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.

COVID-19 update: Statement about provision for students in 2020-21

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


John Cairns, 2013


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 specializing as a lawyer in IP, whether or not they have previously studied IP.

It comprises a two-week residential programme held in September at St Catherine's College, Oxford, and a series of weekend workshops held from October to June in London law firms.  It is taught by a mix of practicing 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.  


Teaching is usually undertaken in Oxford and London in intensive periods, primarily during the two week residential programme held at St Catherine's College, Oxford and a series of Saturday workshops 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. Teaching on the Diploma is held in Oxford and London with provision for online teaching as advised by the Government and University

Key Elements

  • The course is assessed through 5 coursework assignments between October to May (Trade Marks, Patents 1, Patents 2, Copyright, Designs) and two 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

The residential programme is taught through a series of lectures for two weeks in Oxford.  A timetable for 2020-21 is available.   The Residential Programme for 2021 will be held between 5-17 September 2021. 

Materials taught in the residential programme are assessed through two two-hour written examination papers in June.                                                                                                   

Weekend Workshops

The Saturday workshops are held between October – June the following year.  A timetable for 2020-21 is available.  The workshops are taught in groups, with some lectures built in some of the workshops.  The two revision workshops are taught lecture style.  

Students have to complete an assessed 3000 word coursework assignment after each of these workshops, Trade Marks, Patents 1, Patents 2, Copyright and Designs.   

Teaching Accommodation and Spaces


The residential programme will be held at St Catherine's College.

St Catherine’s College is the largest College within Oxford University and teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. Although one of the youngest Oxford Colleges, it can trace its roots back to 1868, when a ‘Delegacy for Non-Collegiate Students’ was formed. This Delegacy enabled students to gain an Oxford education without the prohibitive costs of College membership.

This founding ethos of inclusion is still evident today, and the College has an open, friendly and diverse community amongst its Students, Fellows and Alumni.

Affectionately known as St Catz, this modern College was founded in 1962 by Founding Master, Lord Alan Bullock.  Designed by Danish architect, Arne Jacobsen, the Grade I listing buildings were the first to be granted such status in the post-war era. Jacobsen’s plans for the College did not include a chapel, defining St Catz as a secular College and setting them apart from other Oxford Colleges, most of which have a religious foundation.

Whilst treasuring the traditional values of Oxford College life, St Catherine’s College remain committed to evolving with today’s society, reflected in the College motto “Nova et Vetera”: “The New and The Old”.

Please note that this course is a non-matriculated course, and therefore students on this course will not be associated with a college.  St Catherine's is only used as a location for the residential programme.  Students on this course are not members of the college.  

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.  


Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications) in law; or, if in another subject, applicants should have a suitable professional qualification and/or experience in law.  

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.

Enrolments for the Diploma will be capped at 70. The application deadline is 9 July 2021. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

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

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 indicate in your statement of purpose whether you would prefer to make your own accommodation arrangements for the residential programme and if you would like to stay at Merton College, whether you require 10 or 12 nights.  



The Diploma fee is £8,572 and covers: tuition; course materials; assessment and supervision; lunch and refreshments during the residential programme and weekend workshops, and a formal College dinner at the start of the residential programme.  It does not cover accommodation.

Students are strongly encouraged to stay at St Catherine's College during the residential programme.  Successful applicants who do not opt-out of accommodation at the time of applying will have accommodation arranged at St Catherine's.  The cost is expected to be in the region of £1,032 for 10 nights, including breakfast and dinner.  Students can choose to stay over the weekend for an extra cost of approximately £86 per night including breakfast.  Please indicate whether you require accommodation at St Catherine's College and whether you require weekend accommodation in your statement of purpose. 

Non Degree Students

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

A timetable for 2020/21 can be found under ‘Residential Programme'.  

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 is £4753.  


PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice Programme Directors

Course Administrator: please email

Additional Oxford Faculty Members

Residential Programme tutors 2019-20:

  • Rachel Alexander, Wiggin
  • Sara Ashby, Wiggin
  • Christopher Benson,Taylor Wessing
  • Robert Burrell, University of Oxford
  • Michael Browne, Wiggin 
  • Miranda Cass, Bristows
  • Liz Cohen, Bristows
  • Brian Cordery, Bristows
  • Jeremy Dickerson, Burges Salmon
  • Andrew Dickinson, University of Oxford
  • Dev Gangjee, University of Oxford
  • Michael Gavey, Simmons & Simmons
  • Paul Harris, Venner Shipley
  • Bethan Hopewell, Powell Gilbert
  • Myles Jelf, Bristows
  • John Linneker, Fieldfisher
  • Angus McLean, Simmons & Simmons
  • David Musker, Queen Mary University of London
  • Marjan Noor, Allen & Overy
  • Scott Parker, Simmons & Simmons
  • Aidan Robertson, Brick Court Chambers
  • Catriona Smith, Wiggin  
  • Ravi Srinivasan, J A Kemp
  • Pat Treacy, Bristows
  • Sarah Turner, Simmons & Simmons
  • Justin Watts, WilmerHale


A Selection of Workshop tutors:

Sara AshbyWigginDesigns
Jonathan BallGowling WLGCopyright
Michael BrowneWigginDesigns
Zoe ButlerPowell GilbertPatents
Simon ClarkBristowsCopyright
Brian CorderyBristowsPatents
Michael GaveySimmons & SimmonsIP Aspects of Commercial Transactions
Penny GilbertPowell GilbertPatents
Gregor GrantMarks & ClerkPatents
Myles JelfBristowsPatents
John LinnekerFieldfisherCopyright
Angus McLeanSimmons & SimmonsIP Aspects of Commercial Transactions
Jonathan MossHogarth ChambersDesigns
Andrew NorrisHogarth ChambersTrade Marks
Arty RajendraOsborne ClarkeTrade Marks
Tom ScourfieldCMSTrade Marks
Alison SladeLeicester University Revision Workshops
Catriona SmithWigginCopyright
David StoneAllen & OveryDesigns
Alex WilsonPowell GilbertPatents

**Please note that the list of tutors is subject to change**