Corporate governance

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3 of 3, or Year 4 of 4
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Finance and Management

Module overview

This module introduces the basic concepts of corporate governance and theory of the firm. It is specially designed for the undergraduate study of such areas as management, finance, financial law, corporate law, economics and related subjects. The course is designed to increase the depth of your understanding of corporate governance issues. As corporate governance is a multi-disciplinary subject – covering such topics as law, politics, management, finance, and economics - the course outlines the key theoretical and practical issues underpinning the study of corporate governance, and how they affect the governance of the modern corporation. International comparisons and differences in corporate governance are emphasised throughout the course.

Upon successful completion of this module, it is hoped that students will understand the key elements of corporate governance and its importance to the international economy. In order to achieve this, a strong emphasis is placed on the relationship between theoretical concepts and real world issues. It is therefore hoped that the course can make a real contribution to your in-depth understanding of the relevant corporate governance issues.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Outline and discuss the key legal, political and economic features of the major corporate governance systems found around the world;
  • Analyse how corporate governance systems influence performance, including both the performance of individual firms and the allocation of capital within a country;
  • Discuss the evolution of diverse ownership and governance structures across different economies;
  • Evaluate theories of the firm, and explain how they are relevant to the diverse range of ownership structures that exist in reality;
  • Address such practical questions, as how should the board of directors and executive teams be composed; how should executives and board of directors be remunerated given the legal, political and economic framework in the country; how do CEOs decide about the mix of debt and equity finance and how does the mix affect their discretion and control over cash flow?
  • Explain why the quality of corporate governance is relevant to capital formation;
  • Discuss the moral and social responsibility dimensions of corporate governance;
  • Describe why systematic failure of corporate governance can lead to failure of confidence that could spread from individual firms to entire markets or economies


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules