PhD in Maritime Affairs
The World Maritime University (WMU) 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. The programme offers the opportunity to carry out research across the maritime field, but with an emphasis on issues related to the IMO mission of maritime safety, security and environmental protection. Our doctoral programme offers unrivalled access to international maritime experts both inside and outside academia, and to organizations working at the forefront of research and development. Doctoral students have come to WMU from industry, academia and the government sector, and have completed their dissertations in a wide range of subject areas, from investigating oil-spill mitigation to an analysis of organisational learning in shipping companies.
The PhD programme consists of 240 ECTS credits completed usually over a registration period of three to six years. Candidates may be based at the University or elsewhere, usually at their place of employment. Within the time limits candidates may work at their own pace, which can also vary during their period of enrolment. A candidate who has completed part of a doctoral degree elsewhere may transfer into the WMU programme with advanced standing. Their period of enrolment at WMU will vary in line with the amount of research they have already completed, but the minimum permissible period of enrolment must include at least registration, one progression seminar and the dissertation (120 EC).
Main areas of research
Marine Environmental Management: environmental issues in oceans and on coasts, particularly those related to maritime issues such as shipping. Interdisciplinary issues involving oceanography, pollution and environmental management also fall within this area of research.
Maritime Administration: Law, Policy and Security: the legislative, regulatory, and enforcement roles of governments and administrations in the context of specific problems facing the maritime industry. These include security, law of the sea, seafarer’s rights, labour standards, marine environmental law, and so on.
Shipping and Port Management: this research area explores all areas of shipping and port management, and offers the chance of carrying out in-depth investigation within the fields of maritime economics, ship or port operations and management, and shipping and port policy, as well as in the related fields of logistics, ship finance, cargo handling, and port governance.
Maritime Technology and Education: technical developments in the shipping industry and educational processes, including cultural, gender and linguistic issues. It includes interdisciplinary work linking technical innovation and education, such as simulation training, information/ communication technology and organizational knowledge management.
Maritime Risk and System Safety: multidisciplinary research angles in the area of maritime risk governance and management with a special focus on maritime safety and human-related issues. Technical developments, such as the concept of e-navigation or the use of simulation to help maritime risk assessment are also included.