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CityU offers Master of law for non law graduates on part-time mode

If you’re looking to take your law education further but are too busy, then you will be glad to know that CityU offers master of law for non law graduates programmes so you can earn a master degree on a part time schedule.

Work, study, and earn a master degree

The City University of Hong Kong extends its invitation to study a master of law degree for non law graduates. The programme is offered on Part-Time Mode and will accommodate interested individuals who have prior full-time commitments. Whether you graduated from a 4-year course that is entirely unrelated to the law profession or you have a Bachelor of Laws but decided to take up a job before proceeding to further study law, this programme was made for individuals like you.

The university honors those like you who are willing to invest your time and energy in furthering your education in law studies by committing to a part time master degree programme. This part time master degree scheme is intended to accommodate people who, like you, are dedicated to learning more about your chosen profession and in turn be of greater help to your community.

Part time master degree studies

The School of Law at CityU offers quite a number of courses of study on the higher education levels. One such degree offered under the part time master degree scheme is the Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution which is also a master of law for non law graduates.

To be part of the programme affords the individual a unique prestige. Each year, the university receives more than 200 applications. Each of these applications will be carefully curated as a means to determine which of the applicants will be accepted into the programme. The Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution class is limited to only 80 students. Indeed, being granted the opportunity to earn this master of law degree, even fornon law graduates, would be a privilege. One may be able to earn the master degree on a part time schedule but one must dedicate and commit to it beyond what is expected.

Established legacy in law instruction

In 1991, the City University of Hong Kong offered classes on arbitration and dispute resolution on the master level for the first time. CityU made history as the first university to make a master’s degree programme on the subject matter available in all of Asia. The university has, since then, proven true to its commitment to becoming the top university for law studies. Since its establishment, both the graduates of the programme and the programme itself have gained local and international recognition.

Excellent education for Hong Kong’s future lawyers

The university prides itself in its legacy of providing excellent education in law studies on higher levels. The master of law degrees for non law graduates made available by the university have continued to attract more individuals to sign up for further studies in law. With the growing interest in law studies due to the accessibility of opportunities to study, the School of Law at CityU strives to evolve and grow into the top law university in Asia by rendering excellent education.

Applying for a part time master degree

The City University of Hong Kong accepts applications through the official online portal. Once you gain access to the website, you must keep in mind the following: Be aware of the schedules of the application process, acquire copies of necessary documents, and prepare financial resources.

Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR)

Programme Director’s Welcome | Programme Aims | Professional Recognition | Programme Structure | Intermediate Postgraduate Diploma | FAQ | Goff Arbitration Lecture | Mooting | Admission Requirements | Fellowships Scheme | Student Testimony | Tuition Fee | CEF | Course Description | Accommodation | Applications and Enquiries

Programme Director’s Welcome

It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR) Programme at City University of Hong Kong School of Law. The programme was established in 1991 and, at that time, was the first Master’s degree programme in arbitration and dispute resolution in Asia. In 2011, it became the first programme recognized by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators to offer Module 4 – Award Writing (LW6409B) in Hong Kong. Every year, we receive over 200 applications competing for one of 80 places in the programme. Over 200 students are currently enrolled in this popular programme, one which has acquired an outstanding reputation both within and outside of Hong Kong.

Dispute resolution does not only take place in the courtroom through litigation, but also by arbitration and mediation, which are increasingly popular and well-respected alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques.

The programme offers a unique blend of academic and practical training in a broad range of dispute resolution methods, with emphasis on domestic and international arbitration, as well as on mediation, adjudication and negotiation. Many of our graduates have become leading experts in arbitration, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. The programme inspires leadership in these areas and is taught by highly qualified and experienced professionals.

City University of Hong Kong strives for excellence in preparing students for professional practice and industry. To this end, the School of Law and the LLMArbDR Programme continue to collaborate with a number of leading ADR institutions, including the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (HKIArb), the Hong Kong Mediation Council (HKMC) and Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited (HKMAAL). All of these organisations play an active and pivotal role in supporting the programme, promoting arbitration and mediation services, and maintaining the standards of arbitrators and mediators in Hong Kong.

