Unit of Maritime Law and Maritime Studies


The vision of the Maritime Studies Unit (established in 2012) is to provide a strong, inter-disciplinary teaching and research space focussed on shipping and international trade law and economics.

Our students have the option to study full time or part time towards an LLM, PgDip or MComm with a maritime specialisation. The Unit is housed within the School of Law, and works in close collaboration with the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. We aim to provide our students with a unique experience by creating opportunities to network across disciplines, and to interact closely with leading industry stakeholders through a program of field trips and guest seminars. This multi-disciplinary approach equips our students with the 21st century skills relevant to a successful career in the maritime industry.

Our staff of permanent academics, and adjunct lecturers from practice, are all passionate about the maritime industry and are subject experts in their fields. Our position in Durban puts us in close proximity to the most active general cargo port in Southern Africa, and the extensive ancillary maritime cluster. The Unit has a dedicated centre at Howard College comprising boardroom, LAN, library and the offices of the academic staff and administrator. In 2020 the Unit also successfully adopted new technologies for online learning and online research. The challenges we overcame in 2020 have opened opportunities for us to offer the program in a blended learning format, which combines the best of face-to-face contact teaching and field trips with the flexibility and convenience of online classes.

We aspire to be the leading knowledge institute for maritime-related studies on the African continent. Our staff and students have produced impactful research on maritime issues and the Unit has developed valued relationships with key stakeholders in the maritime sector. Our goal for 2021 is to continue nurturing the values of research excellence and passion in relation to the strategic maritime and international trade sector.