Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

Year of Entry


Application Deadline

Application Closed

Mode of Study


Mode of Funding


Intermediate Award

Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

Indicative Intake Target


Minimum No. of Credits Required

30 (for exempt students) or 33 (for non-exempt students)

Class Schedule

Normally weekday evenings and occasional weekends (block-mode teaching for LW6406 & LW6409B)

Normal Study Period

Full-time: 1 year;
Part-time: 2.5 years

Maximum Study Period

Full-time: 2.5 years;
Part-time/Combined mode: 6 years

Mode of Processing

Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Review of applications will start before the deadline and continue until all places are filled. Early applications are therefore strongly encouraged.
Programme Director
Prof Christopher To
BEng (Hons), LLB (Hons), PCLL, MA, LLM, PhD, DEng(honoris causa), Chartered Arbitrator, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Technology Professional, Accredited Mediator, FCIArb, FHKIArb, FSIArb, FHKIOD, FIET, MHKIE, MBCS, MHKCS, ARAes, HKIAC and HKMAAL Accredited Mediator, Barrister-at-law
+852 3442 7639
General Enquiries
+852 3442 8008
+852 3442 0190
Programme Aims and Objectives

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:
    a. not all graduates can expect to become arbitrators or mediators and the programme does not assure graduates of appointments, and
    b. 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.

Entrance Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, an applicant must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements and 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:

  • a minimum total score of 88 (internet-based test) in TOEFL#; or

  • an overall band score of 6.5 in IELTS; or

  • a score of 520 in the Mainland China's College English Test (CET) Band 6; 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.)

#Applicants are required to arrange with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send their TOEFL results directly to the University. The TOEFL institution code for CityU is 3401.


Fellowships Scheme

Fellowship awards are available for local students admitted to this programme under the Fellowships Scheme supported by the HKSAR Government. This programme in the priority area of “Business” is one of the targeted programmes listed under the Fellowships Scheme with 9 fellowship awards. Local students admitted to the programme in full-time, part-time or combined study mode may be invited to submit applications for the fellowships.



Course Description

The programme is taught in the combined evening mode. Students can attend 3-18 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. As such, the programme duration will vary from 1 year to 2.5 years, depending on the credit loading to be taken in each semester.

Classes are held in weekday evenings and occasional weekends.

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.

To obtain the Master’s degree, students are required to perform independent scholarly research and prepare a dissertation or its equivalent.

Bonus Features

The LLMArbDR Programme has been included in the list of reimbursable courses for Continuing Education Fund (CEF) purposes. For application details, please refer to the link below:


* There is no attendance requirement for the LLMArbDR programme, except for LW6406 Mediation Practice and LW6409B Advanced Award Writing where 100% attendance is required in these two courses.

* For the purpose of claiming reimbursement of CEF course fee, an applicant should pass the attendance requirements and course assessments of the course(s) as approved by the Labour and Welfare Bureau, with the attendance rate and overall mark of course assessments not less than 70% and 50% respectively or such higher requirements as prescribed for the course (whichever is higher).

* Please note that it is the students' own responsibility to attend every class and examination during the teaching and examination periods.

This programme is a linked programme. Students who have successfully completed all required taught courses with a CGPA of 2.85 or above and elected not to pursue dissertation or its equivalent for the Master's degree are eligible for the intermediate award of Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.

Did You Know?
  • 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.

  • 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.

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. Associateship of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (AHKIArb);
  3. Fellowship of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (FHKIArb);
  4. 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);
  5. CPD points awarded by the Law Society of Hong Kong.
Please refer to the Programme Website for details. 
† Combined mode: Local students taking programmes in combined mode can attend full-time (12-18 credit units per semester) or part-time (no more than 11 credit units per semester) study in different semesters without seeking approval from the University. For non-local students, they will be admitted to these programmes for either full-time or part-time studies. Non-local students must maintain the required credit load for their full-time or part-time studies and any changes will require approval from the University.