Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module LAW40715: Competition Law

Department: Law

LAW40715: Competition Law

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to M1K616
Tied to M1K316
Tied to M1K116


  • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The course aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the public and private competition enforcement regimes in the United Kingdom


  • The institutional structure of the U.K. regime, including the respective roles of and relationship between the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court
  • The review of mergers under the Enterprise Act 2002
  • The application of Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 to anti-competitive agreements and practices
  • The regulation by Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 of the commercial practices of dominant firms
  • Cartel enforcement and leniency
  • Market studies and investigations
  • The powers of investigation and enforcement available to the U.K. competition authorities
  • The U.K. private enforcement regime, including the jurisdictional allocation of private competition claims under Regulation 44/2001

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the substantive and procedural rules applicable to public and private competition law enforcement in the U.K., including a detailed understanding of the economic and public policy objectives underlying the structure and application of the U.K. competition regime
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will appreciate the critical importance of a dynamic application of competition law within its economic context. They will also recognise the tensions inherent in applying, within a common law jurisdiction, a system of law based largely on civil law principles, and will learn the methods of interpretation and analysis underpinning the application of competition law in practice.
Key Skills:
  • • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;

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

  • The teaching will be based on Socratic seminars supported by substantial but targeted reading assignments before each seminar session. The readings are selected from both established doctrinal sources as well as cutting-edge scholarship in the area. The seminars will work from a basic level of doctrinal knowledge and build on that foundation into discussions of more difficult and controversial issues within the sub-discipline. This will encourage students to learn the material and develop the ability to discuss it and understand where each aspect of the reading fits in with the relevant debates.
  • The elements of assessment support the aims of the teaching methods. The essay will assess the extent to which students have developed an overall grasp of the subject matter and issues, and can discuss challenging problems emerging in the sub-discipline. It will also assess the ability of the students not only to analyse the subject material, but to perform research in the sub-discipline, and present a structured, articulate argument on the subject. The formative essay will assist in preparation for the summative essay

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 8 Weekly 2 hours 16
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay of 3,000 words 3,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will to complete an essay of no more than 1500 words on a topic that will be provided in week 2 of the Term

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