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Turkish national Alara Merzeci Kaleoğlu has always wanted a career focused on maritime law. Upon graduating with a law degree from Durham University, she sought to learn more about her practice area, particularly its role in the defining issue of our time: the climate crisis.

She found the ideal pathway into a rewarding, world-changing career at MLA College. As a MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations student, Alara is learning how principal organisations in the industry work and the current challenges they face.

“The MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations programme not only covers all these components and much more, but also brings together many successful businessmen and women, people who have years of experience in the maritime sector, providing a global maritime network,” says Alara.

MLA College offers distance learning programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, designed with professionals in the marine and maritime industry in mind. Studied by seafarers and marine/maritime professionals from across the globe, they are flexible, allowing students to work part-time, at times that suit them, whilst balancing other life and work commitments.

With degrees validated by the University of Plymouth, MLA College is the official education partner of CIFAL City of London and has an education partnership with the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

While travel restrictions were a hindrance to other students, Alara was already starting her master’s degree online with MLA College. Its award-winning Total Learning Package (TLP) gives students full access to all teaching and learning materials — once downloaded, these materials can be accessed offline.

Alara is also grateful that the language used by tutors is digestible, making it easy to understand.

“The learning materials are very well organised and are easy to follow, recordings all have transcript versions attached below the module videos which helps me keep up. You do not have to pause every few seconds to take notes,” she says.

“The content of the modules is also carefully planned since every module includes not only the core content but also informs you about the challenges faced for that matter, supported by legal matters or research previously conducted when interrelated.”

Source: MLA College

MLA College’s online degree allows Alara to set her own pace with her learning without being overloaded with work. Source: MLA College

Alara is juggling law equivalency and accreditation courses at Istanbul University and an internship at Ülgener Law firm which focuses on Maritime Law. MLA College’s online degree allows her the flexibility to achieve much more within the same period. She can set her own pace without being overloaded with work.

“The best part of obtaining an online degree is how it allows you to self-organise as there are no strict schedules of weekly classes and the modules are all pre-recorded and uploaded to the system,” she says.

What makes MLA College programmes unique are their universality. From sustainable maritime operations to oceanography and meteorology, the college offers an extensive list of programmes open to everyone regardless of their disciplines. Some of these programmes include: BSc Sustainable Maritime Operations and MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations.

Students like Alara are the perfect example of how those planning to cross over into the maritime industry will greatly benefit from MLA College programmes. “This programme may seem to be formed especially targeting the people directly involved with the shipping sector,” she says “However, I would suggest this programme is for everyone from all sectors such as myself who are interested in maritime law.”

Despite programmes being delivered from a distance, there is a core team of academics and experts that readily supports students in their studies when they need it most. Alara testifies to this: “As a recent graduate, I did not have enough experience or was not involved in the maritime sector before starting my master’s degree; however, with the help and support of my academic tutors, I now have a high-level understanding of the functioning of the maritime sector.”

Such support is further extended in the way courses are conducted. Those who want higher marks can upload a draft version of their coursework before the deadline for detailed feedback on what to improve. This will especially benefit those who would like to enhance their writing methods in academic writing.

Alara recalls when she once missed her deadline for one of her coursework, her tutor sent her an email reminder. He expressed his concern and offered to help. “It was a very polite way of giving the other person the chance to explain themselves. Being supportive and friendly is a priority for all members of MLA College which makes the process much more enjoyable,” she says.

“I believe what I will be taking home with me once I successfully finish this programme is invaluable and having this knowledge will allow me to be better at what I do,” shares Alara.

With so many industry professionals taking advantage of distance learning and the quality-led education provided by MLA College, there is no better time to invest in your future. Apply now.

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