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Durham University: Intellectual Property Law

Institution Durham University
Department Law
Telephone 0191 334 1000
Study type Taught


Over the last few decades, there has been increased awareness of the importance of intellectual property and the role it plays in a global economy. Intellectual property law regulates the creation, use and exploitation of mental or creative labour, protecting information and the application of ideas via copyright, patents, trade marks and other related rights. Intellectual property encompasses such disparate areas as science, art, advertising, music, product design, trade reputations, medicines and knowledge.

This course provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of intellectual property law. In the first term, you will take a (compulsory) foundation course providing a solid grounding in copyright, patents and trademarks from the UK and European perspective. In the second term, there is a more advanced course, which will deal with a number of current and emerging topics in the field of intellectual property law, such as artificial intelligence, access to medicines and patents in the life sciences. Having completed your choice of taught modules, you will then undertake an extended dissertation on an intellectual property law topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their chosen subject area.

Teaching is delivered by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision. Students attending the course are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the course.

The School is host to the Durham Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences and the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law. You are encouraged to participate in their many activities.


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