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Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice

Overview

The Oxford Diploma in IP Law and Practice is a postgraduate vocational course for people embarking on a career in IP law and practice.  It is a one-year, part-time course designed to give junior practitioners a grounding in the fundamentals of IP law and practice.  It is taught by senior practitioners and academics, and represents a unique collaboration between the Oxford Law Faculty and the Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association.

If you wish to attend just the two-week residential programme rather than the full degree, please look under ‘Non Degree Students’ for more information. 

Students discussing in a seminar

The Diploma is an intellectually rigorous academic and professional development programme in an area of enormous national and international importance.  It will suit anyone seeking to build a career specialising as a lawyer in IP, whether or not they have previously studied IP.

It comprises a two-week residential programme in Oxford, and a series of weekend workshops held from October to June which are usually held at London law firms.  It is taught by a mix of practising and academic lawyers, and covers the full range of IP subjects (including Patents, Trade Marks, Unfair Competition and Passing Off, Trade Secrets, Designs, Copyright and Moral Rights) as well as key aspects of litigious and non-litigious IP practice and procedure.

The Diploma is unique in many respects. But two are particularly important, and these reflect the challenges of contemporary intellectual property law and practice.  First, the course is comprehensive in scope.  Intellectual property law is increasingly complex, putting pressure on practitioners to specialise in narrow fields of the discipline. Yet, problems in practice rarely arise so neatly.  The Oxford Diploma offers coverage of all the substantive IP regimes.  And it treats the material in a variety of important contexts (domestic and international, litigation and transactional).  Second, it is both designed and taught in close collaboration between leading academics and practitioners.  The growing complexity of intellectual property law makes a fundamental appreciation of the underlying legal principles essential to top-level practice.  And the fast-changing commercial and technological environment in which intellectual property operates makes exposure to practice significant for any proper academic understanding of the subject-matter.  The Oxford Diploma facilitates this essential interaction of law and practice through the close involvement of leading members of the legal profession in the design and teaching of the course.  The result is a course in intellectual property law and practice that is second to none.  

Structure

Teaching is usually undertaken in Oxford and London in intensive periods, primarily during the two-week residential programme in Oxford and a series of Saturday workshops usually held in London between October to June. The residential programme provides students a unique Oxford experience, including college life and interaction with Oxford faculty, practitioners and fellow students. 

The degree is not designed for distance learning but for people who will attend the residential programme and workshops in Oxford and London in person. 

Key Elements

  • The course is assessed through 5 coursework assignments between October to May (Trade Marks, Patents 1, Patents 2, Copyright, Designs) and examination papers in June. 
  • Teaching is mainly in lectures and interactive classes, and is structured to enable students to fit their studies around work and other commitments
  • A virtual learning environment provides students with access to course materials and research resources
  • Participation in the residential programme and workshops is mandatory
Residential Programme
Weekend Workshops
2023-24 Diploma Timetable

1st September - 14th September 2024

The residential programme is taught through a series of lectures over two weeks in Oxford.  The Residential Programme is held  during the first two weeks of September. Materials taught in the residential programme are assessed via examination in June.      

The Saturday workshops are held between October – June the following year.  The workshops are taught in groups, with some lectures.  The two revision workshops are taught lecture style.  Students have to complete an assessed 3000 word coursework assignment after the following workshops: Trade Marks, Patents 1, Patents 2, Copyright and Designs.   

Teaching Accommodation and Spaces

The residential programme is held at one of Oxford's colleges.

As students of the Oxford Law Faculty, Diploma candidates will have access to the Law Bodleian Library.  Candidates staying in College during the residential programme will also have access to College facilities.   Weekend workshops will be held in law firms in London.  

The PGDip is not available by distance learning. All students must attend the residential programme and workshops in Oxford and London.

Although there will be no requirement to reside in Oxford or London, students must be able to travel to either location on a monthly basis so they would need to be based within a comfortable travelling distance from both cities.

Admissions

Applications for 2024-25 entry are now being accepted (application deadline 5 July 2024, 12:00 midday UK time).

For further details on the selection criteria and supporting documents, please refer to the university's Graduate Admissions website

It is anticipated that candidates will be trainee or newly qualified solicitors or barristers but other professional qualifications and experience, in particular, admission as a patent or trade mark attorney, will also be considered.

Applications should be made via the University's online application form. There is an application fee of £75 per course application. Further details about how to pay this, and other information about filling in the form can be found in the University's Application Guide. Upon submission of your application, you should receive email confirmation from the University's Online Application System.

Please note that all applications will be assessed after the July deadline and we will communicate decisions as soon as we can after that date.

Admissions

Please click on 'Apply' for more information and to start your application process.

Fees

The Diploma fee for 2024 entry is £10,590 and covers: tuition; course materials; assessment and supervision; lunch and refreshments during the residential programme and weekend workshops, and a formal College dinner.  It does not cover accommodation. However, we can arrange accommodation at the Residential Programme for you.  The cost is expected to be in the region of £1,700 for 10 nights, including breakfast and dinner.  Students can choose to stay over the weekend for an extra cost per night including breakfast.

Non Degree Students

Every year, we offer a limited number of places on the Residential Programme part of the Diploma. 

Applications for attendance at the Residential Programme only, must be made using a separate form.

The fee for attending the residential programme part of the programme in 2023 was £4,999 and included tuition; access to online course materials; lunch and refreshments. The fee for 2024 is still to be confirmed. This fee does not include accommodation or evening meals which can be booked separately.

Governance

Related content

Residential School Application Form
(This form is for applications to the 2-week Residential School only.  If you are applying for the Diploma, please apply through the university's online application form)