Specialization Certificate - Geographic Indications

UOC Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Program Description

Specialization Certificate - Geographic Indications

UOC Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

In this course we consider the socio, cultural and political implications of geographic indication. Geographic indication (GI) protects local products and provides interesting marketing strategies, but they also run the risk of restricting and limiting change.

Credits: 12 ECTS
Start: October 2017
Degree: Geographic Indications
Language: English

This specialisation consists of three modules: Social, Cultural and Political Considerations of GI; Tourism and GIs; and, Legal Considerations: Laws, Treaties and Agreements. We review the history of GIs and use case studies to consider the benefits and limitations of this type of certification. We then turn our attention of tourism and GIs, focusing on the importance of geographic indicators for tourist destinations and vice versa. Here students will examine specific cases, including Wine tourism in Napa Valley (California), the Oleoturism Olive Oil Route (Jaén, Spain), Scotland's Whiskey Trail and Les cuines of Vendrell (El Vendrell, Spain). Finally, we consider the legal considerations of geographical indicators including definitions, GIs as a form of intellectual property and a review of legal frameworks that govern GIs. We pay particular attention to GI laws in the European Union, the USA, Russia, China, Vietnam, India and Thailand.

This specialisation is taught by an interdisciplinary and international group of experts. With this training, students will understand different systems of geographic indication, how to apply for GI for a specific product and what the benefits and limitations of such a process could be for the producers, the community and the consumer.

This Specialisation in Geographic Indication can be taken as a stand-alone certificate, but it is also a mandatory part of the Master's in Food, Culture and Territory and the Postgraduate Programme in Food, Culture and Locality.


  • Awareness of different systems of Geographic Indications.
  • Consideration of the term Local.
  • Consideration of the social, cultural and political context for the development of GI protection.
  • Understanding the implications of GIs for local communities.
  • Understanding of the implications of GIs in development.
  • Understanding the role GIs play within social movements.
  • Understanding the implications, considerations and opportunities.
  • Understanding the role of geographical indications (GIs) in tourism.
  • Understanding of a Geographical Indication as a type of intellectual property.
  • Understanding the legal frameworks that govern GIs.
  • Understanding approaches to protection of geographical indications in national laws.
  • Awareness of the organizations involved in GIs.
  • Understanding of the process for applying for a GI.
  • Understanding of GI laws and systems in the various countries.


This programme will prepare you to meet the demand for knowledgeable and well-trained food systems analysts and leaders, by fostering practical and critical learning with an international perspective.

The courses are specifically geared towards:

  • Individuals working in NGOs and community organizations that address issues related to food, and agriculture.
  • Individuals working in the agri-food sector.
  • Public administrators.
  • Policy analysts.
  • Consultants.
  • Lawyers.
  • Journalists specializing in food politics.
  • Professional organizations or international cooperation projects that address issues linked to food and agriculture.
  • Students wishing further education on issues of agri-food governance.

Providing students with the necessary tools for improving their employability, giving them the right to knowledge and education to be successful in the different occupations they will have during their lives, is a fundamental purpose of our postgraduate programmes.

Student profile

Geographic Indication students typically have backgrounds in a field related to the agri-food sector, or an academic background in anthropology, economics, environmental studies, development, public health, agriculture or sociology.

The programme attracts people who wish to specialise in the agri-food sector, as well as those interested working in this field. Many already have work experience in the agri-food sector and are looking to broaden their knowledge and skills so as to advance their careers.

Academic requirements

Students can apply for this specialisation even if they do not have a university degree.

The Specialisation in Geographic Indication is open to everyone with a good grasp of English.

The UOC is an open university which means that even if you do not have a high school diploma or university degree you can still take our courses.

Prior knowledge

The course materials and teaching language is English. A strong grasp of English is required for this programme.


Once the overall assessment process has been completed successfully, the UOC will issue a Master Diploma/ Postgraduate Diploma/Specialization Certificate to those participants with an accredited university qualification that is valid in Spain.

Should you not have such a qualification, a Certificate will be issued.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2017
Full time
1,145 EUR
Contact school
Spain - Barcelona
Start date: Oct. 2017
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Oct. 2017
Spain - Barcelona
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school