Law - Intellectual Property Law
The LLM in Intellectual Property Law at the School of Law, Queen's University Belfast, is an innovative programme that offers a unique focus on the intersection of globalisation, creative industries, health and life sciences, new technological challenges, and fundamental rights in the field of intellectual property law. The programme will provide students with a general overview of IP law through three core modules and a flexible structure, which allows students to tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals with three major tracks, including IP and global trade, IP and digital tech, global innovation and public interest. The programme provides a global perspective on the legal issues involved in protecting and promoting intellectual property rights, as well as an in-depth exploration of the ways in which these rights intersect with technological challenges, competing fundamental rights, and IP social function.
Through a combination of coursework, seminars, and practical training opportunities, students in this programme will develop a deep understanding of the legal principles and issues involved in protecting and promoting intellectual property rights in a global context.
This programme is an excellent base for students who wish to find employment as in-house legal specialists in the high-tech. life-science and creative industries or as IP litigators, patent lawyers, trademark attorneys, or licensing executives, among other roles. Students may also work in the public sector, advising government agencies on intellectual property law matters or working for non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations focused on intellectual property issues. The broad understanding and the ability to think critically about the field that this programme is meant to provide can also be a great advantage for students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree and a future academic career.
Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis. Students must complete core modules (80 CATS points), optional modules (40 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
The Masters is awarded to students who successfully complete all taught modules (120 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities associated with the course are outlined below:
Learning and Teaching Opportunities
The Law School at Queen's is ranked as one of the top 10 Law Schools in the UK (Complete University Guide 2023). There are 850 undergraduate students enrolled in the School, 200 postgraduates, 50 PhD students and over 60 members of academic staff. You will be taught by scholars from all over the world, many of whom have international reputations in their fields and all are committed teachers and researchers. Students will also have access to an excellent law section in the library and extensive IT facilities.
The School operates a proactive system of student support. Advisers of Studies are allocated to each degree programme tasked to guide and support you throughout your time with us, together with the School's experienced and helpful administrative staff. We place considerable emphasis on facilitating good communication between staff and students. To this end, a Staff-Student Consultative Committee, comprised of elected student representatives, the Director of Graduate Studies and other members of academic staff, meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year. This Committee provides students with a forum in which to raise matters of concern to them and also enables the School to keep students informed about matters affecting the School and wider university.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enables our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, life-long learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
• E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the programme through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in project- based work etc.
• Lectures: Lectures provide information about topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
• Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s Law student when important private reading and research, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
• Seminars/tutorials: These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
Intellectual Property Law Highlights
• We are dedicated to student employability and have strong industry links. Law was ranked Top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022) This employer focused programme places employability skills at the core of the student experience (including problem-based learning and leadership modules), introducing students to the interplay of and interfaces between IP law, creative industries, health and life sciences, technological development and global public interest policy challenges.
World Class Facilities
• Our facilities at Queen’s include a state-of-art Law building with superb teaching facilities, a moot court and study spaces. Queen’s has one of the most modern campuses in the UK, including the award winning McClay Library, one of the finest libraries in the world and home to 1.2 million volumes and over 2,000 reader places. Our Physical Education Centre was used as a training camp for the 2012 Olympics. Our Queen’s Elms Student Village and city centre student accommodation (built in 2018) are located within easy walking distance of the University.
Internationally Renowned Experts
• Law at Queen's is taught by world-leading experts in the area of Law. Our staff have close research links with the professions, government and Civil Society. Law at Queen's is in the top 150 Law Schools worldwide and we are ranked 19th in the world for global outlook. Research in Law was ranked 8th in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2021).
• This programme will equip you with a thorough and crucial understanding of the key questions we face regarding Intellectual Property and the Law, with emphasis on global policy challenges brought about by technological development in the creative industries and health and life sciences. You will possess a deep appreciation of matters in the regulation of creativity and innovation, borne from both classroom and project-based experience. You will have developed a sophisticated sense of how creativity and innovation interact with law, but also a sense of how Intellectual Property law intersects with other important public interest goals and values. At Queen's you will be part of a thriving postgraduate culture built on teaching excellence, leading-edge research, innovation, collaboration and engagement. These components are woven together in our Graduate School. It is here you will develop new skills and increased personal effectiveness that will enable you to stand out in the crowded and increasingly competitive global job market. Life at Queen's is not just about the degree. We offer our students the opportunity to really enrich their studies. Whether you're into student societies, sports, music, dance, or just a coffee with your friends, Queen's has exceptional facilities to cater for all interests. Queen’s was ranked 9th in the UK for university facilities.
• Foundations of IP Law: Theory, Economics and Policy
• Global IP Law, Trade and Technology
• Intellectual Property and Creative Industries: Copyright, Designs and Trademarks
• Innovation and Creativity Clinic: project-based learning
• Approaches to Legal Research
• Dissertation (Maximum 15,000 words)
(Students who secure a summer work placement of at least 8 weeks can complete a Dissertation in Practice Module including 12,000 word dissertation and 3,000 word reflective journal of the learning experience)
• Global Health, Biotech, and Patent Law
• Intellectual Property, Green Economy, and Sustainability
• Artificial Intelligence, Intellectual Property, and the Law
• Metaverse Law: Copyright, Trademarks, and Immersive Technologies
• Platform Regulation: IP Enforcement and Content Moderation
• Leadership and Innovation Skills for Law Students
• Advanced International Trade Law and Policy
• Business and Human Rights
Please note this is not an exclusive list of the optional modules available. Optional modules are reviewed each year and subject to staff availability.
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline.
Exemption from these requirements may be considered for those applicants who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) OR for those applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) along with a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.
Admission under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be considered for this course. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 11th August 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.
New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen’s student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.
If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.
Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.
1 year (Full Time)
2 years (Part Time)
Contact Teaching Hours
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
8 (hours maximum)
In addition to 6-8 hrs of teaching per week , students should set aside 10-12 hours per module for reading and preparation to engage meaningfully in classroom discussions, group work and other forms of active engagement.
Entry Year: 2023
Post Course Info
This employer focused programme places employability skills at the core of the student experience (including problem-based learning and leadership modules), introducing students to the interplay of and interfaces between IP law, creative industries, technological development and global public interest policy challenges.
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.