MSc in Intellectual Property

The Oxford MSc in Intellectual Property is a new postgraduate course for recently qualified lawyers who wish to specialise in intellectual property law.  It is a one-year, part-time course taught by senior practitioners and academics in the Oxford Law Faculty.

The MSc in Intellectual Property builds on the foundations of the Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice.   This new, one year programme provides a unique opportunity to reach a greater degree of theoretical content, exploring historical and comparative ways of approaching the study of intellectual property, driven by the research and expertise of Oxford academics. Teaching is undertaken in Oxford in intensive short periods and despite the part-time nature of the course, the degree has been designed to ensure that students may still enjoy the unique Oxford experience, including college life, small class sizes, tutorials and interaction with Oxford faculty and students.

Students select two taught courses from four optional modules, and the remaining part of the year is dedicated to writing a dissertation.  This not only provides more in depth research training, encompassing perspectives drawn from the fields of copyright, design, patents and trade marks but also demands a higher level of critical engagement.  Students will be encouraged to view individual issues in particular areas in the broader context of the relationship between the state and the market, and deep dive into the technical aspects of a subject and their relationship with broad policy issues.

Led by academics from the Law Faculty and the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, the programme also draws on the assistance of eminent practitioners with a broad interest and wide knowledge of intellectual property law. 

"This programme would provide an excellent opportunity for greater exposure to the theoretical and normative aspects of the field, which, in turn, would enrich and complement the more granular and problem-solving focus of the Diploma." Tanya Aplin, Professor of Intellectual Property Law, King's College London

Structure

Student, University of Oxford

The MSc will be available for part-time students only, with taught modules taking place in set weeks during Michaelmas and Hilary terms.  This schedule aims to accommodate both those engaged in full-time careers, or those taking a break with other duties and responsibilities, who wish to further their academic and professional development from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.

Optional modules for 2022-23 (students select two):

Students will join other postgraduate law students on the highly regarded BCL/MJur and MLF courses for these modules which are taught mainly in lectures and interactive classes. All courses will be supported by a virtual learning environment which will provide students with access to course materials and research resources, enabling contact with tutors and other students during periods away from Oxford.  Please note that attendance at each selected module is mandatory.

  • Incentivising innovation
  • Trade marks and brands
  • Principles of intellectual property
  • Comparative copyright

Dissertation schedule:

Students will be assigned a supervising tutor for dissertation research.

  • Michaelmas Term: Submission of dissertation proposal
  • Hilary Term: Dissertation preparation and supervision
  • Trinity Term: Submission of dissertation

The degree is not designed for distance learning but for people who will attend the course in Oxford in person.

Assessment

  • Module assessment is by final examination or two extended essays of 3,000 words.
  • A dissertation of up to 12,500 words.

"The level of detail at the Diploma level was superb and built an excellent foundational knowledge across a wide breadth of subject matter.  An MSc option would enable teaching and learning at a further granular level to build on these foundations and would be the perfect complimentary option for those students who have completed the Diploma."  PGDip Alumnus

Student Experience

Students on the MSc in Intellectual Property will become a member of one of the participating Oxford colleges: St Peter's CollegeSt Hilda's College or St Catherine's College.  As this is a part-time degree, students will not be eligible for long term college accommodation but arrangements will be made during the term time modules and colleges may be able to let out guest rooms during periods of research. Students at Oxford University

College membership offers students the opportunity to enrich their time at Oxford, through interaction with faculty and students from diverse academic backgrounds within a social and community environment.  Students on the MSc will also be eligible to attend conferences, seminars and lectures organised by the Faculty of Law and wider University, and will have access to University and college academic and sports facilities, including one of the largest and most important open-access law libraries in Europe, the Bodleian Law Library.   In addition, whilst studying away from Oxford, remote access is provided to an extensive range of online databases, including Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Pastoral and Welfare Support

College advisors offer pastoral and well being support for students and the Faculty is also available for guidance on a range of matters, either relating to a student's studies or by directing students to more focused resources elsewhere in the University.  

The MSc programme has dedicated administrative support from where students can seek assistance throughout their studies, as well as advice on specific areas (for example, Disability Contacts or Harassment Advisors).  Students can also contact their Academic Supervisor and the Programme Director. 

Entry Criteria

Academic Ability

  • First class or strong upper second class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications).
  • A strong performance on the Oxford Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice. Successful applicants will normally be expected to have obtained a Merit or Distinction on this Programme.  

Professional Experience

  • Admission as a barrister, solicitor, patent or trade mark attorney (or international equivalent).
  • Substantial documented professional experience working in legal or intellectual property practice.

Timing of transfer from the Diploma

Students will normally be expected to start the MSc within 4 years/12 terms of completing the PGDip.   In cases of a longer gap, students will be required to demonstrate continued and substantial documented work experience and engagement in legal or intellectual property practice in the period since studying for the Diploma. 

How to apply

Applications are now closed for October 2022 entry, but will re-open on 1 September 2022 for 2023 entry.

Apply

In addition to completing the online form, applicants will be required to submit:

  • Details of three referees
  • A statement of up to 500 words that explains reasons for applying for the programme; future career intentions and the contribution the programme is expected to make to their career development. 
  • English language proficiency at the University's higher level requirement.

Contact us / Register your interest

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Admissions

Application deadline 22 July 2022, 12:00 midday UK time for October 2022 entry.

Fees

For students who are currently studying the Postgraduate Diploma, or have completed the PGDip previously, and are looking to apply to the MSc to begin their studies in 2022/2023, the fees will be £10,630.  This includes all teaching and assessment fees, and the pro-rata contribution to college membership.  Please note that these fees do not include college accommodation and meals during residential teaching or research.

Governance

MSc in Intellectual Property Director:

Professor Robert Burrell, Faculty of Law, Director of OIPRC 

Course Administrator - please email: msc-ip@law.ox.ac.uk 

Additional Oxford Faculty Members:

Professor Dev Gangjee, Faculty of Law

Dr Van Anh Le, Faculty of Law 

Professor Justine Pila, Faculty of Law

Visiting Professors:

Professor Graeme Dinwoodie, Faculty of Law

Professor Ansgar Ohly, Faculty of Law

Professor Justin Hughes, Faculty of Law

** Please note that the list of faculty staff is subject to change**