A free online course in maritime law, open to all, marks a new venture by the Law Society of Scotland in legal education provision.

Together with law firm Addleshaw Goddard and the UK Chamber of Shipping, the Society has developed a massive open online course (MOOC) about maritime law which starts this coming Monday, 30 October.

"Maritime law: an introduction to shipping transactions", is a free online course, open to everyone who has an interest in developing their understanding of maritime law. The course will run for four weeks, with three hours' part time learning from home.

The course is presented by Ed Watt, partner and head of the shipping group at Addleshaw Goddard, a specialist in ship sale and purchase, offshore commercial contracts and ship registration. He commented: "Because shipping law is not widely taught at an undergraduate level in Scotland, we saw the opportunity for an introductory-level approach aimed at both solicitors and the general public.

"The response so far has been very enthusiastic, which suggests the idea was a good one. Because our transactional expertise is an international practice, it really is capable of a global audience."

Rob Marrs, head of education at the Society, said: “We are always looking at how we can innovate in our educational provision and the opportunity to work with a platform with 6 million learners, alongside a leading shipping lawyer and our colleagues at the UK Chamber of Shipping was too good to miss.

"We hope that this MOOC will show off the excellence of the Scottish legal system and profession to the wider world. More than 900 people have already shown an interest in the course from all over the globe, which is fantastic.

"The course may be of particular interest to anyone with an interest in global trade, anyone working in the maritime industry (or working in sectors that support the maritime industry), as well as law students and lawyers considering careers in maritime law."

Guy Platten, CEO at the UK Chamber of Shipping, added: "The UK is the world’s leading centre for maritime law, not least because of its deep commitment to education and training. We know that the shipping industry is truly global, with a complex structure of laws, regulations and traditions that have evolved over centuries. That’s why we have been working closely with our friends at Law Scotland and Addleshaw Goddard to demystify the industry, and explain it to a broad audience."

For more information see www.futurelearn.com/courses/maritime-law