Maritime Law LLM


Fact file

LLM Maritime Law
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) in law
Other requirements
7.0 (no less than 7.0 in reading and writing, and 6.5 in speaking and listening)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


Maritime law is a fascinating blend of commercial, environmental, private, public, national and international law.
Read full overview

Characters include salvors and scuttlers, pirates and pilots, treasure hunters and tug owners. Maritime law unfolds against the most dramatic of backdrops, such as war and invasion, storms and pollution disasters.

This course addresses issues as diverse as colliding ships, exploitation of fish stocks, and major maritime oil spills.

You will be taught by experts who are actively researching in this field. These internationally recognised academics have engaged in policy reform, as well as advised on legal issues to a variety of different actors.

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. A specialist law course is available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts

  • LLM Maritime Law is in the top 10 for maritime/admiralty law in the LLM Guide 2017
  • The School of Law is consistently ranked among the world's top law schools, placing in the worldwide top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
  • 81% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 96.6% of law postgraduates in work or further study within six months of graduation
  • Dedicated resources including legal skills advice through workshops and one-to-one sessions, computer room, and law reading room in the Hallward Library
  • Links to leading firms in London and the regions, private industry and consultancies, and governmental institutions and non-governmental organisations across the UK and wider world

Course details

You will complete a minimum of 45 credits of core modules and an additional 45 credits of specialist optional modules. The remaining 30 credits can be chosen from the full selection of optional modules available on the LLM programme. You will also undertake a 60-credit dissertation.

Guidance and support on choosing a maritime law dissertation topic and designing your project will be provided through bespoke workshops and one-to-one support.


We teach in small-group seminars where possible, allowing for an integrated, interactive learning experience. You are encouraged and expected to prepare for, and participate in, seminars so that you get the maximum benefit from them.


You will be assessed by examination or essay, or a combination of both. All assessments take place at the end of the spring term.

Practice assignments, guidance on exam techniques, time management workshops, and one-to-one legal skills advice sessions are offered throughout the academic year to prepare you for these assessments.




International Law of the Sea

The module will consider:

  • the history and evolution of the law of the sea 
  • baselines, internal waters and the territorial sea 
  • straits, archipelagos and the contiguous zone
  • the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone 
  • the high seas
  • the international seabed area and ice-covered areas
Law of International Carriage of Goods by Sea

This module considers the legal regime applicable to the carriage of goods by sea and, in particular, the legal relationship between the shipper (or owner of the goods), the carrier (shipowners) and the recipient (consignee) of the goods shipped.

Law of Marine Insurance

This module addresses the law relating to the contractual provision of marine insurance, particularly insurance of hulls and cargo, by the London insurance market. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the contractual clauses promulgated by the International Underwriting Association of London.

Maritime Law

The module is designed to address the law relating to maritime casualties, their aftermath and transactions associated with shipping.


Qualifying module options

Commercial Conflict of Laws

This module will involve a critical analysis of the conflict of laws rules dealing with issues arising in a commercial context. The module begins with jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The module then deals with choice of law issues in contract and tort.

Because of the growing role of the European Union in this area, the interaction between European and traditional English approaches to commercial conflict of laws issues will be a pervasive theme of the module.

EU Competition Law

The module examines the legal regulation of competition within the single and free market of the EU and serves as an introduction to basic legal and economic principles as well as to detailed study of the rules of Union law which seek to outlaw competitive behaviour.

International Commercial Arbitration

This module offers the fundamentals of international commercial arbitration, the most important dispute resolution mechanism for international business transactions.

The module begins with the legal framework of international commercial arbitration. It then deals with jurisdiction of arbitration tribunals and certain procedural issues arising in arbitration practice. The module ends with the setting aside and recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards. 

The module focuses mainly on English law of arbitration which is put in comparative perspective and compared and contrasted especially with the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration.

International Sale of Goods

This module deals with international sales of goods, as they are conducted in the international commodity markets according to the rules of English law. It does not cover the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods 1980 and similar instruments.

Law of International Trade Finance

The module addresses the private law relating to the financial aspects of international trade, especially payment mechanisms and guarantees. Emphasis is placed upon the rules promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce.



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans of up to £10,609 for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Our graduates move into a wide range of careers. Many go into the legal profession or return to their previous legal careers with specialist knowledge and enhanced prospects. Others successfully seek employment with international organisations as well as international and local NGOs.

Some graduates further their academic career by progressing onto our PhD programme. These students often choose to stay at the University of Nottingham beyond their doctorate, with a number of academics becoming members of staff after completing their LLM/masters and PhD with us.

With an advanced law degree from the University of Nottingham, you will be well-placed to pursue your career ambitions and realise your goals.

Employability and average starting salary

96.6% of postgraduates from the School of Law who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £23,214 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £32,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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