Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to NN12
Tied to N205
Tied to N208
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N500
Tied to N506
Tied to N508
Tied to N501
Tied to N505
Tied to N507
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


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


  • The historical development of the system of corporate governance in British companies.
  • New Institutional Economic Theory (especially 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 corporate reporting and information intermediaries for corporate governance.
  • The rationale for and impact of codes of best practice for corporate governance.
  • The impact of financial markets and investor behaviour on corporate governance.
  • International differences in systems of corporate governance.

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 interdependence between corporate finance and corporate governance.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to apply institutional economic theories to the analysis of corporate governance mechanisms
  • Ability to analyse 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 a group presentation and online quizzes. Summative assessment is by means of a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 + 2 revision 1 per week 1 hour 21
Seminars 8 4 in term 1. 4 in term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 2 hours 30 mins 100%

Formative Assessment:

Contribution to a group presentation, equivalent to a 1500 word essay. Participation in online quizzes.

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