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Library Guides

Copyright for Students: My Copyright

What do we need to know?

What's the difference between Intellectual Property and Copyright?

At it's simplest, intellectual property can be referred to as a creative work which can be treated as an asset or physical property. Copyright applies to work that's recorded in some way. 

"Copyright is a law that protects the use of your work once your idea becomes reality;  whether you are writing a book or a blog, shooting a movie on your phone or creating your next masterpiece. You are the rights-owner." (Copyrightaware, 2019)

Find out more on the topic from the UK Copyright Service's Intellectual property guide 

How do I makes sure my work is protected by copyright?

As soon as your work has been created it is automatically protected by copyright.

You may wish to to provide a Creative Commons Copyright License in order to make your work available to share and control the options

Do I own the copyright to my coursework?

Yes. Only in exceptional circumstances will undergraduate and masters students  be required to assign their Intellectual Property.

You will retain copyright and the University might ask you to grant it permission to use your work for specified purposes such as  for promotional and educational purposes.

In exceptional circumstances, If you are an undergraduate or masters student and have made unusually heavy use of University facilities or staff expertise in developing IP with clear commercial potential, you may be required to make an assignment to the University by deed at any point during your programme.

If the University commercialises IP you have generated, you will be entitled to a share of the profits made from that IP. Your share will be calculated according to the same formula used to remunerate staff-inventors.

Copyright on You Tube

How to manage your rights on YouTube and respect the rights of others

Your intellectual property

Guidance on protecting your intellectual property at university and in your personal life

Cracking Ideas - IP Tutor

IP Tutor logo 

IP Tutor is an interactive, e-learning tool, designed by the IPO (Intellectual Property Office)

This has four tutorials for different subject areas.

  • creative
  • science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM)
  • business, law and accounting
  • humanities

it helps you understand intellectual property rights such as: 

  • trade marks
  • patents
  • copyright and designs

It uses case studies to show why intellectual property is important.


This guidance provides an overview of the main copyright/IP issues for students at the University of Westminster.
It should not be taken as legal advice.
If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of a suitably qualified and experienced legal professional.