We look forward to assisting all of you in completing the programme successfully. We hope you enjoy the programme and wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.

Christopher To
LLMArbDR Programme Director


Programme Aims

The programme aims to develop expertise in domestic and international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific Region; and to foster original research in arbitration and ADR.

More specifically, it aims to:

  1. provide legal and general knowledge of arbitration and other methods of resolving disputes, as well as practical skills in relation to the process, to professionals, executives and others with existing expertise in a broad range of professional, industrial and commercial activities;
  2. acquaint graduates with the various kinds of arbitration and dispute resolution, to enable them to participate effectively in all capacities: as a party, as advocate, as expert and as arbitrator and mediator. However, students are reminded that:
    1. not all graduates can expect to become arbitrators or mediators and the programme does not assure graduates of appointments, and
    2. it is not an objective of the programme to train barristers or to provide training in advocacy skills at a level equivalent to that required of a professional advocate.
  3. assist students to obtain relevant professional qualifications.


Professional Recognition

Upon completion of the LLMArbDR Programme and subject to fulfilling certain requirements, graduates are eligible to apply for Professional Recognition both within and outside of Hong Kong, including:

  1. Membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) ∞;
  2. Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) (subject to completing peer interview as required by the CIArb) △;
  3. Associateship of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (AHKIArb)*;
  4. Fellowship of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (FHKIArb)*;
  5. Accredited General Mediator of the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited (HKMAAL)^ (subject to completing Stage 2 and Stage 3 requirements as stipulated by the HKMAAL Mediation Accreditation Committee);  
  6. CPD points awarded by the Law Society of Hong Kong.

CIArb Module/ Course Title

Equivalent Module/ Unit

Mediation, Arbitration, International Arbitration, Adjudication

LW6401 Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice

Module 1
Laws of Obligations & Civil Evidence

Module 1
Commercial Mediation Training

LW6402 Procedure and Proof

LW6406 Mediation Practice
(leading to HKMAAL Stage 1 certification)#

Module 2
Law of Arbitration

Module 2
Law of International Arbitration

LW6405 Arbitration Law


LW6408 International Arbitration

Module 3
Practice, Procedure, Drafting & Deciding

LW6407 Arbitration Practice and Award Writing

Module 4
Awarding Writing

LW6409B Advanced Award Writing##

(We are in the process of the membership renewal with CIArb, the updated equivalent modules will be announced once the renewal is finished.)

∞ students are eligible to apply for membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators only when they reached 55% in both coursework and exam in introductory, module 1 & 2 courses.

△ In order to meet the requirements of Module 4 of the CIArb, students must obtain a minimum mark of 70% in the assessment (the final exam), which will be by a written report (i.e. a Final Arbitral Award) in LW6409B Advanced Award Writing.

#Please note candidates must still pass the CIArb Module 2 assessment to become Accredited CIArb mediators. This Module allows them exemption from CIArb Module 1 Mediation only.

##Please note candidates must obtain 70% or more in order to obtain Module 4: Awarding Writing exemption. Students still have to pass peer-review to obtain the FCIArb.

* (a)     Attendance on the CityU PGD/LLMArbDR Programme (where the student  passes the examination) will qualify for exemption from the Entry Course Examination for Associateship of HKIArb; and

 (b)  Successfully passing the CityU PGD/LLMArbDR examinations will qualify for exemption from all the academic requirements for Fellowship of HKIArb and will confer eligibility for entry to the Fellowship course of HKIArb and exemption from taking the award writing part of the said course of HKIArb. 

^ Completion of LW6406 Mediation Practice would lead to stage 1 requirements as stipulated by the HKMAAL Mediation Accreditation Committee.


Programme Structure

The programme is currently taught in the combined evening mode. Students can enrol in courses to a total between 3 and 18 credit units in different semesters (except the Summer Term) without seeking approval from the University. Non-local students who hold student visas should normally enrol at least 12 credit units in each semester (except the Summer Term), which is the minimum full-time credit unit load. The programme duration normally extends between one year (2 semesters plus 1 summer term) and two and a half years (5 semesters plus 1 summer term). Students who have qualified for certain exemptions may complete the programme in one to two years.

