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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 Faculty of Law, School of 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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (International): $27,980 per year
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
Area of Study:
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Degree Planner

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

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

Qualifications links

See our other undergraduate qualifications in law:

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


We recommend you discuss your programme with the Faculty of Law prior to enrolment.


Te Piringa Faculty of Law:

Phone: 07 838 4167 or 0800 924 528
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Location: N Block, Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

Have a chat with one of our friendly advisers to help you plan your degree.

Phone: +64 7 807 9275
Email: [email protected]

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