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1 year full time


Durham City

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Course details

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.

Course Structure

Core Modules

  • Introduction to International Intellectual Property Law (credits 15)
  • Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law (credits 15)
  • Applied Research Methods (credits 15)
  • Dissertation (of 10,000 (credits 60), 15,000 (credits 75) or 20,000 (credits 90) words)

An indicative list of optional modules from other LLM Streams.

N.B. Not all modules run every year

  • Advanced Issues in Human Rights
  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Contemporary Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
  • China and the International Legal Order
  • Current Problems in International Law
  • Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Horizontal Human Rights
  • International Counter Terrorism: Theory and Practice
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Investment Law
  • International Perspectives on Law and Gender
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Tax Law
  • International Trade Law & Policy
  • Introduction to EU Law
  • Introduction to International Criminal Justice
  • Law of the Sea
  • Multinational Corporations and Human Rights
  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Competition Law
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Cross-Border Commercial Litigation
  • Current Issues in Commercial Law
  • Frontiers in Biolaw
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Law
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • International Sales Law
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU


This course involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce you to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give you a framework of knowledge that you can then develop, and reflect on, through your own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. You are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which they will apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of papers, you are given the opportunity to test and refine your knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. You must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the course (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to taught modules, you must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. The dissertation is intended to be the product of your own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the dissertation period.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this course, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences, the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law and the Durham European Law Institute.

Entry requirements

The course will demand a good degree in law or in a related discipline.

In the United Kingdom, a 2.1 or equivalent will be the minimum requirement.

Students with overseas qualifications will conform to the minimum requirements for admission.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £12,100 per year
EU students £24,900 per year
Island students £12,100 per year
International students £24,900 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Law School

Our graduates enjoy highly successful careers across a diverse range of sectors as solicitors, barristers, consultants and more. Current graduates are on the Supreme Court, and in government, the Court of Appeal and Parliament.

Department information

Law School

We are a leading centre of legal research in the UK with an equally strong commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. We have modern, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities. Featuring a moot court, the Harvard-style Hogan Lovells lecture theatre, spacious dedicated work suites with superb views of Durham Cathedral, attractive social areas, and modern wireless and audiovideo-enabled research spaces, this is one of the most striking and best-equipped law buildings in the UK.

For more information visit our department pages.


  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2023
  • 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2023
  • 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Law School pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 5th in the UK for research environment
  • 100% of our research impact and environment was rated world-leading or internationally excellent


By choosing to read Law at Durham you will be studying in one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Certainly, there are few places that can match its dramatic setting on a rocky horseshoe bend in the River Wear. The Law School is located in Durham University’s flagship Palatine Centre, part of a £48.4m sustainable building development and winner of the 2013 Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Northern Award for best education building. Facilities include a Moot Court, dedicated workroom, academic offices, and a Pro Bono Room, as well as a Harvard Style lecture theatre and many seminar and tutorial rooms.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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