Master of Commerce in Maritime Studies(course work)


Maritime transport is the dominant international mode of transportation. It accounts for the conveyance of over 80 percent, by volume, of global commodity trade and over 90 percent of South Africa’s import-export trade. The port of Durban is the largest port-related to the urban economic activity in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that the University of KwaZulu-Natal engage with this industry and with the most extensive maritime economic cluster in the African continent. The Master of Commerce in Maritime Studies programme is designed to meet the need for practitioners in this industry and other interested stakeholders to develop specialised knowledge of Maritime Economics, Laws, policies, and procedures relating to the maritime industry in South Africa and elsewhere. The programme aims to produce graduates with advanced knowledge and skills in issues related to the economic and legal “laws of motion” of the maritime transport industry. The programme further seeks to produce independent thinkers with strong research skills and capable of advancing knowledge in maritime studies that help solve and interpret real-life legislation and policies

Programme Outline

The Programme consists of six modules and a mini dissertation (20 000-word research project). The required coursework modules are from a broad spread of modules in Shipping Law, Maritime & Port Economics, and Contemporary issues in the Maritime Sector. The Modules are:
  • Advanced Analysis of Sea Freight Markets;
  • Advanced Carriage of Goods by Sea;
  • Advanced International Business Transactions in Shipping;
  • Port Governance and Regulation;
  • Research Methods in Maritime Studies; and
  • Special Topics in Maritime Studies.

Programme Teaching Method

To accommodate individuals who are in employment or outside the Durban area, students are generally required to attend one weekend lecture bundle per month for three months for each registered module. A weekend lecture bundle generally consists of a Friday evening and a full Saturday. Lectures are delivered by UKZN academics and shipping experts. Working students are advised not to take more than two modules per semester. Working students have a maximum of four years to complete the Masters programme. Block sessions may be offered (dependent on demand).

Programme Teachers

Staff with expertise in the areas of maritime studies will deliver the programme


The programme can be completed over one year of full-time study, or two years if part time

Entrance Requirements

To be considered for the Programme, the applicant should have a recognised Honours equivalent degree in Commerce, Law, Engineering or Science or an equivalent certificate of competence from a recognised maritime agency, such as full membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Structural Support

Candidates have access to a Postgraduate Research Centre established on campus to offer a supportive environment in which postgraduate students may conduct their research and writing. The Centre features an open-plan study space and a discussion room where students may engage in ingroup projects and interact socially (coffee and tea-making facilities are available)

Estimated Fees

Refer to the fees booklet for a more detailed information regarding fees for the programme. You can also contact the fees office for a more accurate fee amount at

Contact us

Name: Mr Nqobizizwe Memela Email: