Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Economics and Finance)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Elements of Economics (ECON1011) AND EITHER Economic Methods (ECON1021) OR Core Maths A (MATH1012) OR Single Maths A (MATH1561) OR Maths for Engineers and Scientists (MATH1551) OR Foundation Maths (MATH1641).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module aims to:
  • build upon material introduced at Preliminary Honours level in order to develop an understanding of key aspects of business competition, and associated policy issues
  • provide students with a good grounding for undertaking a dissertation in the field of business competition
  • provide students with opportunities to practise and devlop a range of key skills


  • The nature and scope of the firm: horizontal and vertical boundaries
  • Vertical market relationships
  • Implications of the separation of ownership and control
  • The internal organisation of the firm
  • Industry analysis
  • Competitive behaviour
  • The welfare concequences of market power
  • Competition policy in practice: cartels and dominant firms
  • Competition policy in practice: merger policy
  • Topics in Business Competition

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:
  • knowledge and understanding of key aspects of business competition, including the organisation of firms,
  • some important aspects of competitive behaviour,
  • and relevant policy issues
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students should be able to make an informed contribution to relevant policy debates.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication - e.g. by completing assignments
  • Planning, Organisation and Time Management - e.g. by planning their work schedule in order to: undertake private study of recommended and independently researched reading material; prepare for seminar discussions; meet deadlines for the submission of assessed work; prepare for the written examination.
  • Problem Solving and Analysis - e.g. by exercising critical thinking in applying relevant theory and empirical evidence to the analysis of problems and issues encountered in seminar worksheets and formative tests.
  • Initiative - e.g. by selecting and researching relevant literature and information in preparation for their student-centred learning topic, and the written examination.
  • Computer Literacy and Information Retrieval - e.g. accessing and downloading teaching material from DUO..

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

  • Teaching is by lectures and tutorials. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in tutorial classes and private study (including student-centred learning). Formative assessment is by means of multiple choice tests. Summative assessment is by means of a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Tutorials 8 1 every 2 weeks 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Short questions

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