Dickinson, 27, made his Test debut during the 2007 World Cup and has won 19 caps.
"Alasdair is another great signing for us," said Steve Diamond, Sale's executive director of sport.
"He has a very high work-rate and is a good scrummager. He will perfectly with what we are trying to achieve at the club."
Sale's 21-year-old centre Jonny Kennedy, though, has announced his retirement from the game after suffering a series of concussions.
Diamond added: "We are really disappointed for Jonny as he had fought his way back from a knee injury and was hitting form.
"His games in January saw him score three tries in three games, which deservedly won him the club's player of the month award.
"It's sad when a young player like Jonny has to leave the sport, but his health is more important and he has made the correct decision."
Kennedy, the son of Sale's millionaire owner Brian Kennedy, won under-20 international honours with Scotland.
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