About this course
Gain a maritime law qualification with our LLM Maritime Law master’s degree at the University of Southampton. We'll teach you the skills and practical knowledge to work in your chosen path on this flexible degree.
You’ll get to specialise in a choice of areas including marine insurance, admiralty law and arbitration law. Through our expert teachers and access to industry contacts, you’ll have a great opportunity to further your career in maritime law.
Shipping plays a central role in global trade, meaning that maritime law can offer a wide range of career opportunities.
With a global reputation for maritime research and world-leading academics, Southampton Law School is one of the best places in the UK to study for a master’s in maritime law. This degree combines the practical skills and theoretical knowledge you’ll need for a range of specialisms.
During your studies, you'll develop your knowledge through a grounding in areas like contract law, insurance and dispute resolution, amongst many others.
Southampton Law School is home to a vibrant port city and maritime institutions including:
- The Institute of Maritime Law
- The National Oceanography Centre Southampton
- The Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute
- The research division of Lloyd’s Register
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
You can also take a single module as part of continuing professional development (CPD). Explore modules that are available as CPD
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Dr Stephanie Law. She has research interests in European Union Law, Consumer Protection and Private International Law and European Civil Procedure.
You can visit her profile to learn more about her work.
LLM Maritime Law taster lecture
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in Law or a subject with at least 4 law modules.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
You’ll begin preparing for your dissertation during semester 1, and continue this work in semester 2.
For the last 4 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on a research project and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following module:
The dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue a piece of independent legal research on an issue of interest to you which may arise from one of the other units studied by you or as a result of your own curiosity concerning a particular legal problem...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Admiralty Law: Enforcement of Maritime Claims
The enforcement of claims through the Admiralty Court is crucial in maritime law. From the claimant’s perspective, many liabilities may be enforced through a claim in rem which is a prerequisite to the arrest of a ship. Ship arrest is one of the most powe...
Admiralty Law: Principles and Liabilities
Shipping plays a critical role in the global economy and is generally considered a very well-regulated part of the marine industry, not least internationally by the International Maritime Organization. However, sometimes things may still go wrong with shi...
The provision of credit is central to the financing of commercial activity. A significant factor dictating the availability and the terms governing the provision of credit is the ability of the borrower to provide security to the lender for the repayment ...
Business and Human Rights
Transnational corporations have a significant impact on the level of the enjoyment of human rights and often undermine their effectiveness, particularly in the Global South. This module examines corporate human rights abuses and the legal responses to the...
Companies are the business vehicle of choice world-wide and one of the key issues both for investors and for regulators is the structure, composition and responsibilities of the board of directors. The real power in a company tends to be concentrated in ...
Insurance is an essential condition to undertake commercial transactions or complex ventures, whatever their nature. As a foundation for commerce, insurance plays an important role in society, for commercial risk management as well as a safety net for und...
Intellectual Property Law in a Global World
To those interested in intellectual property (IP) law these are incredibly challenging and exciting times. At the EU level, debate around further harmonisation and review especially of copyright law has intensified over the past few years, and is very liv...
International Commercial Litigation
With the dramatic rise of international trade in the last two to three decades, conflict of laws, also known as private international law, has become a key mechanism for regulating transnational commercial relationships. As it provides the wider legal bac...
International Competition Law and Policy
Competition law, whether on an international or national level, is an important influence on companies' business strategy. Competition law plays a major role in trade and trade relations between countries. It is also an increasingly important element of t...
International Sale of Goods
International commodity sales, located in the centre of a commercial network, are the driving force for marine transportation and cargo insurance. The international commodity market (including oil, as well as grain, foodstuffs, bulk ore) accounts for over...
International Trade Finance
In every contract for international sale of goods, the trading parties need to agree a method of payment. The way of payment in fact represents the reconciliation between the conflicting interests involved in international trade transactions. The seller’s...
Law of the World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is a key facilitator of globalisation. It provides the legal framework for the regulation of international trade in goods and services through the pursuit of progressive reduction in barriers to trade. Underpinned by binding d...
Marine Environmental Law
This module studies the international regulatory framework for the marine environment, its achievements, shortcomings and future challenges. The law of the marine environment has taken shape over several decades, responding to challenges caused by shippin...
Marine Insurance: Cover and Practice
London has a strong marine insurance and reinsurance market. The English law on marine insurance developed by the market and by the judiciary have influenced the legal principles of marine insurance globally. This module introduces marine insurance practi...
Marine Insurance: Law and Principles
Marine insurance is the key device for the management of risk in international trade. London remains the leading global centre for its practice, covering risks from across the globe. Marine insurance contracts made under English law, and litigated and arb...
Navigational Law and Practice
Hardly any other principle of international maritime law is so universally recognised as the freedom of navigation, and particularly navigation iure communicationis. Therefore, incidents involving the exercise of traditional passages or emerging navigati...
Principles of Commercial Arbitration
This module covers the principles of English arbitration law, apart from consumer arbitrations; hence the inclusion of the word "commercial" in the title. This module is a pre-requisite for Advanced Commercial Arbitration. In commerce, arbitration is o...
Selected Principles of the International Law of the Sea
The International Law of the Sea is a specialist topic within public international law concerning the control and use of the sea. It has a long history in customary international law, though in more recent times much of it has been codified in the 1982 Un...
The Law on Bills of Lading
Bills of lading and analogous shipping documents play important roles in the carriage of goods by sea. In this module you will study the functions of a bill of lading, cargo claims under the Hague-Visby Rules and rights of suit at both common law and sta...
The Law on Charterparties
This module introduces you to the law governing charterparties which are maritime contracts between shipowners and charterers for the hire of a ship for the carriage of cargo (or passengers) and as such form a critical part of the law governing the carri...
Learning and assessment
You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars and guided independent study. During your studies, we'll encourage you to explore and debate a range of topics with other students, deliver presentations and even argue for a case in trial court proceedings, known as a moot.
You will enhance your legal knowledge and develop important skills in areas such as:
- critical appraisal
- logical reasoning
Some lectures and seminars will be run by legal and maritime professionals, including judges, ship brokers and representatives from classification societies.
You’ll take part in the LLM challenge, where you’ll work in a team to debate a current topic and compete for a small prize. This is a chance to exercise your intellect and develop your talents for collaboration and leadership.
Depending on the modules that you take, you'll be assessed through a mixture of:
- coursework assignments
- your compulsory dissertation
This is an opportunity to carry out independent legal research on an issue that interests you. You’ll use the knowledge and skills you have learned to write a 15,000-word dissertation over 16 weeks at the end of the programme.
A personal academic tutor will advise you throughout your course, and you can talk to your module tutors about any subject-specific questions.
As an LLM graduate, you’ll be able to work in specialist maritime organisations. Southampton graduates are regularly sought after by these firms:
- Campbell Johnson Clark
- White & Case
- Ince & Co
- Reed Smith
- Addleshaw Goddard
- Clyde & Co
- Burges Salmon
LLM graduates also often work in Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs including:
- Britannia Steam Ship
- The Standard Club
You will be invited to our Law Careers Fair to meet with a wide range of important shipping companies and law firms.
Through our business links, we can offer monetary awards and placements to high-performing students, offering unique opportunities to build professional experience and networks.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £22,136.
When you accept your offer to study on this course you’ll be asked to pay a deposit. This is non-refundable. The deposit amount is:
- UK students: £250
- EU and international students: £1,000
Full terms and conditions and details of how to pay this deposit will be sent to you in your offer letter.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Law Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for a postgraduate master’s in Law.
Find out more about the Southampton Law Postgraduate International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 7 July 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000