Intellectual Property Law Postgraduate Certificate

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

The Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property is designed for trainee patent attorneys and others working within, or embarking on, a career in intellectual property law and practice. This part-time programme provides a comprehensive overview of theoretical, practical and management aspects of intellectual property.

The course is suitable for both law graduates and those with backgrounds in the sciences, technology, engineering and business. Non-graduates who currently work with intellectual property are also considered. No prior legal knowledge is required, as you will be introduced to essential legal principles as the course progresses.

The course is accredited by the statutory regulator Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys. Upon successful completion of the Intellectual Property Postgraduate Certificate, students who wish to qualify as Patent Attorney in the UK receive exemptions from the foundation level papers set by the qualifying examinations agencies (see more details in  Special Features ).

The programme starts at the end of September and goes through to March and it is delivered on Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm.

This is a unique programme designed by the Law School to support Law Firms and the IP industry. The part-time nature of the course makes it possible to gain valuable knowledge of intellectual property law whilst in full-time employment.  UK employers sponsor over 80% of students taking the course.


  • The programme will provide students with essential knowledge about the theoretical rationales and policy arguments for the recognition of intellectual property rights.
  • It will explain the basic principles of Intellectual Property Law and the nature and scope of these rights. It will also explore the procedures, both national and supranational, for the granting and recognition of the rights, and mechanisms for enforcement as well as defences against enforcement.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Course Director: Dr Alison Slade

Tel: +44 (0)1895  266549

Related Courses

Course Content

The course will prepare students for the challenges they will face when they enter practice as it will cover all major practical knowledge needed in a competitive international intellectual property industry.

The course consists of four modules – two modules in Term 1 and two modules in Term 2:

  • Trade Marks and Allied Rights (Term 1 – 15 credits)
  • Patent Law and Practice (Term 1 – 15 credits)
  • Copyright, Designs and Allied Rights (Term 2 – 15 credits)
  • Managing Intellectual Property (Term 2 – 15 credits)

 The course covers the following subjects:

  • Fundamentals of the English legal system.
  • Challenges faced by IP practitioners. Ethics and codes of practice.
  • Patent law: rationale, requirements for patentability, ownership and licensing, infringement, remedies, defences. Practice and management of patents: obtaining a patent in the UK, EPC procedure, PCT procedure. Obtaining a patent in other jurisdictions.
  • Copyright law. Rationale and subsistence, subject matter (literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works), ownership, licensing, moral rights, economic rights, infringement, permitted acts.
  • Trade mark law. Registration, absolute grounds for refusal of registration, infringement and relative grounds for refusal of registration, defences, invalidity, revocation, use. Practice and management of trade marks: registering and maintaining a trade mark in the UK. International and transnational options for trade mark protection, registration and maintenance in other jurisdictions.
  • The law of passing off and the legal protection for unregistered trade marks in the UK.
  • Design rights: registered and unregistered design, qualifying for protection, infringement, defences, invalidity and overlap with copyright. Practice and management of industrial design: registering and maintaining a design in the UK and internationally.
  • Elements of the law of breach of confidence: the legal protection of trade secrets and confidential information.
  • Intellectual property licensing (negotiation, international perspectives – jurisdiction clauses, arbitration requirements) and elements of technology transfer.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

Studying Intellectual Property Law at Brunel

Intellectual Property Law at Brunel University is well established and highly rated for the quality of its staff publications, research projects and teaching standard. Staff teaching at the Intellectual Property Postgraduate Certificate include academics and practitioners with recognised expertise in all areas of intellectual property law.


The course is accredited by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg), the statutory body regulating the professions of patent attorney and trade mark attorney. It provides exemptions in the examinations to become a qualified Patent Attorney in the UK.

For more details on qualifications, examinations, and exemptions please visit the website of the Joint Examination Board (JEB), the body responsible for the organisation and management of the examinations of CIPA for entry onto the Register of Patent Attorneys.

Patent Attorney

Students preparing to train as Patent Attorneys will receive full exemption from all Foundation Level Papers (P1, P5, P7, D&C, Law) set by the Joint Examination Board and the Institute of Patent Attorneys.


Attendance for lectures is only required on Wednesday afternoons from 1pm to 5pm for two terms, end September to March.


Each module will be assessed independently by way of a written examination or coursework.

Term 1 modules are assessed at the beginning of January. Term 2 modules are assessed during the University’s main exam period – the end of March to the beginning of May. Exact dates are confirmed to all students during the academic year.


Graduates will have the skills to pursue a career in the area of intellectual property as lawyers (in-house or independent), patent or trademark attorneys, IP portfolio managers, patent examiners and IP paralegals. The course may also benefit those who deal with intellectual property matters on a regular basis within industry/business.

For more details of career opportunities, please explore the external sites below:

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £3,000 part-time

International students: £4,920 part-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

  • A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in sciences, engineering, technology, humanities and law.
  • Other related disciplines and qualifications will be considered with Patents and Intellectual Property work experience on an individual basis and applicants may be required to attend an interview.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Thursday 12 November 2015