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School of Law

Distance Learning PGDip International Dispute Resolution FAQs

Distance Learning Postgraduate Diploma in International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration and Mediation) programmes:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Distance Learning Postgraduate Diploma in International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration and Mediation) programmes. 

Application process

Distance Learning teaching and learning

Q: What are the entry requirements?


An upper second class honours degree in law (or with law as a major element) at a British University or the equivalent in other universities. Equivalent professional qualifications and practical experience in arbitration or mediation are accepted at the discretion of the programme director.

Q: What are the application procedures?

In order to apply, you must supply:

  • a transcript of your law degree marks
  • any other supporting qualifications
  • one reference letter
  • proof of English language proficiency

As we do not interview prospective students, these documents form the basis of any decision made.

Q: Does Queen Mary provide scholarships or bursaries for Distance Learning?

No, not for the distance learning programmes.

Q: I wish to check on the progress of my application. Who do I contact?

Email the college Admissions Office on

Please note that all applications are automatically acknowledged by email soon after receipt.

Q: I am still waiting to get my reference letter. Can I submit my reference after my application form? Where do I send it?

You can send it directly to the Admissions office, Mile End campus, Queen Mary University of London, Queens Building, Mile End, E1 4NS, United Kingdom.

Q: What do you require in the reference - what must be included?

References should be signed and sealed in an envelope with the referee's signature across the back. Please ensure that the reference is on headed paper, states your full name and date of birth and which Distance Learning Programme you are applying for. Admissions will then match it up to your application.

Academic reference (preferred)

  1. Verification of the fact that the academic referee has known you, the student, for a certain length of time. They must also give your full name and not an abbreviated or nickname. Also indicate the name of the course for which you are applying.
  2. Confirmation that you have attended a specific course.
  3. Class or mark of your degree or expected class of degree. (If expected please ensure it is made clear that this is an opinion and not a fact).
  4. Comment on your skills and abilities.
  5. If you have extensive legal experience, a professional reference can be submitted.

This could include:

  1. Verification of how long you were employed.
  2. Confirmation that you were working in a legal capacity and some detail of the type of work involved.
  3. Comment on your skills and abilities.

Q: What documents do I need to supply when applying?

You will need to complete the online application form and upload scanned documents, transcripts of your Law degree or any other relevant qualification, and one reference (preferably academic, if this is difficult, due to the passage of time for instance since your first degree, you can provide professional references if they are law related).

If you are made an offer you will be expected to provide certified copies of your qualifications (scanned copies will not be accepted) by registered post.

Q. What do I have to do if my degree transcript is not in English?

You must have any degree transcript that is not in English translated before submission. Translations must come from one of the following:

  • Officially certified translator
  • Solicitor
  • British council/Embassy
  • Registry of the university within which you studied the course (for example, if translating transcripts) Translations must be officially signed and stamped accordingly. The Admissions office require a copy of the foreign transcript document and the English translated copy. You will still have to provide the originals or notarised / certified copies of any transcripts, certificates etc. before or on the day of enrolment in September.

Q: What if I have not finished my first degree or obtained a language test result?

You should still apply and provide a transcript of degree marks achieved so far. You will then be made a conditional offer showing our requirements from your country/university.

Q: What are the English language requirements for the programme?

All students from countries where English is not the first language must supply a TOEFL or IELTS language test result. If you took your degree overseas and were taught in the English medium but your country’s main language is not English, you still have to provide a language score. The standard of English language used varies from region to region and indeed from university to university. It is therefore vital that all such students provide English language scores. If you have not yet taken an IELTS/TOEFL test at the application stage, you should still apply. If your IELTS/TOEFL results are not yet available, you could be made a conditional offer, subject to our normal academic requirements.

  • Students who submit a language score for consideration which does not meet the full language entry requirements of 7 overall 7 writing IELTS (and equivalent TOEFL) may still retake and submit a higher language score before enrolment

Q: Do I need to include a personal statement or CV?

These are not essential, but can be useful particularly in unusual applications or where there is professional legal experience.

Q: What if I do not meet the conditions contained in my offer?

