LLM
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law

The future of the law is digital.

This innovative LLM offers you critical and intellectual specialisation in this rapidly developing area. You’ll explore the issues responsible for placing the legal system at the forefront of governance of the internet. You’ll also gain theoretical and practical insights, enabling you to master the intertwined areas of information technology and intellectual property law.

Based minutes away from Silicon Beach in Brighton and just an hour’s train journey from London, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the work of digital law firms and the formation of legislation in European institutions and United Nations bodies.

Key facts

  • Learn from today’s leading lawyers – our world-leading research underpins our teaching.
  • Prepare for your future career – our courses are designed with skills training at their core, enabling you to think logically about legal problems.
  • Discover what interests you most – Sussex Law School provides a truly international, stimulating and engaging learning environment for you to build a rich base of knowledge.

How will I study?

You will learn through core modules and options over the autumn and spring terms. In the summer term, you undertake supervised work on the LLM dissertation.

You will be assessed through coursework, essays and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Study visit

You have opportunities to visit European Union institutions in Brussels and Luxembourg, along with WIPO and other UN agencies in Geneva.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact us at lps@sussex.ac.uk

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Advanced Legal Research and Writing

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      Advanced Legal Research and Writing has two purposes:

      • to ground students in the conventions of advanced academic writing in law (a specialised form of discourse with many non-obvious conventions and norms)
      • to ground students in the leading traditions or approaches in academic legal research.

      The module covers modern standards for the citation of legal authorities (such as OSCOLA), as well as the justification for them. Legal traditions covered include:

      • doctrinal exposition and analysis
      • critique of doctrine, institutional design and practice
      • researching the dynamics of law.
    • Aspects of Intellectual Property Law

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      You will focus on aspects of the law of copyright, trademarks and patents. You will be introduced to intellectual property law and its philosophical and economic justifications, but you will also engage in in-depth analysis of particular issues in the law and policy of intellectual property. You will consider aspects of the international framework which governs intellectual property, such as the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994 (TRIPSs). However, emphasis will be placed on EC and UK law in order to provide a basis for substantive discussion of the issues.

    • Critical Approaches to Information Law

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you explore an area of the law where far-reaching effects of globalisation have produced considerable consequences: an area broadly termed ‘Information Law’. These legal developments are driven at global level by institutions that make policy and regulation, and have also witnessed the evolution of existing institutions and rules.

      Areas affected by these changes range from international commercial relationships and trade to public policy questions regarding development, governance and access to technology. In this context, you will study these institutions to understand their constitution, structure, effectiveness and relevance.

      You will also study the most pressing policy choices faced by governments, institutions and stakeholders, and how those policy choices are translated into the law. In relation to information law, the module focuses on the institutions that regulate and police new technologies, particularly those related to the Information Society.

      We will also analyse the problems of access to these technologies, and how current regulation affects choices of law and regulation. This module includes treatments of the traditional field of Information Technology Law with an examination of the role of law in the broader context of responding to advances in technology. The focus of the module is on the international nature of the subject matter – offering a highly comparative analysis of current legal developments around the globe.

    • Dissertation (Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law)

      45 credits
      Spring & Summer Teaching, Year 1

      All LLM students design and carry out a project of research under individual supervision.

      You are encouraged to apply the theoretical and practical principles of research methodology, which were addressed by the module Advanced Research for LLM Students, in the production of your 10,000-word dissertation.

      The aim of your dissertation is to complete an extended piece of research work on a topic of your choice. This enhances your appreciation of international human rights law and develops appropriate research skills.

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Communications Law and Regulation

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      An understanding of competition law and internet technology is a prerequisite for this module.

      As telecommunications merges with broadcasting and broadband internet, several previously distinct fields of study have come together into one: communications law and regulation.

      You will analyse the approach taken by the EU in regulating electronic networks and services through its 1998 Framework succeeded by 2002 and 2009 Directives (particularly the Access and Framework Directives together with proposals for Regulations in 2015).

      These are complemented by the 2007 Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) developed from earlier Directives of 1989 and 1997 – all inspired by the need to complete the Single Market and to ensure consumer protection, pluralism and technologically neutral regulation.

      You'll also consider Article 101, Article 102 and EU competition policy as applied through telecommunications case law at the Court of Justice.

    • Cyber Law

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module provides an introduction to the structure and governance of transactions taking place over the internet and related issues commonly called "cyberlaw".

      You will focus on the theory and practice concerning the dematerialisation of transactions, the creation of extra-domestic rules through private self-regulation as well as public norms through international bodies such as UNCITRAL and the EU.

      You'll also look at the relevance of private international law resolution in cases of disputes.

