Shipping Law (LLM)

Around 90% of global trade is carried by sea and requires complex networks of ship owners and operators, cargo owners, banks and insurers. This programme investigates the theoretical and practical issues that arise within maritime law and helps you develop the necessary expertise to specialise in this major area of law.

Around 90% of global trade is carried by sea.  It remains the most cost efficient method for transporting raw materials and finished products around the world. This requires a complex network of contracts involving ship owners and operators, cargo owners, banks and insurers.

The United Kingdom has a long standing expertise in the law relating to these transactions, and provides dispute resolution services for parties with no connection to the UK.  

Moreover, the potential exploitation of marine resources (whether mineral or fish) is fertile source of dispute between States.  This course offers a detailed investigation of the theoretical and practical issues that arise within maritime law and can help you to develop the expertise necessary to become a specialist in this major area of commercial law.

The LLM Shipping Law course provides you with a general appreciation of current issues in specific areas of law, both domestic and international. It stimulates a critical approach to evaluation of current and proposed regulation and cultivates independent and original thought.

This programme enables you to undertake in-depth research and demonstrate advanced knowledge in specific areas of law.

Distinctive features

The LLM Shipping Law course is very flexible and offers a wide range of modules providing you with the ability to customise the course to meet your own professional and/or employment needs or interests. 

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration1 year
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Students will be required to have achieved at least a 2.2 degree in Law, although other qualifications may be considered.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components, or an equivalent English language qualification.

Early application is strongly advised, normally well before the end of July. Later applications will be considered, but international students must bear in mind the time needed to obtain a visa.

You must select at least two of your four taught modules and complete the dissertation in the area of Shipping Law and you may select up to two modules from those listed in any other LLM course or from a combination of LLM courses.

The course is delivered in two stages.  Stage One (the taught component) comprises four 30 credit modules; Stage Two comprises the dissertation.  Two of the Stage One modules will be taught and assessed in the first semester and the remaining two in the second semester.  You will progress to the dissertation upon successful completion of Stage One.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year One comprises four taught modules totalling 120 credits. Upon successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to the 60 credit dissertation. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationCLT60060 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Competition LawCLT20130 credits
Insurance LawCLT20430 credits
International Sales LawCLT20530 credits
Comparative Corporate GovernanceCLT21130 credits
Criminal Justice in EuropeCLT33830 credits
Marine InsuranceCLT40530 credits
Consent to TreatmentCLT51130 credits
Law and PsychiatryCLT51430 credits
International Humanitarian LawCLT60330 credits
The Law of Devolution in WalesCLT60530 credits
Constitutionalism and GovernanceCLT60630 credits
International Affairs: Legal and Political AspectsCLT61430 credits
Human Rights and Global JusticeCLT61530 credits
Commercial ArbitrationCLT62130 credits
Environmental and Climate Change LawCLT62230 credits
The Child and The State: Law and PolicyCLT62330 credits
Energy Law and PolicyCLT62730 credits
Social Care Rights and the LawCLT63230 credits
Law of the SeaCLT63330 credits
International Refugee Law and AsylumCLT63730 credits
Comparative Commercial LawCLT63830 credits
Copyright: Comparative and International PerspectivesCLT64330 credits
Patents and Trade Secrets: Comparative and International PerspectivesCLT64430 credits
Innovation Policy and the LawCLT64530 credits
Trade Marks: Comparative and International PerspectivesCLT64630 credits
EU Internal Market LawCLT64930 credits
Money Laundering and Financial CrimeCLT65030 credits
Constitutionalism in the European UnionCLT65130 credits
International Banking and Finance LawCLT65330 credits
Carriage of Goods by Land, Air and Multimodal TransportCLT65430 credits
Human Rights Law: Health and DisabilityCLT65530 credits
Admiralty LawCLT65630 credits
Global Health: Law and GovernanceCLT65730 credits
Themes in Socio-Legal StudiesCLT65930 credits
Carriage of Goods by SeaCLT66130 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Study for an LLM is intensive and challenging and it is important that you take full advantage of the teaching that is provided in order to succeed.  Attendance at classes and dissertation supervisions is compulsory and we will expect you to be well prepared. 

Our teaching is very flexible and your modules may be delivered through seminars or a combination of lectures and seminars.  Other teaching methods include the online use of discussion boards, self-access study packs and formative quizzes and activities.

Modules may be diverse in content to cater for the fact that for some LLM courses there may be a high proportion of international students or students with previous qualifications other than in law.  Modules are typically led by experienced staff actively engaged in research relevant to their subject area.

How will I be supported?

The School of Law and Politics has created a specially designed research and study skills module which is studied by all LLM students at the beginning of the programme.  We also offer writing skills support for students whose first language is not English.

Your learning will be supported through e-learning; all modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules.

You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme.  We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops within the School with an in-house Law Careers Consultant and a Pro-bono Scheme Co-ordinator.  A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities.  The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres. 


Feedback is available through oral feedback during seminars and you will receive written feedback on both your formative and summative assessments.  Individual feedback on formative work will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well how you might improve your performance in summative assessments.  Written feedback will be made available no later than four weeks from the submission of your assessment.

How will I be assessed?

The School of Law and Politics makes use of both formative and summative assessment.

Formative assessments do not count towards your degree but are designed to give you the opportunity to practice for your summative assessments and enable you and your tutors to assess your progress in your modules.  Formative assessments will normally involve written coursework or a class test or may comprise individual student presentations.  

Summative assessments count towards your degree. Your marks in these assessments count towards your formal progression from Stage One (taught modules) to Stage Two (the dissertation), and towards the determination of your final award.  Summative assessments in Stage One will vary by module but will typically involve written coursework (5,000 word essays), unseen examinations or pre-release examinations.  The Dissertation (up to 15,000 words) comprises the Stage Two summative assessment.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Postgraduate students are expected to assume a greater responsibility for their education than undergraduates.  Through the LLM, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic employability skills.  During the programme you will be able to extend your communication and presentation skills, both oral and written.  You will also be able to develop collaborative skills, take leadership roles and enhance skills of disciplined and independent study.

You will be encouraged to work independently to seek out legal materials for yourself, to read and analyse these materials critically and to present structured and reasoned argument under the guidance of your tutors and supervisors.  You will be provided with training in postgraduate research skills to develop your independent legal analysis, research and writing.

Outside the curriculum you will have the opportunity to develop wider “employability” skills through participation in the school’s Law in Action pro-bono schemes run with partner organisations, in which student volunteers assist real people in their dealings with the law.  The schemes currently include: 

  • Law in Justice: the Innocence Project, (dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice);
  • Law in Healthcare: the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme, (challenges to NHS healthcare funding assessments);
  • Law in Sport: the Rugby Union Project – (providing legal advice and legal newsletters to rugby clubs).

A law degree doesn’t restrict graduates to careers within the legal profession. Our law graduates enter professions as diverse as finance, sales and marketing, digital communications and recruitment.

We are committed to extending extracurricular opportunities, helping to enhance your CVs in a competitive graduate job market. We work in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations to give you the opportunity to practise and extend your skills and we run several Pro Bono schemes and provide advice to members of the community on different legal issues.

Upon successfully completing the LLM programme you may have the opportunity to continue your legal study through the School’s PhD programme or through the Centre for Professional Legal Studies professional programmes (the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course). 

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2019/20 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.