Mediator Academy
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Professional Diploma in Dispute REsolution And Mediation

Online Programme in Dispute Resolution

Be at the forefront of dispute resolution. Gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to take on the big challenges of the 21st Century.

Start Date - January 2025
Register Your Interest for January 2025

Learn career-building skills with credentials to back them up

"As a full time working mom to 3 energetic boys I found it easy to learn when it suited my schedule and because it was so enjoyable. The course content is well structured, engaging and has input and insights from leading experts across the mediation world. I've no doubt the course gave me a renewed confidence boost which helped secure a promotion at work during the first semester. It's an emerging field that is relevant to so many sectors, and the different professional backgrounds of my fellow students gave diversity to the class."

- Elaine Devine
Ulster Bank

"This is really exciting for us, we've never done anything like this before. It's the future of education and we are excited to be working with Mediator Academy"

- Brian Hutchinson
University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law

Programme Information

1 Academic Year Part-time (Accelerated 2 Trimester Programme)

Interactive and immersive online modules allow students to study in their own time. Live coaching sessions and small group work give students the opportunity to practice skills and collaborate with their peers.

Programme Fees

Fees include all course materials, tuition and assessment.


- Postgraduate Diploma Level 9 NFQ.

About this Programme

The way we resolve disputes is changing. Businesses and individuals are no longer willing to bear the expense and time of going to court and are turning to alternative ways of resolving conflict. This change means organisations need people skilled in preventing and managing disputes, and guiding them through more efficient and successful processes like mediation.

This programme combines a study of the theory of conflict, the practice and skills of dispute resolution and an exploration of new technologies and developments in the field. Students will gain the knowledge and competencies to prevent, manage and resolve disputes in a wide variety of settings. 

Why This Programme?

When you have completed this programme you will have gained a new insight into the causes and dynamics of conflict and disputes alongside new skills and strategies to lead your practice, team, business or organisation into a more productive and effective future.

  • Flexible Learning - Study alongside a busy professional life, at your own pace.
  • Practical Focus - Learn skills and strategies to manage and resolve complex disputes.
  • Real-life Learning - Learn from an international field of expert practitioners and engaging case studies.
  • Future Ready - Prepare for the future of dispute resolution and navigate a rapidly evolving field.
  • Postgraduate Qualification - Study at a top 100 global law school with an established reputation in dispute resolution.

How It Works

Flexible Learning

Immersive and interactive online lessons.
Number 1

Time Commitment

Approximately 10-20 effort hours per week.
Number 2

Live Engagement

Live online small group sessions and coaching.
Number 3


A variety of assessment methods.
Number 4


Meet and work with a global cohort of learners.
Number 5

Dedicated Support

Academic, practical and IT support.
Number 6
Immersive and interactive online lessons.
Approximately 10-20 effort hours per week.
Live online small group sessions and coaching.
A variety of assessment methods.
Meet and work with a global cohort of learners.
Academic, practical and IT support.

Programme Learning Outcomes

Our courses combine industry-leading practitioners with academic excellence to blend theory, practice and skills into engaging digital learning experiences preparing learners for 21st Century professional practice.


Students will understand and critically analyse different theories of and approaches to conflict and dispute resolution, with a particular focus on mediation.


Students will apply legal and professional principles and guidance to conflict and dispute scenarios, and select strategies and approaches to dispute resolution and mediation.


Students will be able to evaluate which interventions and strategies are required in different contexts, describe the reasoning for these and be able to take and justify a position on the key current debates in the field.


Students will be able to demonstrate advanced mediation and communication skills in complex dispute contexts, and inform their practice with appropriate theoretical knowledge.


Students will be able to integrate different theories and practice, reflect on and in learning and manage the complexity of an evolving field of study and practice.


Students will have completed a Capstone Project applying the knowledge and skills acquired in the programme to their professional activity.

Programme Curriculum

MOdule #1

Dispute Analysis and Intervention

This Module addressed the root causes and effects of conflict and analyses the role of communication in driving and resolving conflict. It also introduces the myriad of alternative dispute resolution processes and methods, and the core skills of negotiation.

Mature student in lecture theatre

MOdule #2

Mediation Processes and Skills

This Module focuses on mediation, a process experiencing exponential growth in use and popularity. It addresses both the theory and process models of mediation, and explores the range of mediation skills and competencies.

MOdule #3

Technology and Regulation

This Module locates the practice of mediation in a dynamic and evolving regulatory framework, addressing the current laws and ethics that govern the process and practice. It also explores the rapidly increasing role of technology in mediation, including online mediation, and semi-automated processes.


This programme culminates in a Capstone Project which offers students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills to employers, and to apply them to their own professional contexts.

