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GradDipDR

Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution

Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution at the University of Waikato will equip you with skills to deal with challenging situations in your business or workplace in a positive and constructive manner.

Conflict is an ever-present part of social and business life. While conflict is not inherently negative, disputes have the ability to develop in ways that can cause problems.

The Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution is designed to enable people in a wide range of professions to develop the skills needed to resolve the disputes and differences through skilled intervention, mainly arbitration, conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation.

Our Diploma builds on teaching, research and practical experience within the Faculties of Law, Education and the Waikato Management School. From Managing Conflict and Consensus to Negotiation and Persuasion and Human Resource Management and Employment, we offer 16 papers for you to choose from to make up your Diploma.

What will you learn?

  • You'll learn about current and developing dispute resolution techniques. You'll get exposed to the theory, general principles and practical dimensions of advocacy and adjudication, arbitration, client interviewing, negotiation and mediation.
  • You'll understand the dynamics of negotiation and persuasion as they are practised in a range of professional contexts.
  • You'll be assessing the strengths and limitations of various persuasive communication strategies.
  • You'll get introduced to the law of torts, contract, agency, sale of goods and services, persons including corporate bodies, property and consumer legislation and will gain basic understanding of the New Zealand legal system.
  • You'll examine legal aspects of mediation theories in relation to practice and will undergo practical training and skill development.
  • You'll develop skills required for effective interpersonal communication in organisational and social contexts.
  • You'll look at the increasingly important role of employment law in the practice of human resource management and examine  the development of employment/industrial law in New Zealand including the legal provisions relating to trade unions and other employment related legislation.

In addition, during guest lectures legal practitioners will provide you with insights into how each aspect of dispute resolution is utilised in their specialise area. For example, these may include the Treaty settlement, judiciary process, business transactions and others.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of 120 points including at least 80 points above Level 3. This is an equivalent of six year-long papers. You'll have to do 3 compulsory papers, choose one from the list of elective papers and choose another 2 papers from the list of optional papers.

Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution is designed for students with a Bachelor degree in the field of study other than Law. Successful completion of the Diploma will not allow you to practice law in New Zealand. Visit New Zealand Council of Legal Education's website for more information about how to become a barrister or solicitor in New Zealand.

Professional Dispute Resolution Organisations

Waikato's GradDipDR has accreditation for Associate Status to the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand Inc. Successful completion of the Diploma will allow you to become a member of a professional dispute resolution organisations. For more information visit the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand Inc.

You will benefit from this diploma if:

  • You manage staff at medium and senior management level
  • Resolve disputes with external parties, particularly for business owners
  • Deal with issues arising within human resources
  • Manage cases for insurance companies and organisations like ACC
  • Address concerns in customer services industry.

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Te Piringa - Faculty of Law

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

To be admitted to the programme you need to have a bachelor's degree in a subject other than law or have relevant work experience. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

With your online application, please provide your:

  • CV
  • Personal statement (letter of application) of up to 300 words outlining your work experience (paid or unpaid), community involvement, your previous study and reasons for wishing to undertake the diploma programme
  • A verified copy of your academic transcript and/or details of relevant experience
  • A verified copy of your birth certificate or current passport

Qualifications links

See our other  undergraduate qualifications in law:

For more information on these and other options, please contact us at Law Reception.

Contacts

Te Piringa - Faculty of Law:

Phone: 07 838 4167 or 0800 924 528
Email: law.reception@waikato.ac.nz
Website: www.waikato.ac.nz/law
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TePiringaFacultyOfLaw

Degree Structure

Programme Structure

The programme consists of 120 points including at least 80 points above Level 3. This is an equivalent of six year-long papers. You'll need to complete 3 compulsory papers, choose one paper from the list of elective papers and choose another two from the list of optional papers.

Compulsory papers Elective papers Optional papers
LAWS205A Foundations in Legal Studies
20 Points
A paper to provide students with a basic understanding of the New Zealand legal system, and an introduction to the law of torts, contract, agency, sale of goods and services, persons including corporate bodies, property and consumer legislation.
MCOM336 Negotiation and Persuasion
20 Points

The specific attributes that successful students will acquire are: The understanding of the dynamics of negotiation and persuasion as they are practised in interpersonal, organisational and public relations contexts. The understanding of a variety of theories of persuasion and their implications for the practice of negotiation and persuasion.
The ability to apply theories of persuasion in professional contexts. The ability to assess the strengths and limitations of various persuasive communication strategies.
LAWS405 The Treaty of Waitangi in Contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand
20 Points

An examination of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. Consideration will be given to ways in which the Treaty guarantees might best be realised in relation to the legal system, health, education, resource management, and local government.

LAWS489 Directed Study
10 Points

The Directed Study papers are open to suitably qualified students who under the supervision of one or more academic staff members with experience in the appropriate areas(s), engage in research leading to the production of a 6,000 research assignment.

Contact Graduate Study Administrator for further information and a list of possible supervisors and research topics.

LAWS306Y Dispute Resolution
20 Points

An introduction to current and developing dispute resolution techniques. Students are exposed to the theory, general principles and practical dimensions of advocacy and adjudication, arbitration, client interviewing, negotiation and mediation.
LAWS449 Mediation: Law, Principles and Practice
20 Points

This paper will offer students an opportunity to understand mediation at an advanced level. It will examine legal aspects of mediation, theories in relation to practice as well as practical training and skill development.
LAWS408 Family Law
20 Points
A focus on the law and social policies involved in the formation and breakdown of family relationships. The paper examines the underlying social implications of the law and the dispute resolution processes of the Family Court.

LAWS490 Directed Study
20 Points

This paper is open to suitably qualified students who under supervision of an academic staff member with experience in the appropriate area, engage in research leading to the production of the equivalent of a 10,000 word research assignment.

Contact Graduate Study Administrator for further information and a list of possible supervisors and research topics.

MCOM331 Managing Conflict and Consensus
20 Points

You will learn to analyse and manage conflict and build consensus in groups and teams. This paper builds knowledge and skill in the theory and practice of conflict management, particularly in task groups.
MCOM431 Negotiation and Persuasion
20 Points

The theory and practice of persuasion and negotiation in a range of professional contexts.
LAWSA420 Employment Law
20 Points

An examination of the development of employment/industrial law in New Zealand: the legal provisions relating to trade unions; and other employment related legislation.
MCOM231 Interpersonal Communication
20 Points

This paper provides students with the theory and skills required for effective interpersonal communication in organisational and social contexts.
  LAWS434 Environmental Law
20 Points

An examination of the general principles of the law concerning natural and physical resources, sustainable development, pollution control, town planning and Treaty of Waitangi principles.
HDCO340 Perspectives on Counselling
20 Points

An examination of the philosophical, psychological and sociological principles
that underpin the aims and methods of helping professions generally, and
counselling in particular, offered by the Department of Human Development
and Counselling.
  MCOM476 Communicating Across Cultures
20 Points

This paper provides a broad understanding of the principles and practices of intercultural communication. Topics examined include the relationship between culture and communication, perceptions and values, cultural dimensions, verbal and non-verbal codes, and intercultural communication in various contexts.
HRMG401 Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
20 Points

This paper is designed to address the increasingly important role of
employment law in the theory and practice of human resource management.
It places employment law in the generic context of management, legal
systems and regulatory processes.