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Unit information: Issues in Corporate Governance in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Issues in Corporate Governance
Unit code LAWD30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Villiers
Open unit status Not open

LAWD20037 Company Law (recommended)



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit explores the key features of corporate governance. The focus is on UK corporate governance but, where relevant, a comparative angle is examined. The unit provides an overview of the economic and institutional dynamics that influence the use and control of decision-making power in publicly traded companies. The rights, duties and obligations of key participants in corporate governance (especially the board of directors and shareholders) are examined. Special attention is paid to the effectiveness of reforms designed to enhance managerial accountability, including: institutional shareholder activism;
the use of independent directors; audit and risk management techniques; the design and control of executive remuneration; hostile takeovers and the market for corporate control. There will also be seminars exploring corporate social responsibility, female representation on boards and post-crisis corporate governance reforms in the UK banking sector.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Restate accurately the law relevant to corporate governance debates in the UK;
  • Understand and critically evaluate the key concepts, issues and theoretical approaches relating to corporate governance debates in the UK;
  • Propose and defend various reform options in relation to above;
  • Clearly communicate ideas in written and verbal form, using appropriate language and concepts;
  • Show an awareness of and appreciation of corporate governance debates in other jurisdictions e.g. EU, US, Japan.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWD30001).