MSc Programme in Maritime Affairs


Program Description

WMU’s MSc in Maritime Affairs programme emphasizes the practical application of expertise. It offers both an overview of the complex, inter-related maritime and ocean fields, as well as the opportunity to specialize. The programme is designed to respond directly to the real needs of the maritime industry, and to equip graduates with the skills needed today and in the future. It is academically challenging and professionally oriented, and is designed for ambitious, mid-career maritime professionals. It provides a particularly strong foundation for those intending to move into either a national or an international career.

WMU is active in research that is influencing the development of the maritime industry. From the effects of climate change to maritime safety & security, from piracy to port state control, from environmental to technological developments impacting the industry, as well as on ocean-related matters, WMU’s faculty are involved in research that also adds significant value to the content of the MSc programme, keeping it up to date and relevant.


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The Standard MSc Programme

The standard MSc programme is 14 months long, and divided into three terms:

Foundation Studies are taught in Term 1. They are completed by students following the standard MSc programme and provide a thorough grounding in maritime policy and the IMO system for maritime governance, as well as an introduction to the environmental, economic, and managerial aspects of sea use. Students also start the preparation for their dissertation in the research methodology subject.

Specialization Studies are taught in the second term. Students follow one of seven specializations:

  • Maritime Education & Training
  • Maritime Energy Management
  • Maritime Law & Policy
  • Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration
  • Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management
  • Port Management
  • Shipping Management & Logistics

Dissertation: all students complete a dissertation, which may be based on a particular issue relating to their work in their home country or on a current or emerging maritime issue. The dissertation topic and proposal must be approved by the University and may involve original research or be an analysis of a topic based on secondary sources. Students may complete the dissertation individually, in pairs or in trios.

The Accelerated MSc Programme

Applicants who already have a relevant postgraduate qualification (a postgraduate diploma, a Master’s degree, etc.) may apply for advanced standing on the basis of transferring credits from their previous studies; this exempts them from the need to complete the first, foundation term and allows the MSc degree to be completed in 10 months.

Entrance Requirements: 14-month Standard Programme

The University admits only mature students who are already established in a career in the maritime field. The Admissions Board will consider only those applicants who meet the minimum general entrance requirements, which are:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, or an equivalent university qualification
  • the highest grade certificate of competency for unrestricted service as master mariner or chief engineer, or equivalent maritime qualifications
  • substantial, directly relevant professional experience
  • competence in English language, demonstrated by an internationally recognised standard test (see the full English language requirements below)
  • computer competence (at least the ability to use Microsoft Office)

Good IT skills are essential, as students are required to use computers from the beginning of the first term to write their examination answers, complete assignments and carry out research and other projects.

Applicants who lack computer and keyboard skills cannot be accepted.

From the group of applicants who meet these general entrance requirements, the Admissions Board will select only the best-qualified candidates, taking into account all their qualifications and achievements.


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Additional Entrance Requirements: Accelerated 10-month Programme

In addition to meeting the requirements for the standard, 14-month programme, applicants for advanced standing must demonstrate that they have already covered the content of the first term of the standard programme. The additional qualifications required are:

  • A postgraduate qualification in an area directly relevant to the specialization which the student intends to follow.
  • Senior-level, directly relevant professional experience.
  • Proficiency in English without attending the English and Study Skills Programme, and with a good score in the writing skills section of the test.
  • Excellent IT skills.

Applicants to the accelerated programme must supply detailed transcripts from their undergraduate and postgraduate study. If transcripts are not issued, then the detailed syllabus, the marks gained, and a full academic reference must be supplied.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

The University was established in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to increase the number of highly qualified specialist maritime personnel in countries across the world.

The University was established in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to increase the number of highly qualified specialist maritime personnel in countries across the world. Read less