One semester full-time.

Programme description

This is a full-time one-semester programme, which, at present, runs from mid-September to mid-December, with exams taking place in January.

The Certificate programme is an intensive 13-week programme designed exclusively for trainee patent attorneys. Trainees who successfully complete this programme will gain exemption from CIPA foundation level examinations. The objective of this programme is to provide the student with a broad, overall perspective of intellectual property law, so that later, in practice, he or she has a more balanced appreciation of the wider range of matters which modern intellectual property practice involves.

Programme outline

There is intensive coverage of the law and practice of Patent Law, Law of Trade Marks and Unfair Competition, Copyright & Designs Law and Competition Law. There is also an introduction to aspects of Basic Principles of English Law, Practice and Evidence that are of special relevance to intellectual property practitioners.

The emphasis is primarily, but not exclusively, upon UK Law; thus, considerable attention is paid to the European Patent Convention and to EC law and to other regional arrangements and international conventions which affect the activities of the UK practitioner.


Three-hour,15-minute papers for each subject, plus additional one-hour 45-minute Patent Law and Law of Trade Marks and Unfair Competition papers for exemption from the CIPA foundation level examinations. Closed book examinations operate for all modules.

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:2 honours degree in any subject area, at least six months’ experience and must either be currently employed or have previously been employed as a trainee patent or trade mark attorney (or within a similar role). Those wishing to become patent attorneys would usually be from a science or engineering background.

The programme has been specifically designed in close cooperation with the CIPA, for the trainee attorney who, preferably, has been in an office for six months to a year and has already had an opportunity of becoming familiar with some of the language, documentation and procedure of patent and/or trade marks.

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