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Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies

Programme Information - Taught Postgraduate Programmes (TPg)

Applications for Taught Postgraduate Programmes are accepted starting from 15 November 2017.

Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution


Year of Entry 2018
Mode of Funding Non-government-funded
Programme Code P41
Intermediate Award Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
Mode of Programme Combined
Class Schedule Normally weekday evenings and occasional weekends (block-mode teaching for one course)
Indicative Intake Target 80
Minimum No. of Credits Required 30 (for exempt students) or 33 (for non-exempt students)
Normal Duration of Programme Full-time: 1 year;
Part-time: 2.5 years
Maximum Study Period Full-time: 2.5 years;
Part-time/Combined mode: 6 years
Programme Website Click here to open
Tuition Fee Click here for more information
Application Deadline
30 Jun 2018 (Local)
31 May 2018 (Non-local)
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, Chartered Arbitrator, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Technology Professional, Accredited Mediator, FCIArb, FHKIArb, FSIArb, FHKIOD, FIET, MHKIE, MBCS, MHKCS, ARAes, HKIAC Accredited Mediator
+852 3442 7639
Programme Director
Mr David Holloway
MA (Cantab)- Churchill College Cambridge University, European Master of Law and Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Barrister- at –law. (Gray’s Inn), Arbitrator, Panel Member- CIETAC, Shenzhen Centre of International Arbitration (SCIA), Arbitrator Committee Member- Thai Arbitration Centre (THAC), Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, General Editor, International Arbitration Law Review
+852 3442 5405
General Enquiries
+852 3442 8008 (Phone)
+852 3442 0190 (Fax)
† 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.

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

Course Description

The programme is taught in the combined evening mode. Students can attend 3-18 credit units in different semesters without seeking approval from the University. Non-local students who hold student visas should normally enrol at least 12 credit units in each semester, 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 & Proof;
  • Dispute Resolution in Theory & Practice;
  • Mediation Practice;
  • Arbitration Law;
  • Arbitration Practice & Award Writing; and
  • International Arbitration.

Students are required to take elective(s).

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

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.


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.

∞ 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.

*Associateship of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (AHKIArb) is subject to the following condition:
(a) Attendance in the LLMArbDR Programme and a passing mark in the examination of LW6401 Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice to qualify for exemption from the Entry Course Examination for Associateship of HKIArb.

** (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.

# 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.

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

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.
  • The International ADR Mooting Competition* is a truly innovate and exciting initiative of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), and the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in association with UNCITRAL - Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific. It combines both mediation and arbitration in one competition and gives students the opportunity to act as arbitrator and mediator in addition to the roles of advocates in the arbitral hearing immediately followed by mediation proceedings. 

          * Whether the event will be held in the future is subject to review and confirmation.