Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps


RRP 1202

This course gives students a practical introduction to the burgeoning area of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The course will cover the main areas of ADR namely, arbitration and mediation. Particular attention will be paid to mediation as a form of dispute resolution. Traditionally contract disputes have been resolved either through the government dispute process or through litigation. This diploma course will examine other approaches collectively known as “Alternative Dispute Resolution” overviewing the long history of ADR, the elements of ADR, and its advantages and disadvantages. The three major ADR approaches namely arbitration, mediation, conciliation are each described in terms of their processes, procedures and appropriate uses. The course will address the role of ethics in the use of ADR. It will also consider how to establish an ADR program your work environment and how to build ADR language into legal and business contracts.

Programme Aims and Objectives

This course aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of alternative dispute resolution as it is written and enforced. Students will learn how to justify the use of ADR as a means of conflict resolution, evaluate dispute situations to determine if ADR is an appropriate means of resolution and select the appropriate ADR approach for a particular situation. At the end of the programme you will be able to describe the steps required to set up a successful ADR program in the work environment and the ethical issues that pertain to ADR.


To be awarded the Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution, a student will be required to complete a written assignment (60%) and a simulated mediation (40%). 

Programe Content

Module A - Overview of ADR and ADR Approaches

Introduction to ADR

  • ADR definition and scope

  • History of ADR

Why use ADR

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • ADR vs. litigation and expected results

  • Current use / popularity of ADR

Disputes appropriate for use of ADR

  • ADR approaches, advantages and disadvantages of each, role of lawyers:

  • Negotiation

  • Mediation

  • Arbitration

  • Mini-trial

  • Adjudication

  • Starting an ADR programme in your work

  • Incorporating ADR into contracts

  • Ethics in ADR


Regulation and infrastructure of arbitration:

  • Delimitation, definition and juridical nature;Institutional and regulatory infrastructure; Constitution, human rights and arbitration; Arbitration and the courts

Arbitration agreement:

  • Autonomy, types, and applicable law; Formal and substantive validity; Interpretation of agreements; Drafting arbitration clauses

Arbitration Tribunal:

  • Selection and appointment of arbitrators; Rights and duties of arbitrators; Independence and impartiality of arbitrators; Challenge and removal of arbitrators

  • UNICITRAL Arbitration Rules

  • The use of UNICITRAL model laws and rules in the Irish context.

Specialist Arbitration:

  • Arbitration with states and state-owned entities; Arbitration of investment disputes; Specialist and mixed arbitration; Online dispute resolution


Core Mediation and the Dynamics of Conflict:

  • Your Personal Style of Conflict; Negotiation and Designing the Mediation; Communication Skills for Mediation; Beginning the Mediation; Mediator Neutrality and Issues of Power and Culture; Hidden Interests and Impasses; Final Bargaining and Agreement

Workplace Mediation:

  • Mediation and ADR; Entry into Workplace Mediation; Overview of Workplace Mediation Process; Workplace Mediation Skill Sets; Law, Gender, and Workplace Mediation; Mediation and Workplace Discrimination; Cross Cultural and Multi-Party Cases; Culture, Ethics and Mentorship 

Divorce and Child Custody Mediation:

  • Mediation and ADR; Family Dynamics and Conflict; The Family Mediation Process; Mediating Parenting Plans; Asset Division, Negotiation, Impasses, and Power; Working with Children in Mediation; Special Issues; The Legal Process and Standards of Practice



  • NERA conciliation for workplace disputes; facilitative role of the conciliator to help parties find the solution themselves; code of conduct and ethics.

  • Mini-Trials

  • Negotiation 

  • Abjudication

  • Collaborative Law


The programme will include an overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution and standard approaches, and is subsequently structured into three principle areas: Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation, with particular emphasis given to examining mediation as a form of dispute resolution.

Students will examine the key components of each approach, discussing advantages and disadvantages for each area. Based on the knowledge received, they will learn to evaluate if Alternative Dispute Resolution is an appropriate means of resolution for their particular situation and how to select the suitable approach. Following completion of the course, students will have an understanding of how to establish a successful Alternative Dispute Resolution programme within a working environment and the ethical issues that align themselves with its implementation.

Career Progression Opportunities

The Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution will add valuable skills to professionals in a broad range of sectors. Our programme will typically benefit those working within the legal sector or those who participate in any negotiation or litigation procedures and seek to increase their knowledge and skills  in the field. This course will additionally be of use to those working within the HR field who may be involved in negotiation and conflict resolution within the workplace. Finally, those working within government bodies may find the course material beneficial should their role incorporate involvement in any arbitrary or mediatory activities.


The fee for this Diploma is €1,325. This is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. This fee must be paid in full before the course begins. 

View all DBS Evening Diploma Fees here.

DBS Diploma students can also avail of a wide range of facilities to assist them in every aspect of their studies, please see below for more details.

DBS Student Facilities

• Online Notes System (DBS Moodle)- is an eLearning system designed to provide you with a range of course material which will enhance and support your learning experience within DBS.
• DBS Library Aungier Street- the Library provides a programme of classes in the areas of Library resources, essay writing skills, avoiding plagiarism and referencing to assist you in your studies. 
• DBS Careers and Appointment Service- which provides a range of services for Diploma students such as career advice and workshops in CV writing and interview skills.
• Subsidised Parking- DBS provides subsidised parking arrangements for students, which provides easy access to all main public transport routes in and out of the city centre.
• Subsidised Student Canteen- Diploma students can avail of the Student Canteen which is open in the evenings and offers a wide variety of choices on its menu.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about your course of interest. The open day will give you the opportunity to receive one on one advice and direction from leading academics in your chosen subject area, meet current students and also have your questions answered on entry requirements, student support and the admissions process. Find out when our next Open Event is taking place. The Admissions Office is located in our Aungier Street campus and you are welcome to visit the college to speak with a member of our admissions team from Monday to Fridays, 8:45am – 5:15pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

  • Law
  • Business & Management
  • Professional Evening Diplomas
  • Part-Time

Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Dublin Business School
Schedule: 1 evening per week, 6.15-8.30pm
Intake: October & February
Duration: 10 weeks Part-time

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2019. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: admissions@dbs.ie
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm