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.
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 Merton 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 undertaken in Oxford and London in intensive periods, primarily during the two week residential programme held at Merton 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.
- 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.
- Attendance at residential programme and workshops are mandatory
The residential programme is taught through a series of lectures for two weeks in Oxford. A draft timetable for 2020-21 is available here. The Residential Programme for 2020 will be held between 7-18 September 2020.
Materials taught in the residential programme is assessed through two two-hour written examination papers in June.
The Saturday workshops are held between October – June the following year. A timetable for 2020-21 is available here. 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 Merton College.
Merton College, the first fully self-governing College in the University, was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, sometime Chancellor of England and later Bishop of Rochester. Mob Library, in the Colleges first Quad, Mob Quad, is the oldest continuously functioning library for university academics and students in the world. The College was originally founded for twenty fellows, with undergraduates being formally admitted in the early 1380s. It was then that John Wyliot, a former fellow and subwarden, endowed a number of scholarships known at Merton as postmasterships. Over the centuries, many eminent scholars and cultural leaders have called Merton home. They include four Nobel Prize winners, TS Eliot, JRR Tolkien, the mathematician who solved Fermat’s Last Theorem, the physician who discovered the circulation of blood, and the founder of the Bodleian Library.
Today there are approximately 300 undergraduates and 350 graduate students at Merton College. Merton students have a well-earned reputation for academic excellence, with Merton regularly scoring highly on the Norrington Table. As soon as you step through the ancient Lodge Gate, you enter an enclave of learning and contemplation and because the College has continuously evolved to suit the needs of cutting-edge research and education, it is no surprise that its diverse buildings boast modern convenience as well as traditional grandeur suitable for any event.
Please note that this course is a non-matriculated course, and therefore students on this course will not be associated with a college. Merton 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 77. The application deadline is 10 July 2020. 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 £8,245 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 Merton College during the residential programme. Successful applicants who do not opt-out of accommodation at the time of applying will have accommodation arranged at Merton. 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 Merton 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 2019/20 can be found under ‘Residential Programme'.
Applications for attendance at the Residential Programme only, must be made using a separate
PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice Programme Directors
- Professor Robert Burrell, Course Director, Professor of Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law
Course Administrator: Ellen Moilanen
Additional Oxford Faculty Members
- Professor Dev Gangjee, Associate Professor of Intellectual Property, Faculty of Law
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:
|Jonathan Ball||Gowling WLG||Copyright|
|Zoe Butler||Powell Gilbert||Patents|
|Michael Gavey||Simmons & Simmons||IP Aspects of Commercial Transactions|
|Penny Gilbert||Powell Gilbert||Patents|
|Gregor Grant||Marks & Clerk||Patents|
|Angus McLean||Simmons & Simmons||IP Aspects of Commercial Transactions|
|Jonathan Moss||Hogarth Chambers||Designs|
|Andrew Norris||Hogarth Chambers||Trade Marks|
|Arty Rajendra||Osborne Clarke||Trade Marks|
|Tom Scourfield||CMS||Trade Marks|
|Alison Slade||Leicester University||Revision Workshops|
|David Stone||Allen & Overy||Designs|
|Alex Wilson||Powell Gilbert||Patents|
**Please note that the list of tutors is subject to change**