LLM Maritime Law

General information

The seas connect people and countries, enabling them to trade and develop. Ships carrying cargoes are worth millions of dollars and the cargo often even more. Delays, damages from collisions, grounding, pollution, negligence of the crew in the care of cargo and plunder by pirates are only some of the risks faced by those involved in maritime trading. The way the risk of loss and potential financial ruin is allocated among the parties depends on the legal arrangements in place and the statutory provisions applicable. Coastal states face degradation of the marine environment from shipping accidents or reckless operational practices. Maritime law deals with the commercial, regulatory, insurance and environmental aspects of trade. Furthermore it deals with the competition between states for marine living and non-living resources which create friction and possibly conflicts.

Maritime law is a complex and fascinating specialised area of law. It brings together many aspects of law (e.g. contract, tort, bailment, agency) together with a plethora of international conventions attempting to harmonise the legal arrangements between states in order to facilitate trade and reduce conflict. Taught by internationally renowned experts, the LLM Maritime Law develops the skillset required to advise, litigate and negotiate based on the rules of admiralty, international trade, marine insurance, carriage of goods by sea and air, ship sale, purchase and finance, marine environmental law, dispute resolution and the public international law of the sea. The Institute of Maritime Law, an integral part of the Southampton Law School and an internationally leading maritime law institute provides seminars and access to its specialised library in support of your dissertation. The LLM in Maritime Law is a challenging and prestigious qualification attracting ambitious lawyers from around the world who wish to specialise and engage with the shipping sector. A small number of seafarers, ship and yacht masters and shipping professionals enrich each year the student cohort bringing practical experience and a different perspective. The international character of the course is matched by the diverse origins of the lecturers forming a truly global community reflective of the major characteristic of shipping.

The LLM Maritime law is a modular programme which permits you to select four maritime or commercial modules thus tailoring the content of the degree to reflect your strengths, interests and ambitions. Whether you wish to focus on commercial liabilities (“dry shipping”), the liabilities arising from the ship’s operation (“wet shipping”), or issues concerning the resolution of international disputes, environmental issues, or learn the legal complexities of who and what governs the oceans, you will find a module which reflects your interests. The modules are taught by enthusiastic academics at the cutting edge of law reform dedicated to their subjects and proud to be part of a team that has been delivering this successful programme for several decades.

Core modules: Dissertation - LLM

Option modules

Internet Law Law of the marine environment
Admiralty Law Principles of Secured Transactions
Carriage of Goods by Sea Advanced Secured Transactions
Commercial Conflict of Laws & International Litigation Corporate Governance of Boards
International Commercial Arbitration Fundamentals of Public International Law
International Law of the Sea Dispute Settlement in International Law
Insurance Law Corporate Governance – Shareholders’ Rights and Responsibilities
International Trade Law Marine Insurance
Carriage by Air  


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

0421 - Marine and maritime law


Venue: University of Southampton
Southampton , United Kingdom

Southampton Law School
Highfield Campus


Fees 2016/2017 UK/EU International Channel islands
Full time £7500 £15920 £ 9000
Part time £ 3750 £ 7960 £ 4500



Degree Requirements 
An Upper Second Class Bachelors Degree in Law (or a degree with a substantial legal component) is normally required, but account may also be taken of practical work experience or professional qualifications within the relevant field of study. We welcome applications from international students. Mature applicants without formal qualifications but relevant work experience are also encouraged to apply. Access to the internet, Word Processor (MS Word compatible) and an email address are also required; webcams desirable.
Progression to this MSc programme
You are able to progress to this MSC programme via the University's Pre-Masters programme.
If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning.

Language Requirements
In accordance with University regulations, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competency in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English. Alternatively, you should supply evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English. The following test scores are accepted for direct entry: 

  • IELTS 7.0 with 6.0 in each component.
  • A score of IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in each component together with satisfactory completion of the six week LLM Pre-sessional programme on English legal language and skills will be accepted.

Application Procedure:

To apply you need to complete and submit an online application form. You must also upload the following supporting documentation, preferably be in PDF format, as part of the application process:

  • academic transcript
  • degree certificate
  • English language certificate (IELTS or equivalent) except those from English exempt countries
  • CV and personal statement
  • two reference letters.

*Please Note: If at the time of application you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree or met our English language requirements, we will still be able to make you a conditional offer.

Application Deadline: there is no University deadline for applications. You should apply as early as possible if you need to secure a UK visa or if you are applying for funding or sponsorship. 

Grant Opportunities:

For more information please click here.


Academic level: Master


The LLM is taught with a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials and guided independent study in order to develop students’ skills of analysis of relevant legal materials, the identification of the key legal and policy issues, and the appraisal of solutions available. Lectures, seminars and tutorials will develop clarity and objectivity in the application of legal principles, the drafting of legal advice and the critical appraisal of law. These skills will be further developed through the production of written work (assessed and non-assessed), written feedback and later through collaboration with dissertation supervisors during the dissertation drafting. 
Formal examinations and assignments will assess students’ abilities in relation to the learning outcomes of the LLM Programme, as far as written discussion is concerned. Furthermore, the dissertation will give students the opportunity to bring together all of the skills developed and acquired throughout the LLM. Oral capabilities are mainly formatively rather than summatively assessed. This means that the oral assessments will not provide significant weighting of marks towards the degree, but provide a source of feedback to you on these skills.

Qualification: Master of Law

Occupations (not validated):
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