PgCert, PGDip, MA Maritime Security

General information

Maritime Security is one of the most dynamic and expanding sectors in the security industry with an impact on development efforts, insurance, international law, and global shipping. It encompasses the headline issue of piracy alongside other security challenges such as trafficking by sea, illegal fishing and port security.

The MA Maritime Security is a high-quality postgraduate qualification, shaped by research-active staff and by real world events, providing an opportunity to study in a friendly and supportive learning environment.

The MA is open to anyone with the requisite qualifications, and is targeted at preparing people to enter into a career in fields relating to Maritime Security (e.g. shipping, the security sector, law, insurance, development, international relations and diplomacy) or to enhance the career opportunities of those already working within such fields.

This programme can also be studied at postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma level, and is offered via blended learning or distance learning.

Qualifications available

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Maritime Security (8 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Maritime Security (16 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Full Term MA Maritime Security (24 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Maritime Security (16 months by blended/distance-learning Fast-Track MA (APEL*))

“The type of knowledge gained by students interested in careers in both seafaring and port security by the outstanding sharing of wisdom and experience of highly regarded professionals who are teaching the programme at Coventry is exceptional, and IAMSP is proud to be connected with this type of programme that escalates the overall professional standing of the industry”.
International Association of Maritime Security Professionals

What will I study?

At the Postgraduate Certificate stage, you will study three core modules:

  • Peace, Conflict and Security in the 21st Century
  • Introduction to Maritime Security: Theory, Concepts and Key Perspectives
  • Maritime Security in the 21st Century: Challenges and Responses

At  the Postgraduate Diploma stage, students study three modules:

  • Privatisation of International Security
  • Complexity in Protective Security
  • Environment, Conflict and Sustainability

The final stage in your Masters qualification is the CTPSR Dissertation. Supported by a subject expert from our Centre, you will design and conduct a piece of academic research, from developing a proposal through to presenting your findings. Students are able to choose a topic close to them or relevant to their work whilst developing their research skills for use in their career or further study. Some use the experience to prepare for a PhD or career in research.

Programme Structure. At each stage of the programme you will have the opportunity to attend a short, residential workshop (up to 5 days) to cover the core learning for one module.   The all-inclusive workshops are covered in the course fees and we strongly encourage attendance to condense your learning and as a way of meeting face-to-face with staff and other students, starting to build your network.  (Please note: Accommodation is provided but you will need to organise and finance your travel including any visa costs.  Residential workshops may be held in the UK in Coventry or London, or internationally depending on where students are based.)

In addition to the residential workshops, the programme is delivered through online module materials, small group tutoring and independent study, allowing you to fit your studies around other commitments.  Students unable to attend the workshops will receive additional contact time and can study independently using online materials. 

Starting in September each year the Postgraduate Certificate is designed to be studied over approximately 8 months either by blended learning or distance learning. The MA is designed to be studied over approximately 24 months either by blended learning or distance learning.

We also offer a 15 month fast track route to the MA to those applicants who can sufficiently evidence prior (experiential) learning. Please refer to the admissions criteria below and contact the Postgraduate Programme Manager for further information

“The course structure and delivery method is perfectly blended to suit the needs of those individuals who do not have the time to attend a campus-based course”.
MA Maritime Security alumnus

Student support. You will be well supported throughout your studies with a range of services and guidance to help you get the most out of your programme.

Students are provided with a range of pre-enrolment materials to better prepare them for their studies.  Online modules are provided through the virtual learning environment (Moodle) to facilitate communications between staff and students, and between students.  You will have access to Coventry University’s library, including its digital resources and library support for distance learners.

Extensive coursework feedback and support from the programme team will be provided, and every student is allocated a personal tutor from the moment of enrolment offering pastoral and academic skills support. For those writing a dissertation, a supervisor will be allocated.

You will be also be able to access a portfolio of non-credit bearing academic skills modules and support to develop your research and writing skills, as well as Coventry University’s Careers and Employability Service for support with developing your career following your studies.

