Mediation and Conflict Resolution Training

The University of St Andrews Mediation Service provides a variety of conflict resolution workshops. They are designed to equip and support everyone to develop advanced communication skills, grow in resilience and find constructive ways to navigate disagreement and conflict.

We are accredited by Scottish Mediation to deliver Mediation training. This practical training is available to those within the university and the wider community.

If you are interested in any of our courses, email for an exploratory discussion, or find more information below.

We are delighted to offer a limited number of funded places to individuals, including students, who are domiciled in Scotland. To confirm your eligibility, and to apply for a funded place, please email with 'Accredited Training - Upskilling Funding' in the subject line.

Those who are interested, but are not employed in the third sector or in public bodies, are welcome to join the course at the standard rate of £1800. 


Accredited Mediation Training

Our five-day accredited mediation training takes place twice a year. The next in-person training is scheduled for .  We are also exploring a 5-week online option for 28th of May - 27th of June 2024 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Our courses are delivered by the Mediation Service and accredited by Scottish Mediation.  We provide this practical training to groups both within the University and in the wider community. If you are interested in finding out more or registering for the course, please email or book now at our online shop.

Those within the University who take part in the training, become part of the Mediation Service and are encouraged to participate in external and internal mediations as well as continued professional development (CPD) to gain experience and gain eligibility to join the Scottish Mediation Register.

Course descriptor and learning outcomes

A 40 hour course, inclusive of assessment. The course consists of pre-course reading and includes a minimum of 20 hours of practical experience and 15 hours of home-study.

Aim:  To provide participants with a clear theoretical and practical training course in mediation skills identified in the Scottish Mediation’s Guidance on Mediator Competency.

Objective:  For participants to become confident in their knowledge, skills, and ability to mediate disputes in accordance with the Scottish Mediation Practice Standards for Mediators and Code of Practice.

Cost: £1800, including training, assessment, refreshments and course materials. Upskilling funding may be available to cover the cost of the course. To find out if you might be eligible please contact

Learning outcomes

  1. An understanding of conflict theory
  2. Awareness of personal responses to conflict and different conflict
    management styles
  3. An understanding of the basic principles underpinning mediation
  4. A theoretical understanding of how and why mediation works
  5. Enhanced communication and negotiation skills
  6. Practical experience in using mediation skills and techniques
  7. An understanding of the role of a mediator and how a mediator works
  8. An understanding of the importance of reflective practice and CPD
    (Continuing Practice Development)
  9. An overview of different models of mediation and contexts
  10. An introduction to psychological biases and how difference impacts
  11. An introduction to noticing and acknowledging the role of thoughts and
    emotions in mediation
  12. An understanding of equality and diversity issues and the ethics of mediation
  13. Knowledge of how mediation fits within the Law
  14. Knowledge of relevant Scottish Mediation practice guidelines and

The course will focus on the above learning outcomes, using continuous assessment
against the Scottish Mediation Guidance on Mediator Competency. It will be delivered
by an experienced accredited SMN Registered mediator and trainers, over a period
of five individual days. Usually, training days will run from 9.00am till 5.00pm with
a short break for lunch. There is often an earlier finish time on the final assessment

There will be fifteen hours of home study built into the learning, with assessments.
Students are also expected to keep a portfolio evidencing their learning and
reflective practice.      

Training Methods

These will include workshop exercises, home-study, recommended reading list, role-
play, skills practice, written and reflective exercises, and trainer input. The course
will be interactive, with trainers and peers providing on-going feedback and
reflections throughout.                                                                          


Mediator and trainer Ruth UnsworthRuth Unsworth is a qualified and experienced Mediator, Psychotherapist, and Church of Scotland Minister. Ruth is registered with Scottish Mediation and is also accredited as a Psychotherapist by the BACBP, the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK. Ruth is the Head of Mediation and Wellbeing at the University of St Andrews and has worked at the University for over 15 years. Ruth develops and leads conflict resolution training for student and staff groups internally and externally. Ruth has used mediation in a range of settings. She has worked with homeless young people, public sector and third sector agencies, to develop services for young homeless people in and around Glasgow. As a minister of the Church of Scotland, she has used mediation skills to develop different support groups for people impacted by domestic violence and drug abuse. Ruth has worked with congregations who had to decide whether to unite and whether to give up buildings they loved. She also worked in Zambia with NGOs, Government educational officials, teachers, parents, and children seeking to find a solution to different perspectives of conduct.

Ruth worked in Student Services as a psychotherapist and as a director. Ruth developed the Wellbeing, Counselling and Mental Health Matched Care framework that received accreditation from APPTS (Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapies Services) (a service development, quality improvement and accreditation network for services providing psychological therapy to adults in the UK run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in partnership with the British Psychological Society). Ruth has many years’ experience of working with students; providing therapy and helping to resolve disagreement or conflict situations.

Ruth is the Chair of the University Mental Health Taskforce. As Chair of the Equally Safe Group, Ruth led the pilot for the Emily Test, which involved facilitating a series of focus groups using the Brave Space model designed to ensure conversations are civil, the multiple voices are heard, participants own their actions and have responsibility for the wellbeing of all, challenges are made respectfully without personal attacks.

Trainer Rebecca SwarbrickRebecca Swarbrick is Deputy Head of Mediation for Mediation and Wellbeing, training mediators and running conflict resolution workshops. She is is a qualified and experienced mediator, registered with Scottish Mediation. Rebecca has an M(Phil) Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution from Trinity College Dublin and has worked for small charities and schools.



A picture of mediator Louise NixonLouise Nixon is the Deputy Director of Human Resources at the University of St Andrews. She has experience of working in many private sector organisations as well as other public sector bodies, all within the HR profession, prior to joining the University in 2006. Louise is a qualified mediator.  She led several workplace mediations as an individual mediator as well as engaging in co-mediation and many facilitated meetings using the principles of mediation to help resolve conflict.  More recently, Louise has been involved in student mediation. 

Assessment, certification and further information


The course includes three formative home study assignments and two summative
assessments. The summative assessments are:

  1. A written reflective exercise.
  2. An observed role-play.

Student logs will also form part of the assessment as evidence of reflective practice
and learning. Students will receive on-going feedback from trainers and peers
throughout their training aligned with the Scottish Mediation competency framework.

In the event that a student does not meet the required standard, there will be an opportunity for a re-sit.                                                                           


Upon successful completion of the course, certificates will be provided.

If students wish to become registered with Scottish Mediation,
please see Scottish Mediation Practice Standards for
If you have questions about registration, contact

Once students have successfully completed training, they will become members of
The Mediation Service Alumni and are welcome to attend Alumni events.

Code of Practice

The Mediation Service adheres to the Scottish Mediation Practice Guidelines for Mediators and the Code of Practice for Mediation in Scotland.

Equality and Diversity

The Mediation Service, as part of the University of St Andrews, is fully committed to
respect and fair treatment for everyone, eliminating discrimination and actively
promoting equality of opportunity and delivering fairness to all.

All staff operate under the University’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy.


The Mediation Service is insured through the University of St Andrews insurance.


Initially, complaints are addressed informally by the trainer.

If this does not resolve matters, please contact the Head of Wellbeing and Mediation who will seek to resolve the issue using mediation.

Should this also not result in a resolution, please use the University Complaints procedure.

In addition, when our internal complaints handling process has been exhausted, the
complainant can make a complaint to the Scottish Mediation ‘Committee
for Excellence in Mediation’.

Conflict resolution workshops for students and staff