Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) and Contract Law (LAW 1071) and Commercial Law (LAW 2241).


  • Company Law (LAW 3031).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To build on foundations laid in Contract Law and Commercial law with specific reference to retention of title and sale and supply of goods;
  • To complement the knowledge being acquired in Company Law;
  • It is intended that students shall acquire sounds and accurate knowledge of these areas, providing them with a useful source both for future practice and their everyday lives in the form of commercial awareness;
  • It seeks to develop students' facility in handling of 'black letter law' areas, and, in particular, ability to comprehend and apply relevant statutes, analyse and reason from decided cases;
  • It also seeks to identify areas of law appropriate for reform.


  • The Content of this module will change each year according to the members of staff specialism and according to the master topic chosen for any given year. In general, it is thought that each year's topics would revolve around a master topic which is chosen from the significant commercial and corporate law events of the time (financial crisis, corporate governance failures, banks and lending etc.).
  • Topics will include:
  • Public procurement;
  • Mergers and acquisitions;
  • Securities regulation (Shares and Capital maintenance);
  • Credit and Security law;
  • Banking and financial regulation;
  • Corporate governance;
  • Risk and financial crisis;
  • Securitisation and market regulation;
  • Takeover, antitrust and competition law problems;
  • Corporate Tax and related legal issues.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to demonstrate:
  • Knowledge of the main principles, rules and doctrines in selected advanced issues in commercial and corporate law;
  • Knowledge of the important contemporary debates about the key academic, political and judicial debates about selected advanced issues in commercial and corporate law and how they are affected by economic and political pressures;
  • An understanding of how selected advanced issues in commercial and corporate law operate in practice in the commercial world and how the law is influenced by international legislative activities in this field.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Apply the existing law to given factual scenarios and advise accordingly;
  • Analyse and evaluate the existing law in terms of its legal and commercial context.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate the skill and communicating complex ideas and arguments in clear written form.

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

  • The core principles of the subject will be conveyed by Seminars. Additional reading will be set to ensure that more complex aspects of the principles are investigated. Seminars will be used to ensure that the reading has been understood, and to develop subject-knowledge and subject-skills as outlined above. Formative essays will be used to develop both subject-skills and communication skills.
  • Summative assessment comprises one summative essay of 3000 words. Students are given a choice of questions to write their summative essays, but the questions are structured in such a way as to assess students on all the specific outcomes. The summative essay tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to questions raised. The summative essay questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 6 Normally weekly in Epiphany Term 2 hours 12
Preparation and Reading 88

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3,000 words 100% Y

Formative Assessment:

1 written essay of about 1500 words

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