MA Corporate Governance And Commercial Law

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  • Objectives
    This course is designed to give graduates a thorough grounding in corporate governance, vital legal regulation governing commerce and finance. They are accredited by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and will be of particular interest to those wanting a professional qualification and career as a Chartered Secretary.
  • Entry requirements
    The MA is designed for non-law graduates and begins with a double unit on business law, where legal method and key principles of business law are studied. In addition to studying six taught core subjects, you will complete a dissertation.
  • Academic title
    MA Corporate Governance And Commercial Law
  • Course description
    MA Corporate Governance and Commercial Law units

    -Business Liability (30 credits)
    -Information Technology Law (15 credits)
    -Employment Law (15 credits)
    -Corporate Governance: Theory, Law and Practice (30 credits)
    -Finance and Administration (15 credits)
    -Financial Reporting and Corporate Taxation (15 credits)
    -Dissertation (60 credits)

    Options units

    -International and European Business Law (15 credits)
    -International Human Rights and EU Social Law (15 credits)
    -Intellectual Property Law (15 credits)
    -Discrimination Law (15 credits)
    -Project Unit (15 credits)
    -Business Liability

    This double unit introduces MA students to the study of law, underpinning other law units. It develops an understanding of the concepts of liability, which include contractual and tortious liability.

    The first two weeks will focus on using library resources, in particular the primary sources of law, to provide an introduction to the first part of the syllabus. Subsequent sessions will be a mixture of lectures and seminars that will enable you to engage in discussions, exercises and case studies.

    The unit covers the English legal system and how European law is incorporated. The detailed principles of contract and tort are also studied. Finally, principles of equity and trusts and various remedies are explored. The unit is assessed by both coursework to provide formative assessment and by examination which includes unseen questions on a seen case study.

    Information Technology Law
    Information technology is at the heart of today’s economies, playing both lead and supporting roles in nearly everything we do. This course will examine the legal structure in which information technology functions and will investigate the challenges posed to law, economics and society by information technology’s growing importance. Law as it relates to computer hardware and software, communications systems (including the internet) and a variety of other technologies may be discussed so that you will gain an understanding of the depth to which such technology, having infused itself into our daily lives, either fits within or challenges our current legal systems.

    Employment Law
    Employment Law considers the relationship between employers and their workers. It has become one of the most dynamic areas, with constant change from the UK government, the European Union and from considerable case law.

    The unit concentrates on the individual relationship between the employer and work, but trade union and collective issues are considered. It takes a very practical approach in considering legal problems that lawyers are likely to encounter in practice. To develop a full understanding of the law, it will analyse its political, social and economic context.

    This unit will be of interest to students wishing to develop expertise in one of the key areas regulating economic activity and those interested in individual rights. It is vital in developing human resource expertise and to those involved in mergers and acquisitions. As a result, it will be of use to the practising lawyers and the company secretaries, as well as those with wider interests in the business world.

    Corporate Governance: Theory, Law and Practice
    Ever since the Enron scandal, corporate governance has experienced an astonishing ascendancy in popularity and recognition. Increasingly, good corporate governance is becoming a crucial facet of corporate performance and accountability. This unit aims to provide graduates of any discipline with an opportunity to thoroughly develop their knowledge and appreciation of the major topics surrounding corporate governance. Students are also provided with a thorough understanding of company law in the UK.

    Topical subjects studied include auditor liability, non-executive directors, directors’ pay, the takeover market, directors’ duties, the stakeholder debate, insider dealing, minority shareholder remedies and many others.

    All topics covered on this module are examined from a legal, theoretical and practical viewpoint. Where appropriate, case studies focusing on actual corporate governance incidents will be analysed in-depth to demonstrate why good governance is so important. These include Enron, WorldCom, Barings, Parmalat, Royal Ahold, Shell, BCCI, Equitable Life, Glaxo, ITV, BP and others.

    Finance and Administration
    This unit covers the business finance, portfolio theory and corporate administration as required by the ICSA. It will enable you to understand the characteristics of a range of financial sources available to organisations, explain the nature of the efficiency of the capital markets and the risk and return relationship, assess the nature and importance of capital structure, evaluate project appraisal methods, understand the principles of working capital management, evaluate the options available to organisations in the areas of pensions insurance and risk, and finally explain the company secretary's responsibilities in relation to management of physical corporate assets and company meetings.

    There will be twelve lecture sessions of three hours, where the theory and empirical research literature will be presented and discussed. Formal presentation of material, class discussion and individual/group problem solving will also take place during those lectures.

    Financial Reporting and Corporate Taxation
    This unit is essential learning for anyone that intends to work in a commercial environment. It goes from the basic aspects of financial reporting to an understanding of the main standards. It also provides a basic understanding of corporation tax, giving you a more rounded view of the financial environment.

    Options Units
    International and European Business Law
    This course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the areas of commercial and competition law principles required to promote and support trading, both worldwide and within the European Union. The course includes not only a detailed analysis and application of the key principles of EU competition policy which regulates and promotes the growth, through trade, of large, medium and small business enterprises, but also a detailed examination and application of the key principles of law underpinning exporting transactions worldwide, in particular those relating to incoterms, bills of lading, contracts of carriage and insurance. Financing such transactions through use of letters of credit and bills of exchange is an essential element also, in addition to the question of jurisdiction. Successful completion enables candidates to understand and apply these principles to the planning and implementation of trading operations to the worldwide aspect of international trade and the EU aspect also.

    International Human Rights and EU Social Law
    Major changes have come about through the law of International Human Rights and EU social policy. This unit provides an opportunity to study the free movement of workers, EU discrimination regulations, the role of the EU institutions, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UK’s Human Rights Act. You will consider EU human rights policy and the relationship between EU discrimination law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Intellectual Property Law
    This unit examines the international regimes governing the major intellectual property rights. The emphasis is on international institutions, treaties and processes, particularly the WTO TRIPS agreement, its associated case law and the pre-existing treaties that TRIPS incorporates.

    The unit leads up to an in-depth discussion of a small number of key substantive law issues at an advanced level, in the context of states' compliance or failure to comply with TRIPS. It also covers problems that surround and intertwine with the various substantive areas of intellectual property law, including patent law, copyright law, and trademark law, amongst others. Problems are not discrete to one substantive area of intellectual property law, but cross the boundaries, testing your abilities to think and analyse legal situations across the various domains from a UK perspective.

    Discrimination Law
    Discrimination law is a fast developing area. Much case law arises from the employment situation, but the law regulates education, housing and other services. The subject covers equal pay and discrimination on grounds of sex, gender reassignment, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age.

    Discrimination law is studied in context and thus the political root and social consequences are considered. Key concepts such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and positive discrimination and action will be considered in the first part of the course. In the meantime, students will select a topic and develop it as a research project. Assessment will be based on an oral presentation of this project to peers and the tutor in a role-play situation.

    The unit will attract those who are developing expertise in employment law for professional or other career routes, but it will offer much to those interested in the rights of particular groups.

    Project unit
    You may have the opportunity to study a project unit, which allows you to pursue in more depth aspects of the taught curriculum. The unit is delivered principally through directed learning. Your project supervisor will direct you as to what material to study in order to develop a detailed knowledge of the project area. The culmination of the research is a 4,000-word report.

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