M.Sc. Maritime Affairs

World Maritime University | Malmö, Sweden
The WMU MSc offers both an overview of the complex, inter-related maritime field, as well as the opportunity to specialise in one of four areas: Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration, Shipping & Port Management, Maritime Law & Policy or Maritime Education & Training.



The World Maritime University was established by the UN´s International Maritime Organization in 1983 and is IMO´s apex institution for postgraduate education and research in the maritime field. This means WMU is uniquely placed to offer insight and understanding of IMO´s conventions, operations and policies, as well as personal contact with its international experts.

The WMU MSc offers both an overview of the complex, inter-related maritime field, as well as the opportunity to specialise in one of four areas: Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration, Shipping & Port Management, Maritime Law & Policy or Maritime Education & Training.

The MSc in Maritime Affairs programme is designed to respond directly to the real needs of the maritime industry, both today and in planning for the future. The programme is both academically challenging and professionally oriented, and is designed for ambitious, mid-career maritime professionals. It provides a particularly strong foundation for applicants who intend to move into an international career.

To date, well over 3,000 students from 162 countries have graduated from WMU´s postgraduate programmes. They form a vibrant professional network that crosses the globe and spand the different generations of graduates. This network includes alumni who hold very senior positions in governments, administrations, companies, ports, education and international organisations.

The resident academic staff is supplemented by around 100 Visiting Professors each year, who are internationally renowned academic or professional experts. They bring state-of-the-art practice and expertise into the classroom, opening a window to the modern maritime world.

Students follow a programme of field studies at various locations in Europe and Asia, providing valuable insight into professional practices in a wide range of host organisations and allowing you to experience for yourself the application of the latest theories and technologies. Field studies are an integral part of the programme, and so there is no additional charge; travel and accommodation are provided within the tuition fee.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline there are no cut-off dates
Tuition fee

USD 23,000 (11-month program)

Not specified
Start date , September 2016, January 2017 The standard 14-month program begins in September. An English & Study Skills Program (ESSP) is a 3-month program that begins in June. The accelerated 11-months program starts in January.
Credits (ECTS) 90 ECTS
Credits Flexible enrolment: pay-per-credit
Duration full-time 14 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The standard MSc program is 14 months long, and divided into four terms:

Foundation Studies in Term 1, completed by all students, which provide an introduction to the legal, technical, regulatory and economic aspects of sea use

Specialization Studies in Term 2 and Term 3, in which students follow one of six specializations: Marine Environmental & Ocean Management; Maritime Education & Training and Organizational Leadership; Maritime Law & Policy; Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration; Port Management; and Shipping Management & Logistics.

Elective Studies in Term 4, in which students have a choice of a range of Electives, which allow them to deepen their specialization, and add knowledge of one or more of the other areas. Certain students may complete a dissertation, which is usually based on a particular issue relating to their work in their home country, and must be approved by the University. The dissertation may involve original research, or be an analysis of a topic based on secondary sources.


Our graduates are:

  • equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable them to fulfil successfully their national and internationalresponsibilities for effective maritime development
  • fully aware of maritime operations in general, as well as of their chosen specialization
  • sensitive to the general objectives of the United Nations and the particular aims of IMO
  • sufficiently flexible to adapt to a variety of roles in the maritime field
  • able to operate comfortably in an international and multi-cultural environment
  • fluent in the English language, and able to communicate skilfully
  • skilled in problem solving, critical analysis and independent endeavour

These qualities have been fully recognised by the world outside. Our graduates hold senior posts in governments, companies, training academies, diplomatic missions and international organizations. Heading government departments and maritime academies, serving as secretary-general of an international association or as vice-president of a major shipping company, WMU graduates are leaving their mark on the world.


The WMU MSc program emphasises the practical application of expertise. It offers both an overview of the complex, inter-related maritime field, as well as the opportunity to specialise. The program 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 if you intend to move into 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, WMU’s faculty are involved in directional research that also adds significant value to the content of the MSc program, keeping it fresh and relevant.


Entrance Requirements: 14-month Standard Program

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
  • 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 semester 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.

Additional Entrance Requirements: Accelerated 11-month Program

In addition to meeting the requirements outlined above, applicants for advanced standing must demonstrate that they have already covered the content of the first semester of the standard program. The additional qualifications required are:

  • a postgraduate qualification in an area directly relevant to the specialisation which the student intends to follow
  • senior level, directly relevant professional experience
  • proficiency in English without attending the English and Study Skills Program, and with a good score in the writing skills section of the test. The tests and marks required are specified under "English language requirements"
  • excellent IT skills

Applicants to the accelerated program 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.

English and Study Skills Program

All applicants to the University must offer an internationally recognised English language proficiency test. Acceptable tests include IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge examinations, and GCE O-levels in English language. Other tests are accepted by the Admissions Board only under exceptional circumstances; applicants should check with the Registry in such cases.

Applicants to the standard program have the opportunity, if necessary, to enrol on the pre-sessional English & Study Skills Program. Applicants to the accelerated 11-month program cannot attend the ESSP, and so must meet the higher requirements.

Candidates are assessed in accordance with the following general guidelines:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

ESSP participation required:

  • CBT: 173 to 212
  • IBT: 61 to 79
  • PBT: 500 to 549

no ESSP required:

  • CBT: 213+
  • IBT: 80+
  • PBT: 550+

WMU´s TOEFL institution code is 9198.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • ESSP participation required: bands 5.0 and 5.5
  • no ESSP required: band 6.0 or above

Please note: the academic, not the general training, version of the test is required

Cambridge Examinations

First Certificate (FCE) ESSP participation required Proficiency (CPE) no ESSP required

Students who have a pass in a GCE O-level or the equivalent (WAEC, CXC etc) must enclose a copy of their examination results for evaluation by the Admissions Board.

Sometimes applicants´ test results meet the University´s general guidelines, but show weaknesses in a certain skills area. In such cases, the Admissions Board will vary the guidelines shown above. Information on TOEFL may be obtained through US embassies/consulates or the US Information Service, and on the IELTS and Cambridge Examinations from the British Council or Australian or UK embassies/consulates.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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World Maritime University, Sweden

Sweden The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden was established 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. The World Maritime University (WMU) is a postgraduate maritime university. It helps in enhancing the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO member states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans.

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