Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Business and Company Law

Course summary

Course code: LAW1091
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Business Faculty
Department: International Bus and Economics
Course Coordinator(s): Michael Ottley



The aim of the course is to equip a student with the means by which they can understand how individuals and businesses are affected by the legal environment in which they operate

By the end of the course, a learner should be able to: Understand the legal principles of business and company law. Apply business and company law principles to fact based legal problems and examine and reflect on current legal issues in business and company law.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. explain the relevance of business law (English law) to individuals and businesses and the role of law in an economic, political and social context
2. assess critically the fundamental legal principles behind the formation of contractual agreements and to evaluate the nature of a contact and the consequences in the event of breach
3. examine how businesses can be held liable in tort and for the torts of their employees
4. critically assess the legal structure of different forms of business organisations, employee status, the general responsibilities of an employer and the nature of professional regulation
5. analyse critically the fundamental principles surrounding the formation, running and dissolution of limited liability partnerships and incorporated companies; appraise the legal and ‘voluntary’ requirements of corporate governance

Indicative content

• English legal system: sources of law; impact of European law on businesses; dispute resolution
• Formation of contracts; e-commerce
• Express terms; implied terms (eg Sale of Goods Act 1979); misrepresentations
• Exclusion clauses, restraint of trade clauses and unfair terms
• Vitiating factors (including restraint of trade clauses); performance; remedies
• Tort: negligence; economic torts; vicarious liability
• Business associations: sole traders, ordinary partnerships, limited liability partnerships and registered companies compared; the nature of the employment relationship and employer responsibility
• Company formation, administration, management, finance and transacting making
• Company directors and directors’ duties
• Shareholder protection and creditor protection
• Corporate governance and professional regulation
• Corporate insolvency

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught using a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will be used to introduce learners to legal skills; a detailed examination of the fundamental principles of business and company law and its contextual setting (particularly in relation to companies, corporate governance). In seminars, learners will be expected to undertake skill-based problem solving and contextual exercises, using a range of techniques as follows:
• Class based case studies and television/journal/newspaper items/articles to cultivate reflective thinking and legal awareness
• The use of library/IT- and assignment- based exercises for conducting introductory legal research, the handling of legal information and its application.
• Class debate, discursive topics and active problem solving to enable participants to analyse legal issues and how these can apply to a personal and working environment
• A consideration of the legal set up and its impact on broader economic, financial, practical (and social) factors, as affecting individuals and businesses.
• Library- and IT- based legal research exercises to test participants’ ability to handle, analyse and apply legal information.


Essay - 40% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 1-2. Outline Details - Problem solving, involving a contemporary case-study in which legal knowledge, application, reasoning and effective communication to be demonstrated in a concise and accurate manner; in accordance with prescribed assessment. 1500 words.

Formative Assessment - Online Q & A

Exam - 60% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 1-5. Outline Details - A mix of problem- and essay-based questions under time-constrained, ‘closed book’ conditions. 3 hours.

Formative Assessment - Online practice questions.