Executive Maritime Management Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)

Managers in today’s extremely competitive maritime industry need to cope with continuous technical, regulatory and commercial development. They must be able to anticipate future opportunities and act proactively, armed with up-to-date skills and comprehensive knowledge if they want to retain their competitive edge. This programme, first offered in 2015, has been designed to provide a “boot camp” for managers. It is continuously updated to address issues of critical importance in the maritime industry across its operational, technical and commercial aspects. 

The programme is delivered in association with DNV GL, the world’s largest ship and offshore classification society. DNV GL’s Maritime Academy provides an extensive portfolio of training courses for the maritime industry. With their global network they are able to exploit best practices and offer comprehensive training programmes.

Programme Details

The programme carries 40 European credits, and can be completed in 11 months, with the Graduation Ceremony at WMU in Malmö held in November 2021. It is comprised of five modules.


Contemporary Global Maritime Regulatory and Management Issues in the Shipping Sector

This module examines the issues and challenges associated with the global maritime and regulatory environment in the shipping sector. You will examine the challenges and trends in maritime markets, and gain an understanding of maritime corporate and economic driving forces.

This module will also address leadership culture in the field of maritime conventions and expertise in public relations and communications. The module will also introduce and build awareness of, and confidence in, some of the key tools in the sector, including maritime and ocean governance, and maritime spatial planning.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the fundamental principles of contemporary maritime and regulatory issues
  • Analyse the challenges and trends in maritime markets;
  • Discuss the corporate and economic driving forces in the sector
  • Describe the imperatives behind public relations and communication in the sector
  • Discuss the fundamentals of maritime and ocean governance
  • Discuss the management tools, with a focus on maritime spatial planning
  • Understand the new UN sustainable development goals and the trend towards ocean sustainability


Course outline

  • Maritime economic and corporate driving forces
  • Maritime markets, challenges and trends
  • Leadership culture in the field of maritime conventions, expertise in public relations and communications
  • Public relations and communication imperatives
  • Maritime and ocean governance
  • Maritime spatial planning
  • Ocean sustainability

Strategic Financial Tools

This module examines the challenges and issues in today’s maritime sector, in terms of the financial management and investment appraisal, the availability of bank finance and the bank credit analysis as well as the alternative sources of ship finance, including Asian financing, Export Credit Agencies, private and public equity, high-yield bond markets and mezzanine ship finance. Advanced knowledge of shipping financial management and the impact of economic variables on the financial operations of shipping business organizations are analysed. You will receive in-depth training through several hands-on exercises and case studies, in order to enable you to develop, appraise, negotiate and select alternative shipping projects.

Learning outcomes

  • Appraise the ship finance sector in terms of markets, participants, sources of ship finance, current trends and future challenges
  • Implement financial analysis for investment in the shipping industry
  • Analyse the cost of capital and the capital structure of maritime organizations
  • Develop a deep understanding of shipping bank processes when extending a shipping loan facility
  • Evaluate alternative sources of capital for shipping projects
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of private and public equity and high-yield bonds


Course outline

  • Shipping markets: cyclicality, timing and forecasting
  • Capital budgeting and investment appraisal
  • Cost of capital and capital structure in shipping
  • Financial analysis of a shipping project
  • Bank shipping loans and bank syndication
  • Bank credit policy and analysis
  • Bank loan monitoring, legal considerations and workouts
  • Issuance of a shipping bank loan
  • Alternative sources of ship financing (public and private equity and debt, leasing, etc.)

Human Resource Management, Organizational Processes and Leadership in a Maritime Context

This module provides a fundamental understanding of the nature of organizations and the processes inherent in them. It increases an appreciation of the role of humans in organizational settings and the significance of leadership. Furthermore, styles of leadership and the associated effects on organizations are examined. Trends and issues of international maritime labour are part of the discussion in the module. Finally, a review of the importance of ethics and corporate social responsibility in contemporary maritime affairs is conducted.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand fundamentals of individual and group processes and how they relate to management and organizational behaviour
  • Explore human resource management theory and applications in the maritime industry
  • Explore leadership theory and applications in the maritime industry
  • Appreciate ethics and social responsibility from a corporate/organizational perspective


