Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Contemporary Issues In Intellectual Property Law LAW5011

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course offers students the opportunity to investigate and engage with specialist research, exploring the different facets of IP policy and decision-making processes situated within relevant international debates. Contemporary issues include for example the potential impact of intellectual property rights on - and their interacting with - markets and cultural expression, debates over the creation of new types of intellectual property and the extension of protectable subject matter across existing fields (e.g. product design and non-traditional marks), and interfaces with emerging technologies. 


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all LLM students subject to the requirements of the LLM programme on which a student is enrolled.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The principal aim of the course is to give students an insight into and a critical understanding of contemporary controversies in intellectual property law and to situate them within the international debates in this field.


Further aims are to:

■ develop the analytical and critical skills of students by examination of contemporary debates in IP law;

■ develop the communication skills of students;

■ instil in students an ability to constructively evaluate the positions taken in current debates, to suggest and consider possible reforms;

■ foster critical understanding and evaluation of areas of controversy within intellectual property;

■ encourage independent learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. critically evaluate current debates within intellectual property;

2. make an informed contribution to these debates;

3. situate legal intellectual property issues within the broader context of creative industries, markets, and society.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course summative assessment.