Ownership Of Student Work

The University’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy (IPR) and Guidelines govern the ownership of Intellectual Property between students and the University.

Exhibition of work

Students’ works (i.e. works of art, artefacts and designs) created in fulfilment of assessment or other requirements of a University course are regularly exhibited publicly within the University, in galleries, trade fairs, commercial and professional premises and in many other venues. This arises on the initiative of either the University or the students.

The University supports the personal involvement of students with their creative works, and seeks to collaborate with them in securing opportunities for the works to be seen by the outside professional and public world. The University believes public and private exhibitions to be valuable instruments for developing students’ professional engagement.


1. Up to the time of the student’s final academic assessment, the University and its constituent Colleges shall have the final right to decide whether or not works should be exhibited. During this time, and as a requirement of every course, the works may be held in the possession of a student but shall be made available to the University and its constituent Colleges when requested with reasonable notice.

2. Throughout their course, students have the right to exhibit their work outside the University subject to the University’s priority requirements (see Principle 1 above) and provided they give their Course Leader reasonable notice of their intention together with the details of the proposed exhibition.

3. A student exhibiting on his/her initiative outside the University (see Principle 2) will normally be encouraged to do so. The University shall be entitled to require a student not to exhibit in the following circumstances:

 3.1 Where the reputation of the University may be adversely affected, decided in the sole discretion of the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the student’s college;

3.2 If a contractual relationship, e.g. with a gallery requiring sole rights to exhibit or an industry sponsor requesting the work to remain confidential for a period of time, obliges exhibitor;

3.3 If the work concerned is required by the University for assessment or exhibition purposes.

4. Whenever a piece of work is exhibited by the University, its author(s) will be credited by name.

5. Students are entitled to sell works created within and in association with the University, provided that their Course Leader agrees that those works are no longer required for assessment, exhibition or retention, or is satisfied that the work is still available until the final academic assessment. Where sales are made from University premises or in circumstances where the University acts as the agent, a service fee (20% of the sale price inclusive of VAT)will be retained by the University.

6. Following graduation, student works are normally regarded as the property of the graduate, to be disposed of as he/she thinks fit, except that the University shall have the right to retain any piece of work for up to one year from the date of graduation, and shall have the first option to purchase a piece of work if the student is willing to sell it.

7. Some University live course projects are specifically sponsored by industry. Principles 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 above will not apply to these projects. Instead, the students taking part will be asked to give their written agreement to the terms and conditions under which the industry sponsor may wish to buy pieces of works (and/ or intellectual property rights) arising out of the live project. If the sponsor requests that the work be withdrawn from the public eye (for legitimate commercial reasons) for a certain period of time, the student(s) will be notified of this requirement.

8. Where a University live course project is sponsored by industry and this results in the sale of a piece of work (and/ or their intellectual property rights), a commission (normally 30 percent exclusive of VAT) will be retained by the University.

Notes: application of the principles and detailed conditions

1. Enhancing students’ employment prospects via the students’ portfolio of work is a major purpose of University courses. The right to exhibit or retain work by the University will be set aside where the Course Leader is satisfied that the work is needed by the student as evidence of ability to a prospective employer or customer.

2. Unless expressly agreed with the University (for example in the course of the University commissioning work from a student, the intellectual property rights in works that are the sole creation of the student(s), belong to those student(s). This remains the case, even where the University exercises its option to exhibit or retain a piece of work.

3. The Principles apply to any original work of art, artefact, or design. In many cases, a second copy or a facsimile in an appropriate medium may, by agreement, enable both the student and the University to hold a version of the work. This will normally be the case where the work is in written form, or is a print, photograph, film, video, or uses any other medium from which accurate copies can be made. The Course Leader will agree with the students whether the original or a facsimile will be exhibited in each case.

4. In cases where the University or a constituent College takes a sales commission on the sale of a piece of work (see Principle 5), this may contribute towards marketing costs which promote the sale, but will primarily be returned to the relevant School to support the teaching of students in the future. VAT is payable by a student only on the commission, price charged by the University to a student (see notes 5 and 8) not on the full sale price, unless the student him/herself is registered for VAT.

5. The University’s decision to retain a piece of work (see Principle 6) will, other than in exceptional circumstances, be communicated (whether orally or in writing) to the student prior to graduation.

6. Course Leaders, Deans or other senior staff make the decision, on behalf of the University, to retain works, or to agree their exhibition or sale elsewhere.

7. On graduation, except where the University has notified a student in accordance with these regulations (see Principle 6 and Note 5), the right for the University to retain work will normally terminate.

8. In exceptional cases, where a material of high intrinsic or recycling value (notably precious metal and stones) has been supplied by the University, the University shall retain title to such material, and if it requests a student to return to the University the work using such material for re-use or recycling, it will pay the student the actual value of that material in consideration for the loss or destruction of the work.