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The University of Waikato
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Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (GradDipDR)

This course is available


Level of Study

Graduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


Hamilton Campus


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.

Entry criteria

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.

You also need to meet an English language entry requirement as follows: IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 overall (no band less than 6.0); iBT (internet based) TOEFL - 90 with a score of 21 in writing; Pearson PTE Academic - Overall score of 58 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50; University of Waikato College - Successful completion of Level 8 with a B grade average in the Certificate of Attainment in English Language (CAEL) programme.

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