Maritime and Transport Law

Study programme

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.

How is the study programme structured?

At the beginning of the programme, you receive a general introduction to the subject matter. You learn how to do independent legal research and how to report their findings through presentations and papers during a 15 EC 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 two 5 EC courses: (Public) Law of the Sea and Transport Law. In the third block you will follow the 10 EC course Charter-Parties & Bills of Lading. The fourth block consists of a 5 EC course, Maritime Casualties and one 5 EC elective. The last block consists of a master thesis (10 EC) and the course Marine Insurance.

Does the programme have a particular focus? 

Throughout the master programme, aspects of maritime and 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 masterprogramme 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 tackling these problems.

      • Within a university teaching and research are combined. At the master level you will be brought into closer contact with this research. Ultimately, you will have to conduct scholarly research yourself (in your master's thesis). Both for research and in legal practice, certain academic and practical skills are indispensable.

      • The course Law of the Sea is a compulsory course for participants in the master programme Maritime and Transport Law. The course focuses on the body of public international law that governs ocean usage, such as navigation and fishing.

      • The course is based upon a theme-by-theme approach, whereby the alternative solutions given by the various unimodal transport law conventions are compared and contrasted to provide a deeper insight in the various subjects at hand.

      • This course focuses on the legal relations arising from charter-parties and bills of lading being the most important contractual documents used in the operation of ships and the carriage of goods by sea. 

      • This course focuses on the law and practice of marine insurance. Students learn about how ship-owners, charterers and cargo-owners may obtain insurance cover against typical marine risks such as loss of or damage to a ship’s hull and machinery, cargo damage and third-party liabilities. 

      • To enroll for the course Trademark Law it is required to have a grade higher than 8 for Intellectual Property Rights.