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UNISA-WIPO Intellectual Property Law Specialization Programme

About the programme

The WIPO Worldwide Academy is a division of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is entirely devoted to providing teaching, training, and research services in intellectual property. Its services, designed to meet the individual needs of diverse groups of users, are organized under three main programs:

The Academy was founded in March 1998 to help Member States of WIPO attain specialized knowledge and skills that will enable them to derive benefits from the intellectual property system. Through its various programs, the Academy constantly strives to expand its tailor-made teaching and training services to an ever-growing audience of users and beneficiaries, including those at grass-roots level.

This short learning programme is designed for academics and professionals who already have some knowledge about intellectual property, or who have some practical experience in the field of intellectual property, and who wish to strengthen and expand their future role in this field.

The focus of the curriculum is on the special circumstances prevailing in developing countries. The modules approach the subject-matter against the background of international conventions and the obligations they impose on developing countries. It is then demonstrated, using South African law as an example, how these obligations can be discharged. Students will be expected to examine the law of their own countries to determine how these obligations have been discharged, or how they should be discharged.

Although the programme is not a formal qualification, it is subject to the quality assurance requirements of Unisa.

On the successful completion of the programme, the student will receive a certificate issued jointly by the University of South Africa and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The curriculum

The modules of the programme are taught using traditional distance teaching methods.

To complete the programme, a student should pass eight of the nine modules listed below:


Study level skill 5 on University standards qualification; 12 credits per module (completed 8 modules will have 96 credits).


Although it may be possible to complete the programme in one year, most students register for the two modules per semester and so complete the programme in two years. 

Admission requirements

Admission to the programme is subject to Unisa’s requirements for admission to degree studies.  Applicants should qualify for admission to a university or a degree programme in the country of which they are a citizen, or where they reside permanently.  These qualifications include, for example, full matriculation exemption, high school diploma, A-levels, HIGCSE or IGCSE plus a minimum age requirement.

Once admitted, students will receive a complete study package, consisting of tutorial matter in the form of work books, and tutorial letters, and extracts from cases and any other relevant materials.

Examination Procedures

For each module, students have to submit two midterm written assignments for evaluation.
Final Examination papers will be posted on MYUNISA for students to download. Students must then answer in writing and submit their paper within 24 hours. The duration of each module is 14 weeks.  We recommend that students register for no more than two modules per semester.

Registration dates

Deadline for submission of applications and payment of fees
First semester: Registration date from January until February (last day for registration) for the first semester
Second semester: Registration date from June until July (last day for registration) for the second semester

Tuition fees: ZAR1200.00 per module
Fees are payable in full on registration, unless an application for WIPO financial assistance has been submitted.

For more information, please contact the Centre administrator:

Mrs Moira Roux
Tel: 012 429 8452
Fax: 012 429 8206
E-mail: rouxma@unisa.ac.za

Mrs Puseletso Mofokeng
Tel: 012 429 8774
Fax: 012 429 8206
E-mail: Mofokpg@unisa.ac.za

Download your registration form here:

Download your registration form here:

Financial assistance

Each academic year WIPO, through the Academy, makes a limited number of scholarships available to students who otherwise would not be able to afford the fees.

For information about such financial assistance, please contact:

Ms Altaye Tedla

E-Mail: dlunisa@wipo.int
Tel: +41 22 338-9395
Fax: +41 22 740-1417

WIPO Worldwide Academy
34, chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20

Deadline for submission of applications for financial assistance: Applications for financial assistance must be received by 30 November, for enrolment in the next academic year.

In addition to satisfying the above admission requirements, applicants for financial assistance must complete the Registration and Financial Assistance Form (MS WORD)  and submit it to the Academy with the following documentation:

Please note that the information provided in this form is requested by WIPO only for the purpose of considering the grant of your scholarship. It will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be communicated outside WIPO.