Certificate in Intellectual Property Crime and Illicit Trade (CIPCIT) Short course


On this course, which is unavailable anywhere else, you'll gain a practical and academic understanding of intellectual property (IP) crime and illicit trade.

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.

The credits earned on this course are academically recognised and can contribute towards full degree courses.

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: 24 weeks
  • Start and end dates:

    • 19 September 2022 – 3 March 2023
    • 16 January 2023 – 4 July 2023

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


  • £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 with peers to help you develop your professional practices

How you're assessed

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

Included in your course fee:

  • Provision of a named module coordinator to access support and guidance when you need it
  • Online live tutorials
  • 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
  • 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.


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.

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.

Get in touch

Find out more about this course by contacting us below.