Unique focus on shipping and the transportation of goods

The comprehensive Master programme ‘Maritime and Transport Law’ provides you with thorough, in-depth knowledge of the dynamic world of maritime and transport law. The Erasmus University is located in Rotterdam: Rotterdam is by far the largest seaport of Europe and one of the largest logistic and industrial hubs of the world. Studying at Erasmus School of Law, means studying where the action is!

What aspects does the programme cover?

Students acquire the research, writing and presentation skills essential to a successful career as a legal practitioner or an in-house counsel in the maritime- or transport-related business world. By focussing on current developments and practical problems from a comparative law perspective, students develop an international outlook on the many legal aspects of shipping and the transportation of goods. Based in the port of Rotterdam, this programme educates legal professionals that are well prepared to meet the many challenges that arise from this field.

Does the programme have a special focus?

Throughout the Master Programme, aspects of maritime & transport law are considered from a comparative law perspective. Particular attention is paid to differences in approach and outcome between civil law jurisdictions and common law jurisdictions and by reference to the relevant standards in the international maritime and transport industry. 

Depending on the subject-matter, such international standards may be found in uniform private law instruments such as the Hague-Visby Rules and the York-Antwerp Rules, or in widely used standard contract forms, such as the various BIMCO standard agreements for Charter parties and Bills of Lading. As a student of this programme you will learn to adopt the transnational perspective of a legal practitioner who in his daily work is often confronted with legal problems or disputes not necessarily governed by his own national laws. As a professional in this field, you will need to co-operate and communicate with lawyers in other countries in the tackling of these problems.

How is the study programme structured?

The study programme is divided over four blocks of nine weeks each. During the first block students receive a general introduction to the subject matter. They learn how to do independent legal research and how to report their findings through presentations and papers during a 15 ECTS Legal Research and Writing Skills Course. Successful completion of this course is a precondition to being admitted to the Master Thesis. The second block is composed of three courses: Carriage of Goods, Law of the Ship and (Public) Law of the Sea. The third block you will follow the 10 ECTS course Charter-Parties & Bills of Lading and Maritime Casualties (5 ECTS). The last block consists of a Master Thesis (10 ECTS) and the course Marine Insurance Law.


The 2016-2017 programme consists of seven compulsory courses and a Master Thesis divided over five terms.



block 1


block 2



block 3



block 4



block 5 



Research and Writing Skills (Maritime & Transport Law)

15 ects



Law of the Sea


5 ects



Transport Law


5 ects



Charter Parties & Bills of Lading


10 ects



Maritime Casualties



 5 ects 





 5 ects 


Marine Insurance   


 5 ects


Master Thesis    

 10 ects


  • Law of the Ship (RB12) : strongly recommended!
  • European Private International Law (RB22)
  • EU Competition law (RM73)
  • International Economic Law (RM68)
  • International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (IMLAM)

Click here for more information about the courses.

  • Send in your application package before the application deadline as complete as possible, otherwise we cannot enter your application into the selection procedure for the upcoming academic year. If the assigned programme director after review decides that you are a suitable candidate to participate in the programme, your admission will be conditional upon receipt of the missing documents in your application package.

    Please take into consideration that the final Letter of Admission will only be sent to you upon review and approval of a complete application. If you need a visa to enter the Netherlands, the Dutch Embassy wants to have a copy of your (unconditional) Letter of Admission for your visa application. The visa application procedure can take up to 10 weeks. If necessary, the Erasmus LL.M. Office will initiate a fast visa procedure on your behalf.

    You will receive more information about this procedure as soon as you enrol in the programme.

  • In principle, both EU and non-EU students are requested to apply before the deadline of 1 July.

    N.B. If you are applying for an NFP (or any other type of) scholarship, the deadline for application is 1 December of the year preceding enrolment. The deadline for admission is fixed among other reasons to ensure that non-European applicants will have sufficient time to arrange their visa.

    To be able to review and compare all applications in a selection procedure, the admission deadline is in principle not flexible. When we receive your application package after the admission deadline, you will be informed about it. However if your decision to subscribe to one of the Erasmus LL.M. programmes can only be made after 1 May, you can contact us. Your application forms might still be taken into account. We will do our utmost to help you! 

  • All non-native speakers must demonstrate their English proficiency with a test result in the International English Testing System IELTS or the test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL. A TOEFL test with a minimum passing score of 90 (575/232) is required. For IELTS we require a minimum passing score of 6.5 (min. 6.0 for each section).

    For more information, visit

    The LL.M. Office will not accept copies of TOEFL and IELTS test results. Please note that Erasmus LL.M. Office does not accept any Institutional TOEFL scores. We do not request an English proficiency test if the student holds a first degree or higher degree from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction. If this is the case, please provide us with a statement from the institution that the education was given in English.

  • If, after the deadline for application, the assigned programme director selects you for final admission, an official Letter of Admission will be sent out to you by mail. After receipt of your tuition fee, your enrolment into the programme is definite.

  • There are no application fees.

  • In Holland a university bachelor programme (LLB), does not give access to the legal profession. Students should also have a Master (LLM) in order to be able to become a lawyer etc.

    Commercial Law and International and European Public Law are both LL.M. programmes on Master's level, i.e. this is the first type of Master's programmes that Dutch students can join and which they need to get access to the judicial profession.

    Most foreign Bachelor Law degrees do give access to the judicial profession. Business, Corporate and Maritime is a Master's programme on postgraduate level, meaning that students joining this Master should already have access to the judicial profession based on their LL.B.

  • As a participant in the Master's in International and European Public Law and Commercial law you will have several options to choose from.

    As a participant in the Master's in International and European Public Law, you can specialise in 4 directions.

    As a participant in Commercial law, you will be able to specialise in the fields of Commercial and Company law or Maritime and Transport Law.