Course outline

  • The nature of management and organizations; organizational structure, culture and learning
  • Individual and group processes in organizations
  • HR management principles, policies, procedures and systems
  • International and national labour law applications in the maritime industry
  • Management of change in maritime organizations
  • Leadership concepts and applications
  • Corporate social responsibility

Effective Management of Safety, Security and Risk

This module explores three fundamental concepts – safety, security and risk – at the heart of the modern maritime domain. You will learn about various safety and security challenges, and how to identify them. The module will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to competently tackle key issues and relevant challenges faced by the global maritime sector today. From port state control to piracy, you can expect to be well versed in all issues faced by maritime administrations and authorities around the world. This module will hone your personal and corporate skills, and significantly improve your maritime industry credentials.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify key safety and security issues relevant to the maritime domain
  • Evaluate the risk associated with various maritime safety and security scenarios
  • Understand the role of various IMO conventions (SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, SAR), codes (ISM code, ISPS code) and instruments (III) in mitigating the risk of safety and security challenges
  • Apply the aforementioned IMO tools in practice
  • Apply thorough FSAs (Formal Safety Assessments) and propose risk management / control measures for a variety of situations that arise as a result of poor safety or security
  • Understand and apply industry state-of-the-art risk assessment and management tools to a selection of scenarios
  • Appreciate the core concepts of accident investigations and understand the importance of thorough investigation from a risk management perspective
  • Realise the value of a socio-technical system approach and complexity thinking applied to shipping


Course outline

  • Introduction to shipping/ship/safety relationship
  • The human element in a socio-technical system
  • Occupational health and safety and social regulation in shipping context
  • An overview of risk assessment - concepts and methods
  • Risk management - mitigating and controlling risk in poor safety and security situations
  • Risk management in the IMO - an introduction to FSA and other IMO tools
  • The need for accident investigation in the maritime industry
  • Learning from past mistakes - how to investigate an accident
  • Basics on complexity and applications safety

Entrance Requirements

The Admissions Board will consider only those applicants who meet the following general entrance requirements:

  • A minimum of five years' work experience
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (with full transcript)
    The highest grade certificate of competency for unrestricted service as master mariner or chief engineer
  • English language ability (both written and spoken, see below English Requirement) 

English Language Requirements

All applicants must submit an internationally recognized English language proficiency test. Acceptable tests include IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge examinations, and GCE O-levels in English language. Other tests are accepted by the Admissions Board only under exceptional circumstances; applicants should check with the Registry in such cases.

Candidates are assessed in accordance with the following general guidelines:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

IBT: 80+
PBT: 550+  
WMU’s TOEFL institution code is 9198.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

band 6.0 or above
Please note: the academic, not the general training, version of the test is required

Cambridge Examinations

Proficiency (CPE)

Students who have a pass in a GCE O-level or the equivalent (WAEC, CXC etc) must enclose a copy of their examination results for evaluation by the Admissions Board.

Sometimes applicants’ test results meet the University’s general guidelines, but show weaknesses in a certain skills area. In such cases, the Admissions Board will evaluate the skill level based on guidelines shown above. Information on TOEFL may be obtained through US embassies/consulates or the US Information Service, and on the IELTS and Cambridge Examinations from the British Council or Australian or UK  embassies/consulates.

More information can be found by visiting these websites:

Fees and Costs

Time frame 11 months
Credits 40 EC
Fees US$ 7,590 (US$1,518 per module)

At a Glance

Each of the five modules is individually assessed via a written assignment. The assignment needs to be submitted before moving on to the next module. All assignments will be assessed by the instructors, using the same criteria as in the WMU M.Sc. Programme.

Are you interested in having the Postgraduate Diploma specifically tailored for your employees and your needs?

Companies in the sector have expressed their appreciation of the breadth of our programme as it provides comprehensive coverage of the various topics relevant to maritime managers. Take the example of a technical expert hoping to move into a leadership position but lacking the requisite managerial skills; this Postgraduate Diploma can play a decisive role in equipping him or her to handle both the demands and challenges of this next step.

There are many reasons for companies to seek out professional development opportunities for their staff. You may be looking for ways to ensure that you keep the best people in your organization and give them new career opportunities. You may want to upgrade skills across the board, to give your organization a competitive edge over others. This Postgraduate Diploma could be a valuable instrument to strengthen the commitment of your employees and offer them career opportunities while raising the professional competence of your whole leadership team.

