Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (GradDipDR)

University of Waikato

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February, July

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About Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution at University of Waikato

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.

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