6th November to 6th December 2024



This training programme builds upon the 50 years’ experience of the International Ocean Institute in conducting training and capacity-building programmes on ocean governance. The Ocean Governance content, which is designed for practitioners, covers contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean) under the governance architecture of UNCLOS and related international instruments and agreements.

IOI Course academic director

Course Manager

The programme:

  • draws upon the conduct of maritime affairs at the international and regional level in a holistic and integrated approach;
  • focuses on linkages between natural, social and economic sciences, the research-management interface and the support of technology to enable the effective achievement of ocean management and sustainable development;
  • considers the implications of international and regional policies, including the EU Integrated Maritime Policy for the European regional seas, with a science-based and holistic approach to policy undertakings that takes into account the impact of international governance structures;
  • brings to the forefront the characteristics of seas as different and sensitive as the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian within the ambit of ocean governance.

The training programme aims to:

  • advance basin-wide knowledge of governance and the linkages to socio-economic issues, and integrated and ecosystem ocean management;
  • provide a strong overview of the inter- and intra-sectoral interactions in ocean governance with the intention of strengthening knowledge and capacity in sustainably    managing ocean and coastal services and resources;
  • contribute towards capacity development in ocean governance in the countries bordering the regional seas;
  • build stronger inter-regional coherence in countries’ engagement in the governance of the regional seas;
  • promote inter-regional cooperation, shared experiences and exchange of best practice scenarios, and to
  • foster interaction between participants from diverse countries bordering the regional seas under study.


In response to the formal accreditation by the University of Malta of the academic content of the said Course, making it the first IOI Training Course to be formally accredited by a University, this year’s Course content will be delivered in the form of 3 stand-alone Study-Units (GSC 5101, GSC 5102 and GSC 5103), which will fully incorporate the traditional 4 Course Modules.

Course participants can opt to follow the accredited pathway by subjecting themselves to the prescribed assessment, which would make them eligible to receive a certificate for every Study-Unit or simply to attend the Course, which would make them eligible to receive an attendance certificate upon successful completion of the same Course. Participants opting for the first pathway will be registered as University of Malta students.


The course:

  • requires a full time commitment by participants on the basis of six hours of class work daily over a five-day week;
  • involves traditional lectures and classroom sessions as well as hands-on sessions, field visits, practical classes, seminars, workshops and group exercises, and extra-classroom activities during some evenings and weekends;
  • involves group work and each participant is expected to provide input to shared activities;
  • will be conducted in English – therefore, participants must be able to understand, write and speak English fluently.

Successful applicants must be willing to complete some specified reading and preparatory work prior to the course.

The programme seeks to inform on core governance topics and emerging ocean issues of a global and regional nature such as:

  • the major conventions and instruments regulating oceans and their sustainable use: UNCLOS, the IMO Conventions, the regional seas conventions, IOC, FAO,UNCTAD and ILO, and many others;
  • the roles of international and regional bodies such as the UN institutions, the EU and other major regional mechanisms governing the international oceans and the regional seas;
  • emerging issues in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ); ocean governance and special issues in the Arctic areas; climate change, security and financial crises; the Blue Economy and ocean economics;
  • tools and processes to manage the oceans and regional seas: ICZM, Maritime Spatial Planning; latest developments in data collection and interpretation for policy making, big data and large scale processes; ecosystem and regional scales of management.
  • Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The course curriculum is divided into four main modules presented over a five-week period, giving altogether a broad approach to the theme of the course.

Module 1 – Global Ocean Governance Framework

sets out the objectives of ocean governance and the linkages to socio-economic issues, integrated and ecosystem ocean management, and resource exploitation. During this module the international and regional governance structures, conventions and tools are presented and discussed with special emphasis on the governance architecture provided through UNCLOS.

Module 2 – Managing our Relations with the Oceans

covers traditional policy, legal and institutional tools of the Blue Economy and Blue Growth, focusing on the science-management interface and bringing to the fore the use of state-of-the art technology in support of ocean governance. Tools, techniques and processes which support and inform decision making and policy action are presented, as are relevant case studies and best practices; hands on practical exercises are provided.

Module 3 – Conflict Management, Consensus Building

addresses those conflicting interests that can be a barrier to effective ocean governance and management and the mechanisms available for conflict prevention and management. During this part of the course, the UN system is presented as well as other mechanisms for high level negotiations, dispute settlement and the creation of consensus around common goals; case studies and simulated negotiation sessions help give practical experience and topical relevance.

Module 4 – Regional Ocean Governance Frameworks for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas

targets the governance frameworks for these regional seas on the basis of current realities, future needs and an in-depth study of their geophysical, socio-economic and political contexts. The course, through this module, culminates in a hands-on policy making exercise where groups working on specific topics relevant to the regional seas are mentored by regional experts and policy makers to use the knowledge gained during the programme in a practical application of policy making and governance.


The training programme is specifically designed to benefit policy-makers, civil servants, mid-career professionals, educators, researchers and post graduate students, media professionals, civil society members, having coastal or marine related responsibilities, functions or interests.

Additional considerations:

  • preference will be given to candidates from developing countries of the regional seas;
  • applicants from developed countries around the regional seas shall be considered if they have full funding or are registered at the University of Malta as postgraduate students;
  • participants from other countries outside the region will also be considered on a case by case basis.

Participants should preferably be between 20 and 40 years of age, and possess at least a first degree in a field relevant to marine affairs, governance, or science.


A nominal course fee covering tuition and course materials, lodging in self-catering apartments, lunches and coffee breaks on the lecture days, and field trip expenses, will be charged to each accepted participant to cover full participation in the five-week programme in Malta.

The course fee of €5500, covers registration to the full academic programme, local accommodation in self-catering apartments, lunches during the lecture days of the course, course delivery materials, all bench fees, use of university facilities, participation in field trips and the social programme organised as part of the course.

Travel to and from Malta is not included in the course fee. All applicants need to pay for their own travel.

All applications need to pay a penalty of €500 to the University of Malta if they leave the course before the termination date without any force majeure (e.g. personal or family health issues, outbreak of social turmoil or occurrence of natural catastrophe in their home country).

Applicants who fulfil the eligibility requirements will be selected to participate in the course according to the following criteria:

  1. Preference will be given to participants who manage to secure full sponsorship for the course (i.e. covering course cost, meals and accommodation and flights); followed by participants who secure partial funding to cover flights, accommodation and meals OR the cost of the course delivery.
  2. In the case of participants who are not self-funded, preference will be given to individuals who are:
    1. primarily from a developing Mediterranean or Eastern European country;
    2. mid-career professionals, educators, researchers and civil society participants who are currently engaged in coastal marine-related responsibilities, functions or interests;
    3. can show that their participation can bring benefits to their own countries.
  3. Finally, applicants who come from countries outside the target regions will be considered as long as the course gains from the exchange of experiences between participants.

The course will be held at the residence where the participants and visiting faculty will be accommodated. The residence is located centrally with good access to local amenities and the University of Malta.


Apply straight away. Make sure you get your application in early so you don’t miss out.

The completed application deadline is Friday 31 May 2024.  No late applications will be accepted.

To apply, simply complete the application form. The required nomination form template can be downloaded from HERE.

If you are unable to access the online application form, please download the offline version and send it along with your certificates and the nomination form by email to celine.farrugia@um.edu.mt.



Prof. Alan Deidun

Course Manager

Ms Celine Farrugia

Course Logistics Manager

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