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COURSE TITLE Master of Arts in Ocean Governance








M.A. Ocean Gov.(Melit.)

Second Cycle

Level 7

3 Semesters



Antoine Grima

Ocean Governance is a topic of increasing significance and concern in the 21st century. The 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention and other International law instruments are useful tools that safeguard the rule of International Maritime law. Notwithstanding their valuable contribution emerging international concerns essentially based on the escalating crisis of unsustainability, instigate an urgent need to explore new transdisciplinary approaches on ocean governance. Evidently, a more comprehensive, legal framework is required to improve the manner in which States and their nationals maintain the rule of law in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction and in regulating anthropogenic activities affecting the ocean and its resources. Emerging issues and threats, such as global maritime security, the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources, as well as linkages between natural sciences, the opportunities arising from the blue economy, socio-economic requirements and the law, necessitate a multidisciplinary approach for promoting learning and research on ocean governance.

This degree programme on Ocean Governance being offered by the University of Malta in collaboration with the International Ocean Institute is unique in its approach – it aims to forge a knowledge base that is essentially legal but which also delves into the natural and social sciences to determine how an effective regulatory framework should operate. The Master in Ocean Governance serves to further enhance the development of learning and research in the field of marine resource management and maritime security from a multidisciplinary perspective. In this era of globalization and sectoral integration, capacity building in the regulation of ocean governance plays a pivotal role in ensuring safe and healthy oceans for the benefit of humankind and the planet.

Further details about the University's International Collaborative Programmes are available at
LEARNING OUTCOMES Participants will:

• Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the current scientific, technical, administrative and legal framework concerned with ocean governance,

• Comprehend key emerging legal and policy issues requiring an effective regulatory and institutional response and the political challenges to advance reform in ocean governance.

The programme would enhance intellectual development through the comprehension of:

• Qualitative and quantitative research methods applicable in the scientific, technical, administrative and legal dimension of ocean governance,

• The interdisciplinary and comparative approach to ocean governance,

• Evaluation methods of current scientific knowledge, economic models, policy and legal tools,

• Political thinking affecting the marine environment, marine living and non-living resources,

• Anthropological and social aspects affecting the marine environment,

Students who are successful and obtain this Master’s degree will be able to:

• Identify contemporary scientific, socio-economic, policy and legal issues relating to ocean governance,

• Address underlying problems and learn from success stories in the regional and international governance of living marine resources,

• Apply legal instruments and management skills as a response to scientific information and technology as tools for good governance of the oceans,

• Apply thematic principles that aim at sustainability of the oceans, namely the ecosystem approach, the precautionary approach, the integrated approach in policy-making and the negotiation/ formulation of regulatory instruments,

• Apply the requisite and applicable legal framework in negotiation, decision making and dispute settlement,

• Synthesize the fundamental steps for a multidisciplinary approach in policy making and regulation of sound ocean governance,

• Analyze the complexities of meeting stakeholders’ competing interests in ocean governance,

• Evaluate the options that lead to successful negotiation regarding the above,

• Analyze the requirements for effective conflict resolution and dispute settlement.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY This programme would provide the added value of an academic degree promoting a knowledge base for policy makers and practitioners in the maritime field.
COURSE INTENDED FOR Persons who are interested in the maritime sector or the marine environment.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a first cycle degree in an area of study which the Board of Studies considers as appropriate, provided that the first cycle degree is obtained with a Second Class Honours or better classification, or an equivalent qualification.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2017.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.




Last Updated: 13 April 2017
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

For applicable fees please check the link on the Finance Office webpage.

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