This Postgraduate Diploma offers the opportunity to gather all your organization’s managers globally into one programme. They will all be connected via the distance-learning platform, which enables them to work on similar projects, questions and challenges at the same time. The discussion platform makes it easy to exchange views on a variety of subjects so participants soon start to collaborate across borders, both national and organizational.

Putting a special focus on your employees will help you to distinguish yourself from other employers in the market. Discuss it with your staff to see how they would feel about the chance to study with other maritime professionals and under the guidance and leadership of international experts.

Like the open enrolment, customized programmes offer full access to the distance-learning platform, access to the WMU’s e-library, teaching and supervision from an international team of faculty, and finally, all successful students receive an academic qualification awarded by WMU. With customized delivery we can offer customized pricing and payment options as well as the possibility of company specific opening and closing workshops to enhance the organizational learning and experience of the participants.

If you can assemble a group of at least fifteen candidates, contact us to discuss options for a customized delivery of the Postgraduate Diploma. We would be happy to meet you in person so we can clarify your objectives and decide how we can best support you to achieve them.

The programme lasts eleven months. Approximately every eight weeks, a module will be completed with a written assignment and a new module will start.

In total, you should consider around 1,000 hours for reading of material, learning, assignment preparation, discussion with peers, using collaboration tools, etc. This works out to about 200 hours per module.

The Postgraduate Diploma carries a credit weighting expressed in European Credits (ECs). The complete programme consists of 40 ECs with each module consisting of 8 ECs. Under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), these credits can be transferred on to other programmes, at WMU and elsewhere, if they are approved by the receiving university.

Credits earned in your Postgraduate Diploma may be used in partial fulfilment of the requirements for another degree. At WMU, for example, you would be completely exempted from the first term of the standard Malmö-based Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Maritime Affairs programme, allowing you to complete it in just ten months.

This programme is designed by maritime professionals for maritime professionals. Flexibility in the way you study is vital.

Distance learning: Pre-recorded videos on an e-learning platform, self-assessments, collaboration tools, discussion forums

If you prefer flexibility in your time planning and flexibility in the location, the distance learning mode is right for you.

The concept of distance learning in the programme

Is the distance learning mode really equivalent to a classroom learning mode?

We offer the latest technical set-up. This includes a solid e-learning platform to which only registered students have access. On this platform students access lecture videos from each expert, equivalent to the lecture in a classroom, self-study material for your personal exercises and including access to WMU’s online library.

Furthermore, you are not left alone. There are collaboration tools that enable you to have direct contact with the instructors and other students in order to discuss problems and questions.

Once you have fulfilled all of the requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma in Executive Maritime Management, you will be invited to participate in the annual WMU Graduation Ceremony in Malmö, Sweden. At this graduation ceremony, you will join the WMU Ph.D., M.Sc. and Postgraduate Diploma graduates for the conferring of degrees by the Chancellor of WMU, the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Graduates from WMU are proven to be leaders of tomorrow in the maritime sector. Graduates leave WMU not only with the knowledge they need to succeed, but also with an extended network of contacts from around the world. Once you have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Executive Maritime Management you are welcome to join our network of graduates.

You can calculate the total cost of the Postgraduate Diploma programme based on the following fees: Distance learning: € 1,518 per module

During the programme, you will receive two invoices. The first will be sent upon registration, at the start of the programme, and will cover the first two modules. The second invoice will be sent before you start the third module. For more than two participants from the same company, a 10% discount per participant is offered.

Study material

For the distance learning mode, you will have access to the e-learning platform. Access to the WMU online library is available.

Additional materials such as books, articles and other recommended readings not available through WMU’s e-library are not included in the module fees.

When you have successfully completed all the requirements, you will be awarded a “Postgraduate Diploma in Executive Maritime Management” issued by WMU.


For general questions, registration for the programme or any other support, please contact:


Location 1 (Piraues):
Dr Marina Papaioannou
Phone: +30 210 4100 200

Location 2 (Singapore):
Janette Seetoh
Phone: +65 6508 3958