Frequently Asked Questions

With the FAQ we line out our concept of the International Maritime Management (IMM) degree programme in order to enhance transparency for you. For further questions contact us by Email. We are very much interested in your questions and comments to improve the FAQ further!

Part 1: Formal aspects

When can I start my studies?

You can start our degree programme every semester (in March and September). We begin in September 2015 with a testing phase which is free of charge. All learning units will be available in both the summer and the winter semester.

The regular study programme will start in September 2017.

What is the difference between the Maritime Management (MM) and International Maritime Management (IMM) degree courses?

Both programmes have similar contents but the didactic concepts are totally different. With the IMM programme we address professionals in junior management positions to combine their work with university studies. By offering the MM course we are looking for students who want to proceed directly after having passed their under-graduate courses (in Elsfleth). Exceptions are possible.

I read about a blended learning concept. What is that and what does it mean for the IMM concept?

Didactic concept of the study course

A blended learning concept is a combination of on-campus and distance education. Different shares are possible. Our concept addresses you while you work all around the world. We use mainly distance education (learning material, learning management system, etc.) with a minimum of on-campus education (only three on-campus attendance phases) to be in line with your demands regarding our programme.

What are credit points and workload? What do you mean by 90 ECTS points for the whole degree programme?

One semester studied in full time equals 30 credit points. For one credit point you have to work 25 hours. This is called “workload” and the assumption is based on an average rate. The co-operative programme of work and study equals a total of 90 credit points or three semesters in full-time. We give you an example on the basis of a typical unit: 6 credit points multiplied by 25 hours per credit point lead to a workload of 150 hours in order to pass one unit.

I feel that I have earned competencies throughout my professional life. Furthermore, I have studied XY at university XY before I decided to start IMM. Can I cross-credit some achievements and shorten my IMM studies?

It is generally possible to cross-credit competencies. This is why we are working on a guideline comprising individual competencies (of your individual biography, work life and rank within “your” company) and global competencies e.g. when you have worked as a Chief Mate on a sea-going vessel for at least one year.

Part 2: Our concept

Am I addressed by this programme?

We mainly address nautical officers and employees at a junior management level of maritime or logistics companies. To enrol in our M.Sc. programme you must have passed an under-graduate degree course. Although an under-graduate degree in a maritime or logistics setting is the most appropriate, we are also looking for alumni with under-graduate degrees in economics, engineering or legal study courses.

Why is the programme important for me?

With the M.Sc. programme we qualify you to work your way up on the “job ladder”. You will be qualified to be promoted to an upper management level in maritime companies (e.g. shipping companies, terminal operators, maritime banks and insurers) or in the public administration sector.

What is the difference between IMM and other distance degree programmes?

Our concept has one main advantage. It enables you to study while you are working on board a sea-going vessel or in a logistics company in Germany as well as overseas. Moreover, we include your work experience into your studies to achieve practical value and mutual benefits.

Which reasons have lead to the development of this degree programme?

Different arguments have lead to the development of this degree programme:

  • The degree programme addresses nautical officers and logisticians who pursue a career after having achieved a bachelor's degree but who aim to be promoted to an upper management level after having achieved the M.Sc. degree and gained additional qualifications.
  • People with an under-graduate degree in economics, engineering or legal studies are enabled to apply for the M.Sc. distance degree course to acquire management skills with respect to shipping-related topics. This is possible by combing theoretical expertise with work-based issues which arise in the maritime industry.
  • The distance degree programme of IMM enables people to carry their personal interests into effect, e.g. a change from a ship-based to a shore-based workplace. Others include obtaining the M.Sc. degree in order to work in the public administration sector or to proceed with doctoral research studies.

Why should I return to the university?

You have obtained your first degree and work at a maritime or logistics company in a shore-based or ship-based position. It will take some time until you will be promoted or you will achieve your master's licence. For this time we offer you the possibility to enrol in our IMM degree course to obtain a (second and) higher degree – as a Master of Science (M.Sc.).

I am working on a sea-going vessel (without a permanent connection to the Internet and irregular phases of work and holidays). Can I study IMM anyway?

Yes, you are very welcome to our degree course because our concept caters for your demands:

  • Our teaching material is available as PDF and eBook files so you do not need to connect to the Internet for downloading any material etc. Once you are back at home or in a port you can connect to the Internet and participate actively.
  • Our concept provides three on-campus attendance phases throughout your studies, thus reducing your travelling efforts to an acceptable rate. Moreover, it is often enough to guarantee a very intensive and pleasant working atmosphere in Elsfleth.

How can I ask questions during my studies? How can I interact with fellow students and lecturers?

Our concept addresses you as people in different roles: we see you in the professional life, in our distance degree course and with your families and friends. We use asynchronous communication (Email, web forum) in combination with flexible contact hours to discuss and exchange information. You write your questions, notes etc. whenever you are free and will get an answer as soon as possible and at latest within scheduled contact hours. You can get in contact and discuss matters with your fellow students in the same way.