Contact Information

International and EU students: Enquire Now


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0421 - Marine and maritime law", "1031 - Maritime security


Venue: Coventry University
Coventry, United Kingdom



Fees (2016/17):

  • Home/EU
    £7,900 (MA)
    £5,266 (PGDip)
    £2,633 (PGCert) (per year)
  • Overseas
    £7,900 (MA)
    £5,266 (PGDip)
    £2,633 (PGCert) (per year)


Admission Criteria. Applications can be submitted from April 2016 for courses commencing in September 2016.  All applications will be evaluated individually on a case-by-case basis.  Ordinarily, the minimum entry criteria for each stage (PGCert, PGDip & MA) of the Maritime Security programme are as follows:

Applicants should hold a honours degree at 2:2 or above (or equivalent international grade/qualification), from a recognised University, preferably in a social science subject (e.g. Peace and Conflict Studies, International Relations, Politics, Development Studies).


Applications from those not possessing a honours degree at 2:2 or above in a relevant subject area are also considered and decisions are based on a careful evaluation of the applicant’s capacity to complete the programme successfully, including assessment, where appropriate, through an admissions interview and review of a writing sample.  In these cases an applicant must have a minimum of three years evidenced working experience in a field relevant to Maritime Security (e.g. shipping, the security sector, law, insurance, development, international relations and diplomacy).


For non-native English speakers, the entry requirement is English language proficiency at IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Where applicants do not hold up-to-date IELTS certification, we will look at whether an applicant has previously studied and successfully completed a Higher Education qualification in English.  Where an applicant does not hold such a qualification entry will be at the discretion of the CTPSR, ordinarily decided by the relevant Course Director. Here CTPSR will assess English language proficiency through multiple means, potentially including but not limited to, a review of application documents, references, a writing sample, and via a telephone/Skype interview.

Prerequisites. By providing an opportunity to study online, our students will be able to accredit their previous experience and reflect on it by combining theory and practice. To integrate such previous experience in to the study programme, all applicants are assessed individually by the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). This involves submitting a portfolio, detailing professional achievements which demonstrate practical experience of working in fields related to maritime security. A successful APEL portfolio is awarded 120 Credits of the Masters programme.  

Relevant academic qualifications are desirable but not essential. Non-native English speakers are required to provide evidence of English language skills to the level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent (see English Language Requirements). Please note that all eligible applicants will have an admissions interview, normally by telephone. In order to clarify your possible eligibility for the APEL process and suitability for the course, please contact us directly for further information.

Application Procedure:

In order to make an application, you need to complete an online application form. The application forms are different for UK/EU students and international students. Please visit the following 'How to Apply' links for more information: UK/EU applicants, International applicants. You will  need to attach the following documents to your online application.

  • a full CV
  • evidence of academic (e.g. degree certificate) and, if relevant, English language qualifications
  • a completed APEL form
  • two references: one of which should ideally be from your current supervisor (work/academic). Each referee should complete the Referee form

Application deadline: the MA runs from January to January with completed applications being received throughout the year. However, applicants wishing to be considered for a Ferguson Trust scholarship must submit a completed course application together with a scholarship application by September. 

Apply now or for further enquiries about this programme please contact Samima Hussain, Postgraduate Programmes Manager at or telephone +44 (0)24 77 659059.

Grant Opportunities:

This programme offers several opportunites for scholarships:

  • Ferguson Trust Scholarships: are made available through the generosity of The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust. The competition for Ferguson Trust scholarships is intense and the applications are of a very high standard. Firstly, you should check the Scholarship Terms and Conditions for eligibility; secondly you must complete and submit the online scholarship form before the deadline.
  • Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC): the ELC Scheme is a Ministry of Defence (UK) initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. Coventry University allows individuals to utilise the scheme to provide financial support for this online Maritime Security MA course. Click here for further details.
  • The Marine Society: Eligible applicants may also apply to the Marine Society for financial support to undertake the Maritime Security MA. Applications for Marine Society funding should only be made once an offer of a place on the MA has been received. Further information can be found on the Marine Society website.


 Qualifications available:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Maritime Security (8 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Maritime Security (16 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Full Term MA in Peace and Conflict Studies (24 months by blended/distance-learning).
  • Fast-Track MA (APEL) in Peace and Conflict Studies (15 months).


Academic level: Master, Lifelong Learning
Occupations (not validated):
Spotted a mistake in this page? Click here to request a change.