    • International Aspects of Intellectual Property and Technology Regulation

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The strengthening of the international intellectual property system has been one of the main features of the international globalisation effort that culminated with the creation of the World Trade Organisation. It could be argued that this process is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future. The scope of international protection of intellectual property rights is on the increase, not only in length of protection, but also geographically and in the amount of rights awarded to owners. How then does this system affect the acquisition of technology by developing countries? This is not just an academic question. Some may consider that a strong international system of intellectual property is detrimental for developing countries because one could argue that it makes technology more difficult to come by. If developing countries rely on this initial acquisition of high technologies then who owns it, and how, becomes of critical significance for their development prospects. However, others may argue that developing countries should implement stronger protection in order to foster foreign investment into their economies, which will eventually assist their efforts to become developed.

      This module will focus on the relationship between technology, intellectual property and development. Special attention will be given to the specific issues that affect developing countries the most, such as access to knowledge, transfer of technology and access to essential medicines.

    • Privacy and Data Protection Law

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

    • Regulating the Creative Industries

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The module looks at international and comparative aspects of regulation, which affect the creative industries. It will start with an identification of the scope and economic value generated by the creative industries, particularly in terms of GDP and employment.

      The attention will then turn to the main regulatory instruments, which affect the creation, commercialisation and fruition of creative outputs. The focus will be on intellectual property rights, the law of contracts, competition and employment. The discussion will also address more specific forms of regulation which include the administration of domain names, and the drafting and enforcement of codes of conduct by administrative authorities

      The module will address certain legal aspects of the music industry. In considering the process of songwriting, music publishing, producing, recording and touring, emphasis will be given to the management of rights (eg copyright and trade marks) by way of contracts and licences (such as creative commons licences) or via collective management organisations. In addition, consideration will be given to new and evolving business models emerged from the online exploitation of music content.

      When looking at the film industry the focus will be on the process of creation, production and distribution of a feature picture. Particularly, the approach will be an international and comparative one to reflect the significance of the Hollywood industry as a point of reference for film production in Europe and in developing countries. Following this approach the discussion will concentrate on the legal protection granted to film plots and film characters, on the contractual arrangements between stakeholders involved in film production and financing, and on the evolving aspects which affect the legal status and international recognition of film actors and their trade representatives.

      The third industry that will be the focus of this module is the fashion industry. In this regard, consideration will be given to how the legal framework (trade mark and design laws in particular) affects the creation of fashion design both in the haute couture and prêt-à-porter markets. This will be done in a comparative manner by considering the effect of domestic legislation in markets where fashion design has a considerable commercial impact. There will be particular focus on the regulatory measures that apply to knock-offs, look-alikes and excellent fakes.

Find out about LLM degrees at the University of Sussex

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in law

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Pre-Masters in Law

Need to boost your academic skills for your taught course? Find out more about our Pre-Masters in Law.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship

Lady Monica Cockfield Scholarship (2017)

Two full UK/EU fee waivers for students who hold an offer of a place on the MA in European Governance and Policy.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the Lady Monica Cockfield Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

On this course, you can choose to undertake project work with any of the members of faculty listed below.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Maria Frabboni
    Lecturer in Law
    M.M.Frabboni@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: intellectual property law, Law and economics of intellectual property, Policy, Arts Management & Creative Industries

    View profile

    Dr Andres Guadamuz
    Senior Lecturer In Intellectual PropertyLaw
    A.Guadamuz@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Comparative Law, Complexity and Law, Copyright Law, Cyberlaw, intellectual property law, Internet Law, Internet regulation, Law and economics of intellectual property, Software patents, Virtual worlds

    View profile

    Dr Phoebe Li
    Senior Lecturer
    Phoebe.Li@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: 3D bioprinting, 3D printing, Access to health technologies, Compulsory licensing, International intellectual property, Patents, Regulation of science and technology

    View profile

    Prof Chris Marsden
    Professor Of Media Law
    C.Marsden@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: broadcasting law, Internet Law, Internet policy, Internet Science, Law and economics, Media law, Net Neutrality, Open Access to Law, Telecommunications Law

    View profile

Careers

Graduate destinations

97% of students from Sussex Law School were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • associate lawyer, White and Case LLP
  • forensic assistant, International Criminal Court
  • parliamentary assistant, European Union.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

You’ll graduate with the skills to become a digital lawyer, able to practise in a major law firm (regular or government). You will master both content and carriage issues to become a truly converged digital lawyer.

You'll also be equipped with the skills for further study at doctoral level as well as to go on to professional practice in IT and IP in London, Brussels and around the world.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work