How long will I need for my studies (degree programme, learning units)?

Flexibility of the study programme

Our studies are designed for a duration of five semesters in part-time or three semesters in full-time. We know that you are working in full-time jobs and have family and friends. We therefore explicitly appreciate a flexible approach towards your studies. You can study only one unit (or more) per semester as well as interrupt your studies if the need arises.

Why are all lectures taught in English?

We teach and communicate in English to be in line with the very international character of the maritime and logistics industry and your professional life. This also enables you to gain experience with multi-cultural work teams.

What will I be able to do when I have finished the degree course? What are the learning outcomes?

You are interested in being promoted to an upper management position. For this purpose you have to acquire knowledge, skills and competencies. You find them in detail here.

How is it possible to work and study simultaneously?

In our opinion the aspect includes two main impacts:

  • To combine your work and studies leads to mutual benefits. Our concept aims at integrating work-based matters into the learning units. For this reason, all units start with a theoretical part, followed by a practical part with reference to your individual job.
  • The other aspect is the flexibility offered by our concept to cater for your preferred course of action. You can study independently from given structures regarding place and time. Moreover, it is up to you to study one unit after another or to study multiple units simultaneously.

Who is my contact person while I am studying and who can I contact to help me with administration matters?

Our concept is based on a small number of contact persons for your convenience. An author develops the course. In most cases the author also takes care of the course and answers your questions while you are studying this particular learning unit. For all other questions (with regard to administration and inter-disciplinary matters) you can contact one person who is in charge as your contact person to make your studies as comfortable as possible.

Part 3: Studying the degree course

I have work phases where I am very busy and others in which I have some more time. I like to concentrate on my studies the other way around. Is that possible?

Yes, you can combine your studies with your work as you prefer. You do not have to keep dates within the learning units. We only follow the structure of semesters (from March to August and from September to February) as the semester start and the end have to be maintained. Within this period there are no scheduled dates. You can work on the units and finish them whenever it is convenient.

What are the innovations offered by the IMM degree course to serve the students’ specific demands?

The course’s teaching material is designed in a way that enables you to study successfully while you are outside a normal classroom environment. For discussions, questions, tasks and advice on your learning approach we provide a virtual classroom – our learning management system (LMS). Here, we “meet” and you will find Internet forums, teaching material, further information and self assessments. You find more information on the structure of the course here.

My home is far away from Elsfleth (Germany). Can I study IMM anyway without travelling too often?

Yes, our concept explicitly addresses seafarers and logisticians who are located around the globe, so that you can study independently from your place and time zone. Throughout your whole studies we only meet three times in Elsfleth (Germany) altogether:

  • On-campus attendance phase 1 takes place at the beginning of your studies. We meet in Elsfleth for several reasons: to get to know each other to ensure a fluent future communication, to gain familiarity with the concept of the course and its units, to participate in the introduction to the LMS and to handle administration purposes.
  • On-campus attendance phases 2 and 3 take place at the end of the first and second semester (full-time studies). We meet for several reasons: to resemble a conference and ensure a face-to-face communication between the students and lecturers. They also serve to acquire skills, as a proof of identity and the diversification of the exams (written exams, presentations and a corporate strategic planning simulation).

I cannot ask questions because I do not visit lectures as in classic studies, can I? How can I get information on my learning progress?

We integrate obligatory self assessments within the LMS. You can pass them whenever you want and they serve as your instant feedback because they are automatically corrected by the computer system. With this aspect we reinforce your learning progress and you earn a first success.

Part 4: Studying the learning units

What are the innovations within the units of the IMM degree course?

All our units provide you with techniques to make your studies very transparent. All units start with a questionnaire. It contains all aspects of the learning unit and asks you to self-assess your knowledge on a scale from 1 to 5. Additionally, you know what the exam looks like from the first day you start studying. The chapters are divided in very short sections (we know that you are working as well!). Every chapter within the teaching material of a unit starts with a short list which introduces you to the intended learning outcomes. They are based on the unit's initial questionnaire. When you have finished a chapter you will find questions which help you to reflect on what you have just read. These questions also initiate discussions in the virtual classroom.

How are the courses structured?

To enhance the transparency all courses of our programme have an identical structure. This homogeneous structure is always divided into two parts. Approximately the first half of your workload concentrates on theoretical matters and is subdivided into two parts, This is followed a practical application of the theory on issues related to your individual work. All material is available off-line as PDF and eBook files.

What do I have to do to finish the courses?

You finish a unit by completing two self assessments and one examination per learning unit. The self assessments are not graded – you only have to pass them by earning a minimum of 51 percent. Thereafter you have to pass the examination. The type differs with respect to the course. Our portfolio comprises a mix of homework, written exams, presentations and a corporate strategic planning simulation.