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Intellectual Property Law

Postgraduate Certificate ( 4 months Full-time )


Download the 2016 Specialist Programmes in Intellectual Property Law induction information.

Intellectual Property (IP) Law has become an interdisciplinary field comprised of law, engineering, medical science, economics, and numerous other fields. The Certificate in Intellectual Property Law is designed exclusively for trainee patent and trade mark attorneys. It is a one semester (13 week) course with a high concentration on many of the practical aspects of patents, trade marks and designs, and features greater involvement of patent and trade mark practitioners to complement the academic treatment of the subject matter. This course is approved by IPReg, CIPA and ITMA and is a recognised foundation exempting programme by these organisations.

The teaching term runs from 12 September or the first Monday following this date annually and finishes in mid-December. Exams run over two weeks in January annually.

This programme will:

  • Feature the involvement of patent and trade mark practitioners.
  • Offer you exemption from some professional exams. If you complete your examinations successfully, you will be exempt from the foundation level papers of the Joint Examination Board of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and three out of four of the foundation exams for the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.


Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI)


The Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI) is an internationally renowned research institution in intellectual property law and related areas of commercial law. QMIPRI hosts a number of events each year, including the annual Herchel Smith Intellectual Property Lecture, as well as a programme of seminars and IP research cafes.

Why study your Certificate in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary?


The School of Law has consistently been ranked in the top 10 law schools in the UK for the quality of our research and teaching, and many of our internationally recognised staff act as advisers to governments, industry and NGOs, both nationally and internationally. The Postgraduate Law Centre is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, the legal district of London, close to law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice.




You will have access to facilities and equipment at the Postgraduate School of Law Centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which comprises workstations, wireless internet access, projectors and a common room. You will also have access to the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre at the Mile End campus.

As well as housing the Law Library and a European Documentation Centre, the Queen Mary Library at Mile End provides access to all the main British, European and international textbooks, law reports and periodicals and also offers one of the best commercial law collections in the country. Through the University of London College network, students have access to an unrivalled range of electronic law journals and databases. Queen Mary provides free access to 84 law databases including: LexisNexis, Westlaw, Justis, Eur-lex, Hein-Online, Business Source Complete, Index to Legal Periodicals, International Court of Justice Reports, Kluwer Arbitration, Lawtel, Oxford Scholarship Online (Law), Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases, UK Statute law database and the United Nations Treaty Collection.

In addition to the Queen Mary Library and the British Library, postgraduate students are able to access the well-stocked law library at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). The Institute, located at Russell Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is one of the major law libraries worldwide. You will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House.



Programme structure

The Certificate in Intellectual Property Law is available to study over one semester (13 weeks).
Compulsory modules: 

You must obtain 60 credits in total.
  • Copyright and designs (15 credits) examined by one 3hr 15 min exam.
  • Law of trade marks and unfair competition (15 credits) examined by one 2hr 30 min and one 3hr 15 min exam.
  • Patent law (15 credits) examined by one 2hr 30 min and one 3hr 15 min exam.
  • Competition law (15 credits) examined by one 3hr 15 min exam.
  • Basic principles of English law, practice and evidence (non-credit bearing but assessed).
All students must attend Basic Principles of English law, practice and evidence, which is non-credit bearing but is of special relevance to intellectual property practitioners.

There is an intensive week of teaching from 12th – 16th September 2016, 9am – 6pm daily
Regular teaching commences 19 September – 9 December 2016, with 3 hours daily teaching usually between 9am – 1pm, but occasional afternoon sessions.

Provisional Examination Dates

Examinations take place over 2 weeks in January.
Wednesday 4 January 2017

10.00 start - IPLC023 - Patents Paper B
14.30 start - IPLC021 - Trade Mark Paper B
Friday 6 January 2017
10.00 start - IPLC023 - Patents Paper A
Monday 9 January 2017
10.00 start - IPLC021 - Trade Mark Paper A
Wednesday 11 January 2017
10.00 start - IPLC022 - Copyright Law
Friday 13 January 2017
14.30 start - IPLC020 - Competition Law

Professional Exams exemption

If you successfully complete the programme you will be exempt from the foundation level papers of the Joint Examination Board of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and three out of four of the foundation exams for the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

For more information:

Visit the School of Law website.


Sharon Watson
MSc and Certificate Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8098

Entry requirements

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2.2 honours degree is required.

Non-native English speaking applicants for either stream will be required to demonstrate a proficiency in the English language (IELTS or equivalent).

Applicants must have substantial experience within the Intellectual Property field (usually six months in a trainee position or similar).

If you are being sponsered you must submit a letter from your sponsor confirming this with a contact for the account the invoices need to be sent to.

International applicants:

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find details on our English language entry requirements.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information,  contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:

Teaching is by lecturers and practitioners within the field of IP. We take pride in the close relationship we have with the profession and their support of the programme gives a highly specialised programme to enhance your skills.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with any reading lists and revision materials given. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help you hone your skills within the workplace.


You will be assessed by examination. You will take three-hour and 15-minute papers for each full core option.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full time £6,250

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full time £6,250

This course in not eligible for Queen Mary funding.

Graduate Employment


Elizabeth Mills, UK

Elizabeth Mills, UK

Certificate in Intellectual Property Law 2009-2010

“After completing a four year Masters in Physics at Oxford University, I was in the contradictory position of wanting to work both with words and with science. After some research, patent law seemed like it would provide the ideal mix of the two. After obtaining a position as a Technical Assistant with Page White and Farrer in London in 2008 I soon discovered that all of my skills could be used; not just the one involving calculators. The following year, my firm sent me on the Queen Mary Certificate in Intellectual Property (IP) Law course. This course grants successful candidates an exemption from the foundation level professional examinations needed to qualify as a UK patent attorney. In addition to laying the basic groundwork on various aspects of IP law, the course provided an active forum for discussing current issues and gave a sense of community and fellowship to IP trainees. I personally found it interesting to study the IP that I don't necessarily work with everyday and to discover how relevant it is to most aspects of everyday life. The course has inspired me to look to include other areas of IP in my future career development. As a result, I would highly recommend this course to anyone either new to the profession or hoping to enter it.”

Duncan Hobday

Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property 2010-11

GlaxoSmithKline Prize for best Patent student in the Cert IP

Trainee Patent Attorney, W. P. Thompson & Co

I recently completed the Queen Mary Certificate Course in Intellectual Property as part of my training to become a qualified UK Patent Attorney. I had been in the profession for around a year prior to starting the course. The content and delivery of the course exceeded my expectations, the lectures gave a solid and accessible introduction to the all the general aspects of intellectual property law as well as offering viewpoints and analysis from both academics and professionals. The friendly atmosphere meant that it was easy to meet, discuss the course and socialise with trainees from other firms.

The course has provided a great foundation for me to build on as a trainee Patent Attorney. It gave me the opportunity to study and learn about aspects of the law in depth which I am now able to practically apply in my work. My experience at Queen Mary, although short, was extremely rewarding and enjoyable.

Andrew Clark


Andrew Clark, Graduate Trainee Patent Attorney - J A Kemp & Co, Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law

"I attended the Queen Mary Certificate Course in Intellectual Property as the first stage in obtaining the necessary formal qualifications for becoming a UK patent attorney. I had already been working at a private practice firm for around one year by the time the course started. The lectures provided a challenging but accessible, well-rounded introduction not only to patent law, but perhaps more importantly to more general aspects of intellectual property law.

Not only did the course help to place the career that I am now pursuing into its natural context, it also provided a useful opportunity to consider in more depth some of the issues relevant to my work, but not always easy to dwell on under the time pressures of the office. The well-informed and enthusiastic lecturers, the convenient, Central-London facilities and the friendly atmosphere all played their part in making my short stay at Queen Mary a most rewarding and enjoyable experience."

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