Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to N1K017
Tied to N1KC17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Improve upon and demonstrate a specialist knowledge and understanding of those elements of economic and financial theory that are relevant for the analysis of individual mechanisms of corporate governance as well as of complex systems of corporate governance.
  • Develop skills in the application of economic and financial theory in analysing individual mechanism of corporate governance as well as potential interdependencies between such mechanisms.
  • Develop critical understanding of national and international systems of corporate governance.


  • Introduction: What is corporate governance?
  • Corporate Governance and Theories of the Firm.
  • The Board of Directors and the influence of Corporate Governance Codes on their composition and operation.
  • Investors, Shareholder Activism and Corporate Governance.
  • Insider Ownership and Corporate Performance: incentive alignment or managerial entrenchment?
  • Executive and Board Remuneration Decisions: theory and empirical evidence.
  • The Market for Corporate Control: theory and evidence.
  • Corporate Governance and Corporate Finance: capital structure and investment decisions.
  • International aspects of corporate governance.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • have acquired the essential skills needed to use institutional economic theories to analyse the relationship between principals and agents in organisations and to explore the impact of formal and informal rules and codes of conduct on the behaviour of agents;
  • be able to critically analyse how different systems of corporate governance evolve and how corporate governance mechanisms affect managerial behaviour as well as corporate performance.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • have gained an advanced understanding of the differences in the systems of corporate governance employed in different types of organisations and in different countries.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 24
    Preparation and Reading 126
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

    Formative Assessment:


    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University