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Do you want to know how it is to be at student at the Master of Laws in Law of the Sea-program?

We have asked some of our former students to write about their experience being a student at the Master of Laws in Law of the Sea-program. These are their stories.

Seamus Ryder, from Australia:

In complete honesty, I never planned to study in UiT’s Master of Laws (LLM) in the Law of the Sea program. I came to Tromsø on exchange from Bond University in Australia: one week I was surfing in the South Pacific and the next week I was surfing in the Norwegian Sea! I only planned to take a few electives in order to complete the final degree requirements of a Juris Doctor (JD) from my home institution. I enrolled in JUR-3050 General Law of the Sea, the first course in the LLM program, because I have always been very passionate and interested in ocean law and policy. After the first lecture, I knew I wanted to stick around and complete the entire LLM!


The LLM in the Law of the Sea provides a fantastic opportunity to explore one of the most fascinating areas of international law. The international law of the sea offers an incredibly vast and diverse range of opportunities for study, and the LLM program reflects this: courses cover everything from the deep seabed, high seas and fish stocks, to marine scientific research, military uses of the oceans, and marine environmental protection. Personally, I was most interested in marine Arctic issues. You could not find a better location than Tromsø to engage with these issues and obtain an Arctic perspective, with institutions like the Arctic Council and the Norwegian Polar Institute located in your backyard. In our second semester, the entire class journeyed to Svalbard for seminars and some Arctic adventures!

Most importantly, the LLM in the Law of the Sea equipped me with an unparalleled knowledge of ocean law and policy. There are many LLM program out there, but few have such an in-depth focus on law of the sea. An LLM in the Law of the Sea truly is unique. The knowledge and skills gained in the program provided me with the opportunity to attend the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, one of the premier educational forums for discussion of the principles of modern oceans law and policy. This knowledge and skill was also instrumental in securing a legal internship at the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), in the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


An LLM in the Law of the Sea can open doors in government, NGOs, law firms, international diplomacy, private industry and beyond. Of course, if you’re like me, you may be so inspired by what you learned in the program that you decide to want to keep learning. Since graduating from the LLM program, I have returned to UiT’s Faculty of Law to complete a PhD in the law of the sea as a Research Fellow at the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea. In fact, I now do some occasional instructing in the LLM program. I look forward to meeting new LLM students!

Natalia Ermolina, from Russia:

I came to Tromsø through an exchange program between University of Tromsø and Arkhangelsk University (Russia). Among the courses I took was a course of General Law of the Sea. I found out that it was an incredible exciting area of international law and decided to continue in-depth study by taking the whole Master of Laws in Law of the Sea.

As a LL. M. student I got a new look at the Sea from different legal perspectives with a good team including staff of the Faculty and fellow students. Beyond a qualitative academic environment, both the Faculty and the students were good to create social events. All this has contributed to that I enjoyed the program a lot.

During the program I acquired advanced knowledge regarding the Law of the Sea issues and developed valuable skills. I learned to be an independent and critical researcher.

I continue to keep me update in recent developments within the Law of the Sea as a PhD Fellow Research.


I highly recommend you to experience this program and Norway.


Best of luck, Natalia Ermolina 

Maria Madalena das Neves , from Portugal:

I was already working as an attorney when I decided to do my LLM. Because I was working in a competitive environment and I was keen to always provide the best possible counseling to the firm’s clients, I felt compelled to deepen my knowledge in law of the sea. After comparing a number LLM programs in law of the sea and universities in different countries, I came to the conclusion that Tomsø offered the best conditions. The program was well structured with an intellectually stimulating curriculum; the teaching staff was formed by a number of renowned experts in this field of law; and the program offered the flexibility for me to continue with my professional activity and to thoroughly enjoy the spectacular surroundings of Tromsø.

I was not disappointed when I finally started the program. The university provided an excellent academic environment with students from different countries, access to vast library resources and had a dynamic organization of leisure activities such as music, films, sports, and outdoors activities. The LLM itself also surpassed my expectations. The small size of the class allowed for meaningful discussions, group work and visits to a number of marine related institutions in Tromsø.  The problem-oriented cases analysed in class were engaging and helped strengthen my critical thinking and analytical skills. Both the professors and the administrative staff were accessible and supportive of my needs at all times. The legal knowledge I acquired with the LLM program has been most valuable to me in my position as an attorney and as legal advisor to the Portuguese Consulate in Northern Norway. Moreover, taking the LLM in Tromsø was such a rewarding experience that ultimately I stayed on to do my PhD.

Now as an “insider” I see the continuous updating and improvement of the LLM program which shows the genuine care of the teaching staff in always providing the best possible education to its students. Furthermore students taking the LLM program also have the opportunity to take elective courses which complement the LLM curriculum such as energy law, human rights and indigenous people’s rights. Finally, the fact that the K.G. Jebsen foundation invited our faculty to establish the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea also speaks of the excellence of the research, the researchers working here and of the network they have created with other scholars and institutions in this field. I therefore highly recommend this program to all that are interested in issues related to law of the sea and to the arctic. 

LLm - students, class of 2009

Ansvarlig for siden: Annikken Steinbakk
Sist oppdatert: 02.11.2014 10:12