LLM International Business and Commercial Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Globalised and Digital Consumer Markets ¿ Law, Regulation and Policy

Unit code LAWS70601
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit aims to:

1. To introduce students to the key legal rules and policy drivers affecting consumer policy, especially in the context of global markets and increased use of digital content and services and online platforms for marketing, selling and supply goods and services.

2. To enhance their process of legal reasoning and analysis, and develop those skills in the context of critical thinking and application.

3. To develop an awareness of the global context of legal regulation and the application of comparative law to solve legal problems.

4. To develop an awareness of how digitalisation is affecting consumer markets and their legal regulation

5. To enable students to acquire legal skills in understanding, interpreting and applying sources of information.

6. To provide students with knowledge and understanding of consumer law as a substantive body of law.

7. To introduce the main theoretical underpinnings of consumer law.

8. To develop an appreciation of the multiple influences on consumer law and regulation - private law, public law, self-regulation- and layers of national, regional and international law and regulation.

9. To develop an appreciation of the need to ensure rules are effective through access to justice mechanisms and effective enforcement.

Teaching and learning methods

26 Lectures (large group sessions) - 12 face-to-face and 14 via digital means

In the lectures, students will be introduced to the general concepts underlying the subject and given an outline of the relevant legal and policy principles.  Taking advantage of e-learning experience even post-Covid it is expected that core material will be presented via Adobe Sparke using pre-recorded lectures, materials and interactive activities and discussion boards.Key issues will be explored and tested based on class discussion of contemporary issues and problem based scenarios.

4 Seminars (small group sessions)

Seminars will be preceded by a period of independent student-centred learning.  The seminar sheets will contain indicative reading for each session, together with subjects for discussion and problem-questions.  The purpose of the small group sessions is to help students assess their understanding of the topic, to develop analytical skills, and to learn how to apply legal principles to factual situations.  They will also be used to allow students to present ideas based on their mini-project that forms their written coursework. This will require them to isolate a consumer issues needing reform in any jurisdiction and explain why there is a problem and use theoretical and comparative legal analysis to justify their chosen reform. It is hoped this may allow students to have some influence on law reform debates.

Knowledge and understanding

The objective of this course is to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of the key legal principles and policy drivers governing consumer protection principles. Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the rules contained in, and underlying philosophies behind, the legal regulation of consumer markets and to be aware of the major principles and policy considerations that may influence the future development of contract law with particular reference to the globalisation of trade and the impact of digitalisation on consumer markets.

Intellectual skills

At the end of the course unit, students will be expected to be able to argue in a logical and persuasive manner as to how consumer law problems may be resolved, and to engage in critical evaluations of the existing law. Such skills will be cultivated in the context of oral analysis of law reform issues in seminars.

Practical skills

Students will develop problem-solving skills by addressing crucial legal policy issues through addressing contentious legal problem based scenarios and law reform debates so that they are capable of providing basic legal advice and help develop legal policy.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will be able to develop their oral and written communication skills and will have the opportunity to develop their research skills (through preparation for seminars in particular). Teamwork will be an important part of seminars.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Project output (not diss/n) 50%

Feedback methods

  • Formative feedback is made available in this course unit through class presentations on the project

Recommended reading

  • Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law (Howells)
  • Re-thinking EU Consumer Law (now available as open access) (Howells)
  • EU Digital Law (Schulze and Staudenmayer)
  • Digital Revolution – New Challenges for Law (De Franceschi and Schulze)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2.5
Lectures 26
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 300

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Geraint Howells Unit coordinator

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