talks.
- Law vacancy jobs bulletin.
- Annual Law Fair Consortium.
- Mock Assessment Centres and Interviews.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
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