All About LLMs LLM courses, news & advice. All good. All in one place.

You know you want to...

LLM Maritime Law

An LLM in Maritime Law, also referred to as shipping law, will cover aspects of what is called ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ shipping. Wet shipping involves anything which happens at sea, for example an accident during a voyage; dry is anything else which occurs on dry land, such as shipbuilding and ownership issues.

A maritime law course will allow you to study the regulations, legal procedures and complications of transportation and trade at sea at an in-depth level. There is a strong focus on the international aspects of this area of law, and as issues such as the environment and terrorism become ever more prevalent there have been some interesting recent developments in maritime law.

Core modules

Module choice will vary according to each institution; however, an LLM in this specialist area will tend to cover subjects such as:

  • Carriages of goods by the sea
  • Marine insurance
  • International trade law, including the Merchant Act
  • International law of the sea
  • International commercial law.

Course structure

LLM Maritime Law students will have to select and complete a set number of modules (assessed by a piece of writing for each) and produce at least one extended essay/piece of research (usually a dissertation) on their specialist subject. As a subject LLM, most LLM Maritime Law courses tend to be ‘taught’ programmes; law schools who run LLM by Research programmes may be interested in proposals related to this area of law.  

A few institutions in the UK run specialised LLM Maritime Law courses, including City University, University of Southampton, University of Nottingham and Swansea University. London Metropolitan University offers a LLM Maritime Law Top-up via distance learning, aimed at individuals already working in the industry or practising in maritime law. Some courses benefit from the contributions of guest speakers who are experts in this field.

Entry Requirements for LLM Maritime Law

Students should generally have a good undergraduate degree in law or the equivalent. Some law schools may also accept non-law graduates or those with relevant experience; in these instances individuals will need to have at least some knowledge of the law.

By Jos Weale, Editor,