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
Dr 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.

Please refer to the following website for the English language proficiency requirement: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/slw/academic/postgraduate_llmarbdr.html#LLMArbDR_08

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 13 fellowship awards. Local students admitted to the programme in full-time, part-time or combined study mode will 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 https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/cef/en/index.htm.

* 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 2.00 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 Accreditation

Upon completion of the 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 reviewing our membership status with CIArb,  further details will be provided once our membership status has been confirmed by the CIArb.)

∞ 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.