The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

M1M2 LLB (Hons) Maritime Law (3 years)

Learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the world’s leading centres for maritime law. One of just a few specialist undergraduate degrees of its kind in the UK, this LLB Maritime Law will prepare you for an exciting career in the global maritime industry.

Introducing your degree

Southampton Law School is home to the prestigious Institute of Maritime Law, which has a global reputation for maritime expertise. This comprehensive, research-led LLB programme covers all the subjects required for a qualifying law degree while giving you the freedom to develop your interest in maritime law through your choice of optional modules.

As you would expect from a Russell Group university, you will be taught by active researchers who bring the latest legal developments to the curriculum. They are leading experts in maritime and commercial law; many are authors of key text books in their specialist areas. Designed to challenge and inspire, the programme will give you an in-depth knowledge of the law together with strong critical thinking and communication skills. You will graduate with a degree that is highly regarded by employers, ready for an exciting career in international maritime law, commerce and related industries.


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Our LLB Maritime Law is designed to build over three years from foundation subjects through to expert specialist knowledge.

View the programme specification document for this course


Our LLB programmes are formally accredited by the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Council of England and Wales as qualifying law degrees (QLD) for students wishing to undertake further professional training to become solicitors or barristers.

Programme Structure

This is a full-time degree course taught over three years.

When you arrive, you will take part in a comprehensive induction exercise designed to help you get to know your fellow students and develop your teamwork skills in preparation for starting your first-year law studies.

Compulsory modules in years one and two cover the ‘foundations of legal knowledge’ (such as criminal law, contract and land law) required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board in order to achieve a qualifying law degree.

The first year also includes compulsory Legal Systems and Legal Skills modules, the former designed to build your understanding of the legal system and the latter to develop the key analytical skills that are essential to success in your studies and your future career.

Your module choices increase as you progress through the course. In year one, you will choose one of two specially designed optional modules, Historical Development of the Common Law or Philosophical Perspectives on the Common Law, which will help you put the law into a broader context of time and theory.

In year two, you can choose two modules from a range that includes an introduction to commercial and maritime law, commercial arbitration law and an introduction to public international law.

In year three, you will specialise further by choosing four maritime law modules, on topics such as admiralty law, carriage of goods by sea, conflict of laws and international trade finance. You will also have a choice of two further modules, again, from a wide selection, and you may choose to complement your maritime knowledge or broaden your horizons to other areas of interest. Topics include home ownership, youth justice, cybercrime law, company law, insurance, maritime and commercial law, child support law, human rights and public international law, criminal justice, international trade and intellectual property law. You may choose to take an interdisciplinary module, depending on your interests, for example, in global challenges or social enterprise, or perhaps a language module.

In the final year, in addition, you will take the compulsory Legal Research and Writing module, which further develops your independent research skills and culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation. You choose the research topic and complete your dissertation with support from your academic supervisor.

Professional and transferable skills

As you would expect from a research-led, Russell Group law school, embedding transferable skills across the curriculum is important to ensure you are well equipped for your future career, hence:

  • You will be helped to improve your critical analysis and problem-solving skills.
  • Your presentations skills will be developed through participation in tutorials and mooting competitions (a specialised form of legal debate, essentially a mock case). In the first year, you will take part in a moot judged by external legal practitioners, which is intended to help you improve your skills in constructing and presenting an argument.
  • Library and other exercises are designed to help you develop appropriate research and writing skills.

Research-led education

The University’s unrivalled reputation for excellence in maritime and marine research has attracted leading maritime law specialists to Southampton Law School; these will be your lecturers and tutors on the LLB Maritime Law. They are actively involved in cutting-edge research within the School’s highly regarded Institute of Maritime Law and closely engaged in law reform, nationally and internationally.

Our expert academics include:

Professional links

Our strong links with the legal profession enhance your career options.

  • Solicitors and barristers – many of them former students – regularly visit to give guest lectures and career talks, giving you helpful insights into the profession and how to build a career.
  • The Institute of Maritime Law runs weekly seminars with external speakers, which provide an opportunity to hear from shipbrokers, representatives from the classification societies and other legal and maritime professionals.  
  • Our links with the profession mean that we can offer a range of prizes and placements for high-performing LLB students, including in the area of maritime law, sponsored by leading law firms. Winning a prize can enhance your CV and boost your employment prospects.

