On this unique course, which is not unavailable anywhere else, you'll gain a practical and academic understanding of intellectual property (IP) crime and illicit trade.

Delivered by the University of Portsmouth’s Criminal Justice Studies Department in cooperation with INTERPOL, this course provides unparalleled access to the latest research and expertise in the field of IP crime and illicit trade on a global level. 

This Short Course is accredited by INTERPOL in accordance with INTERPOL Standard Procedures. 

You'll explore IP rights, different types of crime and the range of offenders. You'll study theories which explain why people commit these crimes and learn about their damaging social and economic impacts. You'll also examine protection and enforcement strategies.

What you learn on this course prepares you for work or further study in this area. The credits earned on this course are academically recognised and can contribute towards full degree courses.

This course is an ideal next step to progression in careers in law enforcement, security, brand protection or counter-fraud.

Course Details


  • Mode of study: Distance learning
  • Two modules:
    • Foundations of Intellectual Property Crime and Illicit Trade
    • Intellectual Property Crime, Illicit Trade and Study Skills


  • Credits: 40 Level 4
  • Duration: 12 study weeks*
  • Start and end dates:
    • 21 January 2023 – 26 May 2023

The course will subsequently be run twice every year starting in January and September.

The full duration of the course includes academic holiday breaks and assessment periods


  • £2,566

If you already hold the Certificate in Prevention of Bribery and Corruption, you can make a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim to exempt you from the first academic skills-based module. You'll then gain a 50% fee reduction for this course.

What You'll Experience

On this short course you'll:

  • Gain an understanding of IP rights and the international legal framework
  • Appreciate the extent and impact of IP crime and illicit trade
  • Explore IP crimes and offenders, methods of policing the crimes, and strategies for the protection and enforcement of IP rights
  • Develop the skills you need in academic reading, writing, referencing, presentation and analytical thinking
  • Be able to share your learning and experiences virtually with peers in an international environment to help you develop your professional practices


Your final marks will be based on two quizzes and two essays or reports (one quiz and one essay or report for each module).

What's Included

Study online at a location that suits you, at a time that fits with your schedule and other commitments. You get interactive digital course material, and streamed lectures and seminars on some courses. Plus access to teaching, support staff and a personal tutor via email, phone and video calls

Included in your course fee:

  • 12 weeks of taught study
  • Provision of a named module coordinator to access support and guidance when you need it
  • Live online tutorials once a week
  • Two modules of written materials with guided and interactive activities
  • Provision of an online interactive reading list ensuring a speedy delivery of reading material
  • Access to a growing library of e-books and e-journals in IP crime & illicit trade, criminology and criminal justice
  • Access to Moodle, our online learning platform
  • Online support for distance learning
  • Free dispatch of books and offprints of journal articles to UK distance learning students when they're not available online
  • A student card for the duration of the course

After successful completion of the course, you'll be entitled to a transcript of studies and a University Certificate. The credits gained from this course are a pathway to further university education and can contribute towards attaining a full degree.


Whether you're topping up existing knowledge, looking to accelerate your career by learning new skills, or want to work towards a university qualification at work, short courses are a great option.

This course is delivered through distance learning, with written learning materials, live online tutorials, an online interactive reading list, learning resources and web based communication, and peer learning available to you.

The University of Portsmouth uses the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment, so you'll be able to have access to a tutor and other students wherever you are. While we encourage you to join the live tutorials as often as you can, we will record them and make them available on our virtual learning environment, so you can watch them at a time more convenient for you

Topics you will cover include:

  • Explaining IP, IP crime and illicit trade
  • The extent and impacts of the crimes
  • Offenders and theoretical explanations for their criminality
  • Policing, protection and enforcement
  • Academic skills covering reading, writing, presenting, reflection, and analytical thinking

Entry Requirements

Access to this course is open to all individuals subject to the approval of the course leader. The course is delivered in English, so applicants are expected to be proficient in English to IELTS band 6.0.


Book your place

Please email David Shepherd (david.shepherd@port.ac.uk) to enquire about applications.

Course Details

Get in touch

Find out more about this course by contacting us below.

Already RUn Text

To register your interest in future courses please contact Jacki Tapley on jacki.tapley@port.ac.uk