Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) and Contract (LAW 1071); OR, at the discretion of Chair of Board of Studies or delegate, a suitable module or combination of modules from another Department.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a general understanding of the foundations of competition law;
  • To analyse key concepts of competition law, economics, and policy;
  • To reflect on the evolution of competition law from leading cases to most recent developments in the field, with a focus on UK and EU competition law and/or US anti-trust law.


  • Legal, economic, social, and policy objectives of competition law;
  • Competition institutions (overview of competition authorities and the courts and a general overview of anti-competitive practices);
  • Competition as a game (defining markets, models of competition, game theory);
  • The first pillar will focus on restraints on competition, in particular on the law and economics of anti-competitive agreements, e.g. horizontal and vertical agreements, the prohibition and exemptions. The first pillar will focus on the public enforcement against cartels, their detection, prosecution, and judicial review, and on a variety of vertical agreements, e.g. the resale price maintenance, selective or exclusive distribution agreements etc.
  • The second pillar will focus on the prohibition of abuse of dominance and anti-competitive practices, including high profile cases e.g. Microsoft, Google, Intel, AstraZeneca etc., as well as on recent developments in key sectors of the economy, e.g. high technology markets;
  • The third pillar will focus on the law and economics of merger control including horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate mergers and selected merger cases;
  • Recent developments in the area of competition law included competition and intellectual or industrial property in the pharmaceutical sector, state aid in the financial markets (too-big-to-fail), big data and high technology markets, antitrust damages, consumer approaches to competition law, re-distribution and tax competition etc.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of competition law, economics and policy.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to analyse key concepts of competition law and engage critically with the relevant competition cases.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to gain analytical and writing skills as well as the ability to work independently.

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

  • The lectures and seminars will be used primarily to impart knowledge, and
  • To enhance students' capability to analyse and critically evaluate legal scholarship and recent developments in the field of competition law, in the form of a summative essay;
  • One formative and one summative essay;
  • The summative essay tests the ability to focus on the proposed topic and the key issues covered in seminars, to organise content knowledge and to develop logical argumentation based on further independent reading.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Normally five per term in Michaelmas and Epiphany 2 hour 20
Seminars 2 Normally mid-term 2 hours 4
Preparation and Reading 176
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 6000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

1 essay/term (2000 words max)

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