UCC Postgraduate courses

Law (Marine & Maritime Law)

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our LLM in Marine and Maritime Law is offered by the College of Business & Law at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland. The programme brings together the best legal expertise in Marine Law in Ireland. It covers a range of legal topics including shipping and maritime law, marine environmental protection, and international law of the sea.

Our LLM programme gives our students the chance to work with the best maritime and marine lawyers in the country, under the academic overview of the globally-recognised UCC School of Law. Our LLM (Marine and Maritime Law) programme integrates theoretical and practical learning of relevant law modules with marine and maritime activities taking place in Cork, such as marine environmental research, marine renewables, law enforcement at sea, fisheries management, shipping and port activities. This programme is based on flexible workload arrangements and is suitable for both law graduates and marine and maritime professionals alike. 

Whether you are a law graduate or a marine/maritime professional, this programme provides an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge, and analysis, of Marine and Maritime Law.  

Programme Content

We offer a wide choice of module options, allowing students to either specialise in their preferred area of marine or maritime law or take a broad range of diverse modules.

clinical module on Law of the Sea allows students the opportunity to understand the practice of law enforcement at sea, and includes access to the Naval Service at Cork. The practical aspect of marine law is also available through science-based, non-law modules such as GIS and Remote Sensing.


  • Full-time: Students take 90 credits: 60 credits of core/taught modules and 30 credits of elective modules.
  • Part-time: Students take 90 credits, completing a total of 40 credits in Year 1 and 50 credits (including LLM Dissertation LW6659) in Year 2.

Core Modules (30 credits)

  • LW6652 Legal Research Methods and Writing (5 credits)
  • LW6659 LLM Dissertation (25 credits)

Taught Modules (30 credits)

  • LW6620 Introduction to the Law of the Sea (10 credits)
  • LW6621 Admiralty Law (10 credits)
  • LW6645 Marine Environmental and Natural Resources Law (10 credits)

Elective Modules (30 credits)

Students take modules to the value of 30 credits from the lists of elective modules set out below; with at least 20 credits from List A and up to 10 credits from List B.

List A

  • LW6566 Contemporary Issues in International Law (5 credits)
  • LW6581 Method in Environmental Law (5 credits)
  • LW6606 International Human Rights Law (10 credits)
  • LW6617 International Biodiversity and Ecosystems Law and Policy (5 credits)
  • LW6618 Climate Change Law and Policy (5 credits)
  • LW6619 Alternative Dispute Resolution: Processes and Practice (5 credits)
  • LW6622 Sale, Insurance and Carriage of Goods at Sea (5 credits)
  • LW6623 Global Maritime Security (5 credits)
  • LW6624 Port Law (5 credits)
  • LW6625 Law of the Sea (Clinical) (5 credits)*
  • LW6627 International Environmental Law (5 credits)
  • LW6633 Public International Law (5 credits)
  • LW6644 Managing Complex Disputes (10 credits)
  • LW6649 Environmental Law in Practice (10 credits)

List B: Undergraduate Modules*

  • LW3371 Sources and Foundations of Environmental Law (5 credits)
  • LW3372 Environmental Law: Contemporary Issues in Governance, Regulation and Enforcement (5 credits)

* Registration for these modules requires the permission of the Programme Director. Where appropriate, the Programme Director will identify, in consultation with the candidate, whether any undergraduate modules must be taken.

Presentation of Dissertation/Submission Dates

The dissertation must be submitted for examination at the Winter Board, on a date in September to be specified by the School of Law at the commencement of the programme.

Exit Awards

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Marine and Maritime Law) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

Upon successful completion of modules to the value of 60 credits, registered LLM (Marine and Maritime Law) students may opt not to proceed with the programme and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Marine and Maritime Law).

Postgraduate Diploma in Law

Applicants for the LLM (Marine and Maritime Law) Degree also have the option of registering for a Postgraduate Diploma in Marine and Maritime Law. Students take 60 credits of taught masters’ modules from those on offer for the LLM (Marine and Maritime Law) programme. The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed over 9 months full-time or 18 months part-time. 

This shorter programme may be attractive to legal professionals and others who may prefer not to make an initial commitment to a full-time masters' level programme. It is possible for graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma to progress their studies by completing a 12,500-word research dissertation qualifying them for a Masters in Law (LLM).

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The course involves a combination of lectures, directed study, and clinical learning. Programme modules are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays in order to facilitate a flexible workload programme for students, particularly those with a professional career. Non-programme modules are available throughout the week, and sometimes through digital recording.

The part-time option is taught during weekday working hours over two years. 


Generally, our students are examined by continuous assessment throughout the year and a dissertation is submitted in September. Individual module assessments can be viewed in the Book of Modules.

Who teaches this course?

The School of Law has many expert and committed lecturers with expertise across a wide range of areas. The LLM Marine & Maritime course is unique because lecturers come from within and from outside the School of Law. Our programme benefits in particular from collaboration with the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine (MaREI), and the Environmental Research Institute

Why Choose This Course

Our LLM (Marine and Maritime Law) brings together leading marine and maritime research and practice in Ireland. Through our clinical module, you have the opportunity to learn about law enforcement at sea, including through access to a naval ship at Cork. Fundamentally the programme is built on what Ireland does best in the marine and maritime world, and from there it reaches international excellence.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach also reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between topics such as maritime law, geography, governance, and the intrinsic variations of law itself.

College of Business and Law Available Scholarships

We also support our postgraduate community by offering scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the College of Business and Law Scholarships & Prizes page for more information.

Top 100 Ranking

UCC School of Law has been ranked among the world’s best Law Schools in the latest QS World University Rankings by subject, placing 59th in the World and 1st in Ireland.

Skills and Careers Information

As this course allows students to acquire an education in Marine Law, or in purely commercial Maritime Law it allows access to a broad swath of professions including:

  • academia
  • governmental and regulatory agencies
  • industry
  • infrastructure developers
  • international organisations / secretariats
  • legal professions
  • local government
  • marine, maritime and environmental consultancy
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • utilities sector


Applicants must be approved by the School of Law. They must normally hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours Law degree (NFQ Level 8). Applicants with other third-level qualifications and/or relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.

Applications from overseas candidates are welcome, and their qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. We strongly encourage you to complete all sections as this will support your application. The additional information request includes:

  • Please enter all details of professional or voluntary positions held.
  • Please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please enter the names and email addresses of two referees. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact