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Postgraduate Certificate Intellectual Property

  • Delivery:

This part-time course provides a development opportunity and will increase your prospects and employability by giving you practical skills and theoretical knowledge that firms and Intellectual Property departments, alike, are demanding.

It is designed to give a detailed overview of substantive intellectual property law. On successful completion of this course, you will obtain full exemptions from the foundation level examinations for qualification as a patent attorney or trade mark attorney in the UK (IPReg/CIPA/CITMA). Please indicate on your application form if you want to follow the patent attorney or trade mark attorney path.

You can complete this course whilst in full-time employment; more than 80% of our students are sponsored by their employers. If you do not have prior legal knowledge you will be supported by a range of online activities relating to foundational principles of law (such as English legal system, contract law and tort).

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

Key information

Next start date:

January 2019


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


Attendance is required on 3 sets of attendance dates (Thursday afternoon until Saturday), supported by online work and there is one exam.


Intellectual Property Regulation Board

Relevant subjects:

A background in the sciences is appropriate if you intend to progress into a career relating to patents

Required subjects:

You should have familiarity with the law of your home country, or thorough subject knowledge in a related discipline such as accounting, management or business

Entry requirements:

A UK Bachelor Honours degree, 2:2 or above, or appropriate training and/or experience. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

The course is delivered over five months, beginning January 2019 with an extensive programme of online work (e-activities) and attendance at Bournemouth University (Thursday to Saturday).

The attendance dates for 2018 were:

8-10 February

8-10 March

19-21 April

1 June (exam)

2019 dates are to be confirmed.

The course will develop your knowledge in the following areas:

Core units

  • Patents & Designs: This unit will enable you to understand the legal regimes governing Patents and Designs. It will continue to update your knowledge of the law and apply legislation and judicial decisions to situations that may arise in the workplace. You will learn to use knowledge of prevailing Patents and Designs law to maximum advantage.
  • Copyright & Trademarks: During this unit you will develop a systematic understanding of the legal regimes governing Copyright and Trademarks. It will continue to update your knowledge of relevant UK, European and International law and it will also enable you to independently apply legislation and judicial decisions to novel situations that may arise in a commercial context.
  • International Intellectual Property Practice (Patent Attorney Route) and International Intellectual Property Practice (TradeMark Attorney Route)There is a common syllabus over these two units, focusing on national and international procedure in respect of securing and defending patent and trademark rights. If you chose the patent route, you'll have an additional taught component on patent drafting. For the trademark route, you'll cover competition-related provisions. Both units are taught by leading practitioners.

*Please note - all units include mandatory online e-activities.

Course delivery

The course starts in January but the first weekend of attendance isn't until February - you will have online work to complete from January. In addition, prior to the attendance days where you will attend lectures and workshops, which will be interspersed with master classes of visiting speakers, you will be expected to undertake preliminary readings and participate in online e-activities.

You'll need to attend on three sets of attendance dates at Bournemouth University as well as for one exam. In between these attendance days, you'll be supported by online work. Successful completion of this work (e-activities) forms part of the IPReg accreditation requirements.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for PG Cert Intellectual Property

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background & Experience

For Intellectual Property we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a background in a law related discipline or demonstrate a passion for intellectual property
  • Can evaluate legal situations and contribute to group discussions and debates
  • Are self-motivated and competent in managing their own study and workload
  • Can draw upon previous experience and expertise in order to fully contribute to this course.

You will also need to have excellent research skills and the ability to critically examine theory and practise surrounding the field of intellectual property. We encourage applications from hard-working individuals who are keen to enhance their career prospects in the legal and scientific professions.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their applications. There are no interviews or additional selection activities. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages. 

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking on this course are:

  • A UK Bachelor Honours degree 2:2 or above or equivalent
  • A professional qualification or diploma recognised to be equivalent to an Honours degree
  • Appropriate training and/or experience deemed to be equivalent to an Honours degree.

We consider it a priority to ensure that those who have the talent and ability to study and learn with us are given the chance to do so. If you are an applicant with qualifications or credit from another university, previous relevant work experience or a combination of the two, we would welcome your application.

If there’s anything regarding this course that isn’t clear, please get in touch with the askBU Enquiry Service.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.


Graduates from our Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property are working in various roles, such as*:

  • Commercial manager
  • Intellectual property consultant
  • Patent executive
  • Patent attorney.

They have gone on to work for a wide range of organisations, including the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Institute of Trademarks Attorneys, Leanman Brown, Marks & Clerk, Schlich & Co.

Further study

The course carries 60 Master's-level credits, which can subsequently build up to a PG Diploma (120 credits) or LLM in Intellectual Property (180 credits). Find out more about postgraduate study at BU.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Additional information

Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.