 There are opportunities to get involved, for example by:

      • applying for a place on one of our prestigious marshalling schemes, shadowing a senior member of the judiciary in the High Court or Court of Appeal.
      • working with legal professionals to provide advice through the Housing Clinic or Small Business Clinic
      • researching a legal topic to present to sixth-form college students as part of the Streetlaw programme

In addition, you can get involved in one of our many student-led societies, which include the University of Southampton Law Society, Inns of Court Society, Mooting Society, Lawyers without Borders and the Canadian Law Society. These groups hold employability skills workshops, mooting competitions, guest lectures and networking events.

Key Facts

Southampton Law School has an international reputation for excellence in maritime law research and education.

One of only a few specialist maritime law LLB programmes offered in the UK.

Informed by research conducted within the Law School’s world-renowned Institute of Maritime Law.

Covers all the subjects required for a qualifying law degree.

Choose from an unrivalled selection of maritime modules in the third year, including admiralty law, carriage of goods by sea, conflict of laws, international commodity sales and international trade finance.

Taught by academics of international standing, many of whom write the key text books in their areas of expertise.

Join a close-knit, friendly learning community in which you will be challenged and supported to achieve your ambitions.

Southampton is a port city that is key to the global maritime industry.

Prepare for a role in international maritime law, commerce and related industries; our graduates’ career destinations include leading maritime law firms.

Annual Careers Fair

Students can attend our annual fair

Find out more

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Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSESouthampton Law School requires all applicants to achieve at least a Grade 4 (taken in England) or a Grade C (where taken in Northern Ireland or Wales) in English and Mathematics. If you are taking an alternative Mathematics qualification please contact our admissions team via
A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAA or for students taking the Extended Project Qualification in the same year as their A2 exams, AAB at A level plus A in the EPQ. Applicants should offer at least two traditional, academic subjects.

Dance, General Studies, Photography, Moving Images, Physical Education, Practical Art, Practical Music, Sports Studies, Textiles, and Travel & Tourism are not accepted subjects.

International Baccalaureate36 points overall (18 at higher level). An equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University is considered, so please contact us if you require advice on equivalency. LNAT (Law National Admissions Test) is not required.
Other qualifications

We welcome students with other qualifications eg European or Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and Irish Leaving Certificates.

We also welcome applications from overseas students offering foundation programmes with a substantial amount of academic study. Less than half the programme should be English language tuition and you will be expected to reach a high standard in your programme comparable to our A level requirements.

For more details on the suitability of your qualifications or foundation programme please contact the Admissions Team at

International Foundation Year

International students who do not currently meet our entry requirements may be able to join this course on successful completion of our International Foundation Year. Find out more about the Foundation Year.

English Language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved test prior to joining the University in October. The University’s English Language entry requirement for the Law School programme is;

An overall IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.5 in each component, or equivalent

The link below takes you to a complete list of the other English language qualifications accepted.

Test results should be less than two years old at the time of expected registration at the University of Southampton and must be verified before admission.

If you do not meet the University’s English Language entry requirements for direct entry onto our programmes, you may be eligible to study on one of the University’s pre-sessional English language courses. For further information on these pre-sessional programmes, please visit the Centre for Language Studies website.

Returners to Learning

We welcome applications from returners to learning who are over 23 years of age at the start of your proposed degree programme. You will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (e.g. Access, Return to Education, Open University Foundation Courses). You will be required to undertake a test and interview to determine your academic suitability to pursue the programme.

Selection process:

Entrance qualifications for this programme are the same as for all other LLB programmes

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.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is AAB from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University (the excluded subjects above will still apply).

