LLM International Business and Commercial Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
The Principles and Practice of Corporate Governance

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS70362
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


Corporate governance is rarely out of the headlines. The question of how much remuneration directors should receive has been a recent issue, while the link between corporate governance and corporate performance has long been probed. There have also been high profile instances of incompetence and illegal behaviour. Also, who should the directors of the company be working for? Should it be for shareholders, employees, or the company itself? All told, corporate governance suggests an interesting and important area of study. The way that we regulate corporate governance is also intriguing, and for a number of reasons. If we over-regulate there is a fear that we will damage the ability of corporations to be competitive, and this will damage national competitiveness and the living standards of citizens. Alternatively, if we fail to regulate effectively we may be facilitating undesirable behaviour, such as the taking of unnecessary risks, with the potential to repeat the financial meltdown of 2007. The issue of who is best placed to regulate corporate governance is similarly an interesting one, and can we say that there is a convergence of practice across jurisdictions? The purpose of this course unit is to explore these types of issues and to develop a more informed and critical understanding of corporate governance. It will provide you with an appreciation of policy and the governance framework more generally. As you might also now realise, it will draw upon different bodies of knowledge, although the main focus will be regulatory.


•        To explore corporate governance from different perspectives

•        To examine the major theories concerning corporate governance

•        To consider the purpose of corporate governance

•        To look at the interplay of the institutions supporting the practice of corporate governance

•        To examine the internal and external mechanisms of corporate governance practice

•        To consider how corporate governance has evolved across different legal and economic systems

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful students will be able to:

- understand the theoretical basis of the principles and development of corporate governance;

- identify how legal and financial approaches are jointly relevant to the theoretical and practical aspects of corporate governance;

- recognise the key legal issues affecting the governance of companies (especially UK companies);

- have an awareness and understanding of the current academic and policy issues around the themes of corporate governance and, in particular, the shareholder-stakeholder debates;

- understand the relevance of the governance of corporations within the wider social, political and economic context;

- use appropriate sources and literatures to research and analyse an issue in corporate governance and write a critical piece of work.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures (26 hours) and seminars (4 hours)

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Formative essay, questions, seminars, classroom discussion.

Recommended reading

Moore, M. and Petrin, M. (2017) Corporate Governance: Law, Regulation and Theory, London: Palgrave Corporate and Financial Law.

  A full reading list will be provided on a topic by topic basis.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Aristea Koukiadaki Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Formative feedback is provided within the unit through oral feedback in the seminars.  A revision lecture is provided prior to the final assessment, and an outline of issues is published after the final assessment on Blackboard.



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