Skip to main content

Law of the Sea - Master

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duration 3 semesters
Entry level Bachelor
Cost No tuition or monthly / annual payments

The programme will through its courses and master's thesis give the students a broad introduction and knowledge of the Law of the Sea, including its development and the political and institutional aspects. Students at the programme are taught by legal experts from the Faculty of Law and JCLOS as well as other institutions, such as intergovernmental organizations, international tribunals, academics and practitioners. The teaching includes lectures, problem-based seminars, writing courses, moot-court experiences and excursions to relevant institutions, where in all activities students are active participants.

The programme is intensive with a structure of three semesters through one calendar year, starting in August. The autumn semester consists of two introductory courses on the Law of the Sea and the politics of the Law of the Sea. The spring semester focuses on more specific topics on the Arctic and protection of the Marine Environment. In the third semester students select their own topic for an individual research project, which is to be completed during the summer.

Programme outline:


  • JUR-3050 General Law of the Sea

The course provides a general introduction to the Law of the Sea, i.e. the rules and principles of international public law that cover the maritime areas.

  • JUR-3054 General Law of the Sea II

The course bases on JUR-3050 and goes deeper into the selected topics.  


  • JUR-3052 Protection of the Marine Environment by International Law

The course focuses on the international legal rules concerning the protection of the marine environment from adverse effects of different human uses and the sustainable use of marine resources.

  • JUR-3053 Law of the sea and the Arctic

The course focuses on Law of the Sea and Arctic issues. The general Law of the Sea is applicable to the marine areas Arctic. But at the same time the region has special traits that must be considered. In this course, the students will have to apply the knowledge they have acquired during the previous courses on Arctic issues. Generally, the course therefore has the character of case studies, with special emphasis on the Arctic.


  • JUR-3910 Master's thesis in Law of the Sea

It consists of an obligatory thesis based on themes and questions from the Law of the Sea. The students will be provided with individual supervision. The thesis must be minimum 37 pages and maximum 55 pages, with formatting in accordance with the Regulations for the Law of the Sea program, section 14. The theme of the thesis shall be of a legal or semi-legal character, and may include perspectives such as legal theory, legal history. The thesis must consist of independent analyses of the theme and the legal sources available. The thesis shall provide the student with an in-depth study of a particular topic. The discussions of the thesis are to be transparent and as complete as possible. The references to the sources shall be precise and verifiable.

Structural components

Application procedure

Please, find more information of the application form and procedure HERE (

Learning outcomes

The candidates shall during the LL.M-programme acquire knowledge, skills and general competence enabling them to hold positions dealing with law of the sea issues. They shall be capable of identifying and analyzing legal questions and relate themselves to the legal system in an independent and critical manner.

To achieve these objectives the candidates are to acquire and develop the following qualifications:


An LL.M. candidate in the law of the sea shall have:

- Advanced knowledge on the central subjects of the law of the sea;

- Specialized knowledge on other subjects of the law of the sea;

- Knowledge on scientific research methods.


An LL.M. candidate in the law of the sea shall be able to:

- identify and analyze questions of theoretical and practical character in a methodological and ethical proper manner;

- apply the relevant sources of law independently and critically ;

- identify the limitations of existing law and discuss need for changes;

- independently undertake a limited research work under supervision in accordance with norms of research ethics;

- organize and apply extensive and complex information, including identifying main and sub- research questions;

- communicate in English both orally and in writing legal reasoning in a clear and precise manner;

- stay up to date on legal developments within the law of the sea and to further develop his/her qualifications.

The candidate shall be able to apply the knowledge and skills individually and in cooperation with others, as well as finalize tasks within given time frames.

General Competence:

After passing the program, the student can:

- Apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the field of the Law of the Sea individually and in cooperation with others.

- Communicate reasoning within the field of the Law of the Sea in a clear and precise manner, orally and in writing to the academic community and the public.

- Apply knowledge and skills acquired within the field of the Law of the Sea to other fields of international law, and for all tasks and projects where relevant.

- Identify and reflect on ethical dilemmas that may arise within the field of the Law of the Sea in particular and deal with these in a responsible manner.

- Apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the field of the Law of the Sea to carry out tasks within given timeframes.


Admission to the Master's programme in Law of the Sea requires a Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) in Law or equivalent qualification, such as three years duration in law or political science at university level. You must also document knowledge of the fundamentals of international law and international politics. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Norway, Europe, Canada, USA, Australia & New Zealand: An average grade of C is the minimum requirement. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than the above mentioned region/countries: An average grade of B or better. The average grade is calculated from the bachelor as a whole.

Applicants must enclose an essay of approximately 2 pages in English where they describe their background and motivation for taking this Master's degree. There are approximately 20 available places on the programme, where the best of applicants based on background, academic results and the motivational letter are admitted.

Applicants from Norway or Nordic countries:

  • The application deadline for Norwegian and other Nordic applicants is April 15th for admission to the autumn semester
  • Online application, study code 7001

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries:

  • The application deadline for international applicants is December 1st for admission to the autumn semester.
  • Online application, study code 2033.

ISCED Categories

Policy and governance
Marine and maritime law