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 and CITMA 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 Designs & Copyright Law, plus the Fundamentals of Law and Professional Ethics which specifically covers the areas of law 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.


Two-hour, 15-minute papers for each subject, plus additional two-hour Patent and Trade Marks Law papers for exemption from the CIPA and CITMA foundation level examinations. Closed book examinations operate for all modules.

Entry requirements

Minimum lower second class honours degree or equivalent – any discipline for Business Stream; any subject area for Professional Stream. Students undertaking the professional stream wishing to undertake a career within the patents field would usually have a degree in science or engineering.

The programme has been specifically designed in close cooperation with CIPA and CITMA, 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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