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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: NPK017
No such Code for pgprog: N1KP17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KD17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KB17

Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to NPK017
Tied to N1KP17
Tied to N1KD17
Tied to N1KB17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Improve upon and demonstrate a specialist knowledge and understanding of those elements of economic and financial theory that are relevant for the analysis of individual mechanisms of corporate governance as well as of complex systems of corporate governance.
  • Develop skills in the application of economic and financial theory in analysing individual mechanism of corporate governance as well as potential interdependencies between such mechanisms.
  • Develop critical understanding of national and international systems of corporate governance.


  • Introduction: What is corporate governance?
  • Corporate Governance and Theories of the Firm.
  • The Board of Directors and the influence of Corporate Governance Codes on their composition and operation.
  • Investors, Shareholder Activism and Corporate Governance.
  • Insider Ownership and Corporate Performance: incentive alignment or managerial entrenchment?
  • Executive and Board Remuneration Decisions: theory and empirical evidence.
  • The Market for Corporate Control: theory and evidence.
  • Corporate Governance and Corporate Finance: capital structure and investment decisions.
  • International aspects of corporate governance.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will:
  • have gained an advanced understanding of the differences in the systems of corporate governance employed in different types of organisations and in different countries.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will:
  • have acquired the essential skills needed to use institutional economic theories to analyse the relationship between principals and agents in organisations and to explore the impact of formal and informal rules and codes of conduct on the behaviour of agents.
  • be able to critically analyse how different systems of corporate governance evolve and how corporate governance mechanisms affect managerial behaviour as well as corporate performance.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

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

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 28
Preparation and Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:


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