Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (GradDipDR)

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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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardGradDipDRHow you will study find outHow long you will study find out
    Course startsFebruary, JulyDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

Contact University of Waikato to find course entry requirements.

What students think about University of Waikato

    Billy Bodger, Master of Science (Earth Sciences)

    Testimonial from Billy Bodger, Master of Science (Earth Sciences), student at University of Waikato

    Smaller class sizes, enthusiastic lecturers and field trips to exciting North Island locations has made Earth Sciences study at Waikato a top experience for student Billy Bodger.

    Billy completed a BSc in Earth Sciences before beginning an MSc in 2013, with a focus on geology.

    "The flexible BSc course structure and passionate lecturers have allowed for more one-on-one time with staff and more feedback on assignments. I believe I wouldn't be where I am today without that additional help," says Billy.

    Some memorable field trips have included a six day excursion to the Hawke's Bay for a sedimentary geology paper and a trip to the GNS Science Wairakei Research Centre for a volcanic geochemistry paper.

    "Both of these field trips and all the other practical activities and applied research I have undertaken at Waikato have given me a valuable insight into the tasks that I could expect to encounter in industry. I have no doubt that these experiences will give me a head-start career-wise."

    A School of Science Masters Research Scholarship in late in 2013 helped kick-start Billy's masters study. Now undertaking research in volcanic geology and gold mineralisation, Billy has been fortunate to work with an international mining corporation and is now trained to use a range of Waikato's excellent laboratory facilities specific to his research.

    "Being able to tailor my degree to suit my strengths and interests makes Waikato a top choice for study. Once you come to Waikato, the doors will open for you and the opportunities are endless."

    Kaylee Bird, Bachelor of Management Studies/Bachelor of Laws (Management)

    Testimonial from Kaylee Bird, Bachelor of Management Studies/Bachelor of Laws (Management), student at University of Waikato

    A passion for dancing has led to a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship for Kaylee Bird. The former Otumoetai College student is now in her second year of studying a conjoint Bachelor of Management Studies and a Bachelor of Laws.

    She says one of the reasons she chose to study at Waikato was that it was the only university in New Zealand where she could continue both dance and academic studies.

    Kaylee has been dancing since she was four years old and mainly trains in classical ballet and contemporary dance. In 2013, Kaylee was accepted into three dance schools in Australia; the prestigious Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy where she spent a term in 2014 experiencing full-time dancing before returning to her studies, Queensland University of Technology Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance Performance) and the Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

    In 2013 she was awarded honours in both her Advanced 2 BBO Ballet and Contemporary exams, and she was nominated to compete in the 2012 NZ Young Performer of the Year Awards.

    Waylon Kenning, Master of Electronic Commerce (Electronic Commerce)

    Testimonial from Waylon Kenning, Master of Electronic Commerce (Electronic Commerce), student at University of Waikato

    Master of Electronic Commerce student Waylon Kenning likes to create “digital experiences that delight customers; by defining their interests and marrying them to technology”.

    Originally from Taumarunui, he is now half-way through completing his MECom degree online, while continuing to work full-time as a product architect at Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, a global IT firm in Wellington.

    Since graduating from a Bachelor of Electronic Commerce in 2008, Waylon quickly found work as a business analyst, and his career has gone from strength to strength.

    He now oversees a diverse team of developers, user experience designers and analysts at Hexagon, who are creating a new mobile app designed to help police officers do their jobs more easily by putting critical information at their fingertips. The goal is to reduce paperwork so that police officers can spend more time in the field investigating crimes.

    Last year Waylon decided he wanted to “beef up” his academic credentials, be exposed to the latest ideas in e-commerce technologies, and gain an internationally-recognised master’s degree that offers a passport to working overseas.

    “I thought about doing an MBA, but I really wanted a programme focused on how business and IT relate to each other, and the MECom really fits the bill in that respect. I also liked the fact that the Professional stream was taught completely online, because most professionals can’t quit their jobs for an entire year.”

    Waylon says his favourite paper was ‘MCOM502 - Managing Virtual Teams’, as it helped him understand how to communicate better with members of his own development team at Hexagon; some of whom are based in India and the United States.

    For the professional field internship paper, MSYS519, Waylon spent 10 weeks working on a variety of small research projects for Contact Energy, his former employer.

    “The internship is really designed to kick-start your career in e-commerce and help solidify your knowledge base, which is great for people who are new to this field.”

    “If you’re already working in e-commerce, it gives you permission to research a topic in-depth that you’ve been thinking about for some time, because you have to write a 10,000 word report at the end of it.”

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