Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • One level 2 Economics or Business module.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module aims to analyse how corporate governance structures influence the behaviour of the actors inside an organisation. As both internal and external systems of corporate governance are explored, the module builds on the student's knowldege gained during their previous studies.


  • The historical development of the system of corporate governance in British companies.
  • New Institutional Economic theory (Transaction Cost Theory, Principal-Agent Theory, Property Rights Theory) as an instrument to analyse corporate governance structures.
  • the role of the Board of Directors and the Shareholders in the governance of companies.
  • The functions of auditors and disclosure requirements in corporate governance.
  • the development of codes of best practice for corporate governance.
  • Corporate governance and the market for corporate control.
  • Financial aspects of corporate governance.
  • Financial markets, investment behaviour and international differences in systems of corporate governance.
  • Corporate governance in the public sector.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To have a critical appreciation of the role and the development of corporate governance, including an awareness of international differences in systems of corporate governance.
  • To be able to discuss in an informed way the development of corporate governance structures and the interdependance between corporate finance and corporate governance.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Application of institutional economic theories to the analysis of corporate governance mechanisms
  • Analysis of interdependence between corporate governance and corporate finance with the help of institutional economic and financial theories
Key Skills:
  • Interpersonal and Written Communication - communicating ideas in exams
  • Planning, Organisation and Time Management - e.g. by preparing for examinations.
  • Problem Solving and Analysis - by applying the necessary analytical skills, as well as the ability to manipulate concepts in corporate governance, in undertaking assessed work.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures, seminars and support for student-centred learning. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars and private study (including student-centred learning). Formative assessment is by means of an essay. Summative assessment is by means of a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 1 Per Week 1 Hour 21
Seminars 8 4 in Term 1, 4 in Term 2 1 Hour 8
Student-centred learning 4 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 2 hours 15 mins 100%

Formative Assessment:

Contribution to a group presentation equivalent to a 1500 word essay.

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