If you do not meet the academic conditions, you could still submit a formal application with all the required documents. We may still consider this application and in borderline cases, take into account other relevant qualifications and relevant work experience and accept you in the course. However, admission in this case would remain at the exclusive discretion of our programme director.

Q: Do I need to indicate the options I wish to take on the application form as requested?

No, this portion of the application form can be ignored - you simply need to indicate which Distance Learning programme you are applying for under the ‘Course Title’ section.

No further information on your courses is needed at the application stage.

Q: Where do I submit my application, language scores and other required documents?

The Admissions Office, who process all applications, are based at the Mile End campus, Queen Mary University of London, Queens Building, Mile End, London, E1 4NS, UK.

All applications and supporting documents should be sent directly to them. If you have a query regarding the progress of your application, you can email the Admissions Office on

The Application Process

All applicants are automatically emailed once an online application has been submitted.

Q: Can I practise in England and Wales with a LLM or a Diploma?

No, but the School of Law offers a two-year LLB known as 'Senior Status'. The Senior Status LLB programme allows the student to obtain a ‘qualifying law degree’ in two years. Thereafter, it is necessary to complete the vocational stage of qualification - the Bar Professional Training Course (to become a barrister) or the Legal Practice Course (to become a solicitor). A period of practical training is then required.

For information, see Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority.

If you hold a recognised legal professional qualification from another jurisdiction you may be eligible to take the QLTT.

Q: Where will my teaching/chat sessions/take home exams be held?

All teaching for the Distance Learning Programmes are carried out at home, students will be provided with a CDROM, some comprehensive books and an online virtual learning environment.

Q: Do I have to visit London at anytime during the programme?


There is an optional Introductory Residential Weekend at the beginning of the programme in January, for students to meet the teaching staff and discuss in detail the structure and content of the course and attend two introductory session on arbitration.


There is an optional Introductory Residential Weekend at the beginning of the programme in January, for students to meet the teaching staff and discuss in detail the structure and content of the course and attend two introductory session on mediation. In addition, the Advanced Mediations Skills Residential is organised during the year– this is a core module so all students must be able to travel to London which will take place one weekend in either September or October. Unfortunately no allowances can be made if you cannot attend this part of the programme.

Q: How many hours of teaching will I have each week?

This depends on which modules you take, but as a general guide you should expect about seven hours a week per module.

Q: What will the Distance Learning teaching timetable be like?


The teaching timetable varies from module to module. In general, each module is divided in several topics where students have to take a written assignment roughly every month. The timetable is given to students at the beginning of the course.

Q: How and when do I choose the topic of my dissertation?


You can only take a dissertation option after you complete the core taught module. You will need to discuss the topic of your dissertation with one of your tutors.

Q: Which libraries will I use?

Students will be supplied with materials (laws, rules, conventions, reading lists and some full-text articles and cases) in electronic form on CD-ROM, and are given access to web materials (including access to WESTLAW, LEXIS and KluwerArbitration) via the programme website and the Queen Mary library website. In all cases, we make sure that students have access to all the materials necessary for the course.

Q: The thought of writing a dissertation is daunting! What help is available?

Students will have the constant support of a personal tutor, who will discuss with students issues such as research, structure and content of the dissertation.

Q: Will I have a personal tutor?

Your personal tutor is usually the relevant programme director or one of the module convenors.

Q: What happens if I fail the examinations?

It is quite normal for students to have anxieties about failing examinations. Our experience, however, is that relative few students fail a course. Distance Learning students are highly motivated individuals and we only admit people who we believe can successfully complete the programme. If, however, you do fail to meet the required standards, Mediation/Arbitration students will be given the opportunity to re-sit the module the following academic session.

Q: When will I get my official University of London degree certificate?

Your Postgraduate Degree Certificate is sent out centrally from Senate House at the University of London - not Queen Mary - six months after the award date. The certificate will not state ‘Distance Learning’ it will state only the programme and degree awarded.

Whilst waiting to receive your certificate, if you require confirmation of your award, the Registry Office at Queen Mary can issue its own certificate of confirmation.

Please contact:

Academic Registry, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Tel: +44 (0)20-7882 5005
Fax: +44 (0)20-7882 7810