The project is an integrative assignment that requires students to synthesise their theoretical and practical learning, to reflect on what they have discovered and to take action on their outcomes. They will create a framework for applying their graduate attributes and competencies to their world, and present this to peers, colleagues and superiors.

World Renowned Faculty

Programme Director

Brian Hutchinson

Associate Professor, UCD Sutherland School Of Law

Programme Designer

Sabine Walsh

Co-founder & Head of Learning, Mediator Academy

International Expert Faculty

Geoff Sharp

Mediator, Maxwell Mediators - Singapore

Who's Who Legal Global Top 5 Mediator

Sue Prevezer KC

Mediator, Brick Court Chambers, UK

‘just fearsomely bright’ Legal 500

Jane Player

Mediator, Jane Player Mediation - UK

Corporate Livewire Commercial Mediator of the Year

Bill Wood KC

Mediator, Maxwell Mediators, Singapore

Ranked #1 Mediation Silk in the UK

The Hon. Mr. Justice David Barniville

The High Court of Ireland

(Commercial Division)

The Hon. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan

High Court of Ireland and Court of Appeal

Accredited Mediator

Dr Erin Dyer Saxon

Mediator, Conflict Resolution Scholar

Specialist in conflict communication

Dr Julio-César Betancourt

Author, Academic & ADR Practitioner

Lawyer, Arbitrator & Mediator

Turlough O’Donnell SC

Senior Counsel, Accredited Mediator

'Global leader for mediation' Who’s Who Legal

Tat Lim

Mediator, Maxwell Mediators, Singapore

'The best in Singapore' Who's Who Legal

Simon Boehme

Mediator, Legal Tech Entrepreneur, USA

Working at the intersection of dispute resolution and legal innovation


In Partnership

University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law is partnering with Mediator Academy to create digital learning experiences that are engaging, immersive and flexible. Together they are bringing a new in-demand skills-based programme to those at the front line of dispute resolution.

UCD Sutherland School of Law 

Ranked one of the Top 100 Universities in the World for Law, UCD Sutherland School of Law is the leading centre for legal education and research in Ireland.

Since its establishment in 1911, the School's educational mission has remained at the heart of its endeavours and today their wide range of high quality programmes encourage the development of both a critical understanding of law and the enhancement of legal and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills.

The School works closely with law firms, government departments and NGOs to boost employability and develop professional skills among their students. 

Mediator Academy 

Mediator Academy is an online education provider on a mission to prepare the learners of today with the skills, knowledge and disposition to tackle the big challenges of the 21st Century. Their innovative approach to learning design brings theory and practice to life through immersive and engaging digital programmes. They are building a future where anyone, anywhere can access the very best educational programmes in dispute resolution and technology. Through their partnerships with leading universities they are able to offer pathways to qualifications and on-ramps to meaningful careers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What technical requirements will I need?

You can study on any device - desktop, laptop, tablet or even smartphone. For the best learning experience we recommend a desktop or laptop and a quiet place, but you can always revisit and catch up with learning on the go. You will need a stable internet connection for the interactive lessons, but you can download resources to read offline.

What are the entry requirements?

Applications are welcomed from candidates holding an approved university degree or law-based interdisciplinary university degree, and from candidates with other academic and/or professional qualifications and/or relevant experience that will satisfy the Law School that they are able to participate in this programme.

What is the time commitment?

This programme is designed for busy professionals who wish to study alongside their working lives. It is part time and the majority of the learning is self-directed, so you can study when suits you best. Live sessions will be scheduled outside standard working hours to allow you to engage with your tutors and fellow students. Asynchronous discussion will allow you to continue your learning conversations at your convenience. Estimated effort hours are approximately 10-20 hours per week.

How is the programme assessed?

Your learning will be assessed as you work through the programme by means of interactive practice assessments, quizzes and multiple choice tests at the end of each unit and graded discussion fora. Assessment will culminate in a Capstone Project in which you will have the opportunity to apply your learning to your own context and showcase your new knowledge and skills.

How do I enrol?

When you select the Apply Now button on this page you will be transported to the University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law website. There will be more information about the programme on the programme page and detailed instruction on how to complete the application process. You can also contact us directly through the form on this website if you have any queries.

What is the programme timetable?

The majority of the learning for this course is self-directed, there will be a maximum of 1-2 hours of scheduled engagement per week. These will be flexible so as to ensure students can participate alongside their working lives. A final timetable for these sessions will be issued at commencement of the programme.

What qualifications will this programme give me?

On successful completion of the programme, graduates will attain a Professional Diploma (Level 9) from UCD Sutherland School of Law.  

Register Your Interest

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