Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2019/20 Module Cap


  • Nil


Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Nil


  • To provide advanced level knowledge of different insolvency law regimes in other parts of the world and multilaterally through the study of emerging international insolvency law principles and practices.


  • This Module will allow students to examine the policy bases of different insolvency law systems and compare how these different systems deal with similar problems of debt, insolvency and corporate rescue. The Module will also examine issues arising from cross-border insolvency and examine the relevant principles for dealing with such insolvencies.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will gain a thorough knowledge of different bodies of corporate insolvency law and practice in countries such as the United States, Australia and China.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be able to employ comparative law methods in understanding different corporate insolvency law regimes and cross-border insolvency issues.
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;
  • Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student: to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
  • Ability to perform and communicate findings from case study research;
  • Ability to work independently in problem solving
  • Ability to work in groups in problem solving

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 hrs 16
Preparation and reading 134

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 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 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