Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module LAW44330: Securities Law and Capital Markets

Department: Law

LAW44330: Securities Law and Capital Markets

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This course aims to give students an understanding in the law on capital and securities markets. The economic and business context of the law will also be considered in some detail.
  • The overall purpose is therefore to provide a theoretical and practical grasp of core issues of securities law, which can be useful for academic as well as professional work in this field.


  • The first sessions of the course will address the fundamentals of securities law. Subsequently, the syllabus will cover topics such as the regulation of stock exchanges, investment firms, credit rating agencies, investment funds, public offerings, financial reporting, securities fraud, insider dealing and the clearing and settlement of securities transactions.
  • Not all of these latter topics will be taught in every year but a selection will be made. This will also consider recent events, given the frequency of law reforms in the field of securities law.
  • This course will be taught from an international and comparative perspective, in particular considering the EU and US law on the course topics. Non-legal research will also be considered in appropriate circumstances.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • good knowledge and understanding of the relevance of securities law and the operation of capital markets;
  • detailed knowledge and understanding of selected topics of particular relevance to commercial lawyers;
  • critical understanding of the effectiveness of the law as a means of protecting investors given the legal, political, economic, social and cultural context in which it operates.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to engage in independent analysis of a range of laws from various jurisdictions;
  • the ability to critically evaluate the views of legal commentators drawn from a range of disciplines and to adopt and defend a reasoned position on the issues explored;
  • the ability to apply their knowledge to practical cases - using both legal analysis and business thinking
  • the ability to engage in independent research on complex legal problems.
Key Skills:
  • 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
  • ability to describe accurately and comprehensibly the arguments and analysis of other commentators
  • ability to evaluate critically the arguments of others
  • ability to carry out research and solve practical questions

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

  • The module will be taught by interactive seminars, supported by private study by students.
  • Assessment will be by written essays, providing students with a choice of topics. Students will be encouraged to develop confidence in formulating and articulating their own ideas and perspectives on the issues.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 15 2 30
Preparation and reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 6000 words 100% Essay, 6000 words, different title

Formative Assessment:

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