LW6042 - Maritime Law

What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide you with a detailed understanding of the way in which maritime trade and commerce is governed on a national and international level, from a UK perspective.

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of maritime law. You will acquire the knowledge and understanding of the following:

• English maritime and shipping law
• The UK’s maritime obligations under treaties and conventions
• National and international maritime organisations
• International trade and shipping documentation (e.g. bills of lading and letters of indemnity)
• Charterparties (a maritime contract between a shipowner and a "charterer" for the hire of either a ship for the carriage of passengers or cargo)
• The law relating to collisions, salvage, limitation of liability and safe port
• Litigation, arbitration and ADR in a maritime context, including jurisdiction and choice of law

You will also be expected to acquire and exercise the following skills during the course of this module:

• The ability to identify and analyse relevant legal issues in practical and complicated scenarios
• The ability to undertake in-depth research
• The ability to undertake detailed study of relevant sources of information, including journal articles, cases and other research materials

There will be guest lectures delivered by partners from a leading shipping law firm, based in Newcastle, and the opportunity to visit the Port of Tyne for a guided tour.

No prior knowledge of maritime law is required. This module complements other subjects offered at this stage in your programme, and will also provide you with commercial and international law perspectives.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will utilise lectures, workshops and seminars to initiate your practical thinking on the areas mentioned above. The lectures will cover the basic legal frameworks of the topics outlined above. Workshops and seminars will provide an opportunity to discuss the theory of maritime law and scholarly research undertaken in the area. This will support and complement an examination of real-life cases, hypothetical scenarios, as well as other issues faced by practitioners, thereby consolidating your understanding and emphasising the implications of the law. You will undertake tutor-guided independent learning, which will complement and support self-study and independent learning. Formative feedback will be provided by your tutor through the course of the module. You will be assessed by way of a written piece of coursework, which will take place in the Semester 1 assessment period.
Directed learning will focus on pre-reading, activity based learning through specially designed seminar exercises, and engagement with the e-Learning portal.

Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of legal and practical issues relevant to maritime law.

Regular formative feedback will be provided by the teaching team and module tutor during timetabled sessions. You will be provided with detailed feedback on your summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research through its library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module will be designed and managed by your designated module tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the maritime law module. The members of staff who teach on this module have significant research experience in this area. As such, they will provide academic support where necessary. All relevant materials and instructions, including notes for lectures and seminars, will be accessible online through the module’s eLP site. The site is maintained by your module tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance as appropriate.

At programme level you will be supported by the programme leader, who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The programme administration and student liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

At the end of the module you will have:

Knowledge & Understanding:

Developed knowledge and a critical understanding of key areas of maritime law.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of maritime law, selecting, using and applying the relevant material to identify issues, construct reasoned arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

Developed an awareness of legal and practical issues regarding maritime law and the ability identify sources, communicate, explain and identify solutions to a range of legal and practical problems arising in the context of maritime law.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

Gained a critical awareness of how maritime law works in a global economy.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Individual and group feedback will be given to students in the small group sessions on their performance after the submission of practice assignments and/or workshop tasks.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning.

The module is assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 2,500 words. The assessment will take the form of a problem-based scenario which will be designed to facilitate examination of specific aspects of relevant law and related legal research and may include discussion of recent developments, where appropriate assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.





Module abstract

Maritime Law encompasses a variety of areas of law, including the law of the sea, shipping law, and the regulation of maritime safety and pollution. The Maritime Law module introduces you to the basic concepts of maritime law, including the role of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in regulating international maritime law. The module involves a close examination of key international laws and treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, as well as relevant case law.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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