Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Accounting


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to N3K109
Tied to N3K209
Tied to N3K309
Tied to N3K409
Tied to N3K609
Tied to N2P609
Tied to N2P209
Tied to L1T509


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module aims to provide students with:
  • an understanding of the history of corporate governance and the reasons for its continued development;
  • knowledge of the key principles of best practice in corporate governance, with specific reference to the UK Corporate Governance Code;
  • an insight in to the governance and stewardship role of institutional investors;
  • an understanding of the reasons for and impact of differences in systems of corporate governance globally;
  • the ability to critically analyse and discuss an organisations corporate governance arrangements.


  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Regulation of Corporate Governance
  • Board Leadership & Company Purpose
  • Division of Responsibilities
  • Composition, Succession and Evaluation
  • Audit, Risk and Internal Control
  • Directors Remuneration
  • Stewardship
  • International Corporate Governance

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students should have a specialis knowledge and understanding of:
  • theoretical frameworks that underpin corporate governance;
  • regulation and legislation of corporate governance globally;
  • characteristics and components of an effective board of directors;
  • key roles within a board and their responsibilities;
  • the need for a transparent appointment process to recruit board members;
  • the role played by internal and external audit in corporate governance;
  • the need for risk management and internal control systems;
  • the importance and determination of board remuneration;
  • the stewardship role played by institutional investors;
  • the difference in corporate governance within a global environment.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should be able:
  • to apply their understanding of corporate governance in the analysis of board arrangements in different forms of organisation.
Key Skills:
  • written and verbal communication
  • planning, organising and time management
  • problem solving and analysis
  • presentation skills

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

  • A combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module. Investigation of scenarios which underpin the seminars will encourage students to develop awareness of the potential effects of various corporate governance mechanisms.
  • The formative presentation will enhance students' ability to further analyse corporate governance, and particularly the stewardship role, as well as their communication and presentation skills.
  • The summative written assignment will be in the form of a case study analysis based on corporate governance issues in real world organisations to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, their critical judgement and problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation, Reading and Independent Study 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 2500 words (max) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation.

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