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Birkbeck, University of London: Law with International Intellectual Property

Institution Birkbeck, University of London View institution profile
Department Birkbeck Law School
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught


From the cinema and music industries to the pharmaceutical and information technology sectors, intellectual property rights are everywhere and becoming increasingly controversial. Despite being private law rights, their long history of harmonisation through public international law-making has meant that they have played a significant role in:

  • economic integration

  • cultural homogenisation

  • technical diffusion

  • the globalisation of Western law.

Birkbeck’s LLM Law with International Intellectual Property is an innovative research-led course ideal if you are a law or non-law graduate, as well as if you are already employed as a legal practitioner. You will gain the theoretical and practical knowledge crucial in understanding:

  • the role of international intellectual property protection in the creation and operation of markets

  • its consequent political, social and cultural impact.

This LLM focuses on the critical analysis of intellectual property law as an international phenomenon. We draw from a range of primary and secondary sources to address contemporary debates in intellectual property law and policy with attention to the history, theory and political economy of intellectual property law. You will learn to transfer your understanding of complex problems and regulatory responses to different contexts and critically evaluate legal, regulatory and policy proposals concerning intellectual property.


  • This is a broad-based course that gives you the opportunity to gain an advanced legal degree in the heart of London and focus your studies on aspects of the international intellectual property regime that interest you.

  • We have a proud tradition of critical scholarship in law and you will be taught by staff who address issues of law through power and inequality and who are led by principles of social, economic, political, environmental and racial justice.

  • You will benefit from our vibrant annual cycle of inspiring expert-led public lectures and conferences, in which the Birkbeck Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies (CPEIS) plays a key role.

  • You will be able to attend our Law School Annual Lecture and specialist research seminars which feature international scholars speaking to current issues and path-breaking interdisciplinary research.

  • We are home to the Birkbeck Law Press which publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.

  • Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for a Postgraduate Fee Award.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in the legal profession, government, the private sector, and research or journalism. Possible professions include:

  • barrister

  • solicitor

  • researcher

  • journalist

  • chartered legal executive

  • licensed conveyancer

  • human resources officer

  • patent attorney.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


Birkbeck, part of the University of London, offers nearly 300 taught and research postgraduate programmes across arts and humanities, business and economics, law, science and social science. As an evening teaching specialist, Birkbeck offers its taught postgraduate courses between 6-9pm, with some courses available through distance learning. As with undergraduate courses, postgraduates can study full-time or part-time.

Home to 44 research and specialist institutes, Birkbeck is the sixth largest provider of taught postgrad courses for UK and EU students - some 44% of its 11,000-plus students are on postgrad programmes. Around 90% of its academics are active in research, and …

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