Abstract This paper describes a new variant of established stimulated echo pulse sequences, and an analytical method for determining diffusion or dispersion coefficients for Gaussian or non-Gaussian displacement distributions. The unipolar displacement encoding PFGSTE sequence uses trapezoidal gradient pulses of equal amplitude g and equal ramp rates throughout while sampling positive and negative halves of q-space. Usefully, the equal gradient amplitudes and gradient ramp rates help to reduce the impact of experimental artefacts caused by residual amplifier transients, eddy currents, or ferromagnetic hysteresis in components of the NMR magnet. The pulse sequence was validated with measurements of diffusion in water and of dispersion in flow through a packing of spheres. The analytical method introduced here permits the robust determination of the variance of non-Gaussian, dispersive displacement distributions. The noise sensitivity of the analytical method is shown to be negligible, using a demonstration experiment with a non-Gaussian longitudinal displacement distribution, measured on flow through a packing of mono-sized spheres.