Classes are normally held on weekdays between 7:00 - 9:50 pm (10:50 pm if required), usually for 2-3 evenings per week. If students opt to take the fast-track evening curriculum, the weekday classes will be increased to 4-5 evenings per week. There may be some weekend classes.

Taught courses of the programme include Legal Concepts, Commercial Contracts, Procedure and Proof, Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice, Mediation Practice, Arbitration Law, Arbitration Practice and Award Writing, and International Arbitration.

Students are required to take elective(s).

Exempt students^ are required to complete 6 credit units of electives from an approved list of electives. Non-exempt students are required to complete 3 credit units of electives from an approved list of electives.

^ Students holding a law degree from a Hong Kong or other common law jurisdiction, or the Postgraduate Certificate in Hong Kong Law (PGCHKL) at City University of Hong Kong, or equivalent are exempted from Commercial Contracts and Legal Concepts.

For core courses and electives, please refer to Course Description for the most update information:



Intermediate Postgraduate Diploma

This programme is a linked programme. Students who have successfully completed all required taught courses with a CGPA of 2.00 or above and elected not to pursue the dissertation or its equivalent for the Master's degree are eligible for the intermediate award of Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions about the LLMArbDR Programme (click HERE).


Goff Arbitration Lecture

The Goff Lecture series was inaugurated by City University of Hong Kong in 1990. Lord Goff of Chieveley, then Lord of Appeal, initiated the series.  He has been followed by an illustrious list of some of the world’s most renowned experts in the field.

Goff Lecture Series


Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is a competition for law students.  Students from all countries are eligible and the Finals take place in Vienna, Austria.  The Moot involves a dispute arising out of a contract of sale of goods between two countries that are parties to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.  CityU hosts the annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong.


Admission Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, an applicant must have:

  • a university degree from a recognized university or equivalent qualifications (e.g. AHKIArb)

Applicants whose employment or professional activities involve arbitration or other forms of dispute resolution may be preferred, where qualifications are otherwise equal, but in all cases admission will be based on merit.
Applicants graduated from an institution where the medium of instruction is not English must achieve the following English proficiency requirement:

  • TOEFL 595 (paper-based test) / 97(internet-based test) / 70 (revised paper-delivered test) or above; or
  • IELTS 6.5; or
  • Mainland China’s College English Test (CET) Band 6 score 520 or above; or
  • Other equivalent qualifications.

(TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years. Applicants are required to provide their TOEFL / IELTS test results obtained within the two years preceding the commencement of the University’s application period. For CET-6 scores, the validity period is three years.)


Fellowships Scheme

Fellowship awards are available for local students admitted to this programme under the Fellowships Scheme supported by the HKSAR Government. Local students admitted to the programme in full-time, part-time or combined study mode will be invited to submit applications for the fellowships. Please click to view more details about the Fellowships Scheme.


Tuition Fee

Please click HERE for the tuition fee information.

For tuition fee enquiries, please contact the School of Law General Office by email at or by phone at 3442 7680.


Continuing Education Fund (CEF)

The LLMArbDR Programme has been included in the list of reimbursable courses for Continuing Education Fund (CEF) purposes.

Students are recommended to use individual course(s) (i.e. LW5303 Commercial Contracts, LW6401 Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice, LW6405 Arbitration Law, LW6406 Mediation Practice and/or LW6407 Arbitration Practice and Award Writing) to claim CEF as soon as they complete the relevant courses. 

For application details, please refer to


Course Description

Please click here for details.



Students should be prepared to arrange their own accommodation, as on-campus accommodation is usually not available to LLMArbDR students, due to limited space. For assistance in locating information on off-campus accommodation, see “Off-campus Accommodation”


Applications and Enquiries

Apply online at

Admissions Enquiry:
Telephone: (852) 3442 5588
Fax: (852) 3442 0187

Further information about the programme is obtainable from:

Dr Christopher TO

Adjunct Professor
LLMArbDR Programme Director
School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 7639
Fax: (852) 3442 0190


General Office, School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 8008
Fax: (852) 3442 0190
Website: //