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The following modules are compulsory, core or optional for this course. Core modules are required to be passed within all Qualifying Law Degrees, for progression to professional training.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

Semester One
LAWS1020Credit: 30
LAWS1026Credit: 30
LAWS1021Credit: 15
LAWS1024Credit: 15
Semester Two
LAWS1023Credit: 15

1 Option module from:


LAWS1020Credit: 30
LAWS1026Credit: 30

Year 2

Semester One

1 Option module from:

LAWS2024Credit: 15
LAWS2026Credit: 15
LAWS2040Credit: 30
LAWS2019Credit: 30
LAWS2044Credit: 15
Semester Two

1 Option module from:

LAWS2040Credit: 30

Year 3


must choose three Option modules in Semester 1 and three Option modules in Semester 2. For this programme, you must choose at least four Options in total, across the two semesters from the Maritime Law modules below making a total of 30 ECTS (60 CATS). For the remaining 15 ECTS (30 CATS) you can choose from the other Options listed below. The Law School will normally offer a collection of 26 option modules at Part 3 during each academic year.

Also note that you can only choose ONE CIP or language module (worth 7.5 ECTS/15 CATS in the year, it can be in either Semester 1 or 2



Semester One

2 Option modules from:

LAWS3143Credit: 15

1 Option module from:

LAWS3143Credit: 15
LAWS3137Credit: 15
LAWS3101Credit: 15

Law and the Human Body

LAWS3083Credit: 15
LAWS3089Credit: 15
LAWS3140Credit: 15
LAWS3150Credit: 15

CIP Module outside School of Law

LAWS3052Credit: 30

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
LLB (Hons) Maritime Law2018Full-time£9,250£16,536
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student.
OtherSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

The Law School’s dedicated careers and employability coordinator runs an extensive programme of events and activities designed to boost your career prospects. These include:

  • an annual law careers fair attended by around 50 law firms, including the ‘magic circle’ of five top law firms.
  • a one-week Employability Skills Programme to help you develop key transferable skills, which includes practitioner-led events.
  • presentations and workshops led by prestigious law firms including a writing skills clinic led by a former partner of a 'magic circle' firm.
  • visits to law firms, local courts, social security and employment tribunals.
  • talks about postgraduate opportunities for those considering further studies.

You will graduate from a highly-regarded school with an in-depth knowledge of the law and the ability to think independently and communicate effectively – a firm foundation for a career in law as a solicitor or barrister. You will also be well placed for success in global maritime law firms and industry, whether in shipping companies or commodity houses or working for marine or maritime-related government agencies. Our graduates work in law firms, barristers’ chambers, industry, and in governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide.

Alternatively, you could decide to continue your studies at postgraduate level, perhaps by joining the Law School’s prestigious LLM Maritime Law programme. 

Learning & Assessment

You will learn through a combination of lectures, small-group seminars and tutorials, and through independent study. Our inspiring academics use a range of teaching methods to enhance your learning experience, for example, highly interactive lectures that incorporate digital voting tools and social media. 

Problem-solving tasks, group exercises, and case studies help to consolidate your knowledge and demonstrate its application to real-world scenarios and current topics.

Assessment methods vary depending on your chosen modules, but most are assessed through exams and/or written assignments. Your dissertation also contributes to your final degree classification. Your tutors will give you feedback on your progress and formative assessments will help you to identify areas for improvement.


You will have access to excellent learning facilities to support your studies, such as:

  • superb library resources including comprehensive collections in all the main subject areas such as contract law, property law, maritime law, criminal justice and public law as well as European and international resources, all housed in the main University library.
  • a specialist maritime collection held at the Institute of Maritime Law.
  • extensive electronic resources such as Westlaw, Lexis and Lawtel, which ensure that you can access the teaching resources wherever you are.
  • a purpose-built moot room in which you can practise your debating skills.


When you start your LLB Maritime Law at Southampton Law School, you will join a close-knit, friendly community engaged in a common endeavour, to give you the best possible legal education. We are a relatively small law school which means that we can offer a high level of support to ensure you achieve your personal and academic ambitions

Every student is allocated a personal academic tutor who can advise on course-related matters or direct you to one of the University’s many support services. 

We also operate the Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) scheme whereby second-year students act as mentors for new students, helping them to settle in and providing informal support on the social and academic aspects of university life.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study19%20%10%
Independent study81%80%90%
Placement study0%0%90%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment57%85%57%
Practical exam assessment0%0%0%
Coursework assessment43%15%43%

Study Locations

Southampton Law School

Southampton Law School, Highfield Campus

Situated on the Highfield Campus; occupying building 4, Southampton La...Find out more

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