Innovative, trailblazing new programmes offer IP Law modules to law and non-law students


The study of Intellectual Property (IP) Law at Stellenbosch University (SU) has been a part of the Faculty’s offering since 1922 (one year after the Faculty was founded), and SU remains a pioneering spirit in broadening the spectrum of academic and practical legal training in South Africa.

In 2012 the Faculty was proud to announce the addition of two bespoke programmes and 10 dedicated IP Law modules to its postgraduate curriculum. Under the auspices of the Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property in the Department of Mercantile Law, the Faculty has positioned itself as a custodian of Intellectual Property and is pleased to offer the first law programme at SU specifically aimed at non-law graduates and practitioners as well as the only Master of Laws (LLM) in Intellectual Property accredited by the Department of Education as a specialised LLM in IP Law.

From 2013 the Faculty has admitted the first students in the LLM (IP Law) and the Postgraduate Diploma (IP Law), consisting of the following modules:

  • Copyright Law 711 (PGDip) or 811 (LLM)
  • Trademark Law 711 (PGDip) or 811 (LLM)
  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment 711 (PGDip) or 811 (LLM)
  • Patent Law and the Law of Registered Designs 711 (PGDip) or 811 (LLM)
  • Intellectual Property Law: Research Project 711 (PGDip) or 811 (LLM)

In addition, the Faculty will continue to offer the module Intellectual Property Law 815 as part of the generic LLM (Structured) as well as the five new IP Law modules.



This unique programme awards the only qualification of its kind in South Africa and is the first bespoke diploma in Intellectual Property Law that admits primarily non-law graduates to post-graduate studies in IP Law. It is structured specifically to address the manifest need for legal tuition in IP that will equip students with the ability to understand IP from a legal perspective without the need to study any other field of law.

Therefore, the PGDip (IP Law) offers students the opportunity to elect a range of IP modules aimed at their specific field of practice for the purpose of gaining insight into the legal mechanism available for the protection of their work and the specific procedures that should be followed.


Admission requirements

Any student who holds one of the following degrees/qualifications may apply for admission:

  • A BSc, BComm or BEng qualification
  • A LLB qualification
  • Any other NQF 7 qualification
  • Any other equivalent qualification based on prior learning or workplace experience will also be considered.
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Master of Laws (LLM) 

Intellectual Property Law


The LLM (IP Law) is a structured, research-orientated programme focused on issues of Intellectual Property Law designed to train super-specialised legal academics and equip students with the necessary critical assessment skills, insight and analytical ability to practice effectively in this field of law and occupy the position of experts in IP Law.

The LLM (IP Law) is a specialised academic qualification that incorporates all of the necessary practical knowledge needed to evaluate and critically assess the practice of IP law and advise on relevant issues in detail or formulate an expert opinion. As a comprehensive review and analysis of South African, foreign and International Intellectual Property Law, the LLM (IP Law) may benefit students who endeavour to become a trademark practitioner or (in select cases) a patent attorney by providing them with a sound understanding of the law in preparation for the relevant admission/practitioners’ examinations administered by the SAIIPL.


Admission requirements

A student with an LLB degree conferred by this University or any other bachelor’s degree in Law (excluding the BIuris degree) and who has attained an average of 60% in the final year of this degree or a comparable achievement in another (for example, foreign) qualification, or a student who has attained a level of proficiency or accomplishment in Law which, in the judgement of the Senate, is regarded as adequate for this purpose, may apply in writing to read for a Master’s degree in Law. The Senate will consider every application on merit.

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Certificate Short Course (IP Law)


The Short Course in Intellectual Property Law is presented annually during the third term of the academic year (June or July) and awards a certificate of attendance from Stellenbosch University.

This certificate programme is accredited at NQF level 6 by Stellenbosch University’s Division: Short Courses and is presented by the Anton Mostert Chair of IP Law, Stellenbosch University in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Law & Policy Research Unit of the University of Cape Town.

The short course (3 days) in IP law is aimed at non-legal or non-IP practitioners, those in business, commerce, engineering, arts or sciences or indeed anyone with an interest in this crucial field of law.


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