Accessibility statement

Company Law - MAN00003H

« Back to module search

  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Helena Pinto
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module looks at some basic principles of English Law and how they impact upon the business organisation from a finance and accountancy perspective. It does not try to cover all aspects of the law as this would not be possible in a single module. Instead it covers aspects most relevant to accountants and those working in finance. It is not intended to make legal experts of students but to raise awareness of how the law impacts upon a business organisation in certain aspects of its trading activities. It assumes no prior knowledge.

The module begins with a brief introduction to the English legal system. This discusses the law in general, the reasons for which a system of law is necessary, the main sources of law, the institutions that create the law and the differences between the criminal and civil legal systems. It then proceeds to examine the different legal structures that business organisations can adopt before concentrating on the limited company, both in terms of its external and internal relationships. The module next considers the business organisation from two different perspectives: as an employer and as a user or provider of goods and services. The former involves examination of certain aspects of employment law, whilst the latter looks at the basic principles of the tort of negligence and the elements of a legally binding contract including the impact of statutory intervention on behalf of the consumer. The module concludes with an overview of the impact of the criminal law on a business organisation.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Identify the sources of law and distinguish case law from legislation

  • Distinguish different forms of business organisation and advise a client on their applicability

  • Understand the concept of legal personality and the legal structure of a company

  • Analyse and apply the principal duties of the directors of a company

  • Understand the relationship between a company and its shareholders and evaluate the protection

  • available to the latter

  • Understand the relationship between a company and its creditors and evaluate the protection

  • available to the latter

  • Analyse different forms of employment relationship and advise on choice of relationship

  • Evaluate an employer’s approach to termination of the employment relationship and advise on

  • approaches to termination

  • Understand different forms of civil obligations and apply them to given factual circumstances

  • Identify the fundamental principles of a legally binding contract

  • Assess the effectiveness of common law and legislative controls over contracting parties

  • Identify the fundamental principles of the tort of negligence

  • Analyse and assess the potential liability of those making negligent misstatements

  • Evaluate the impact of the criminal law on the activities of a commercial organisation.

Module content

  • How company law and corporate structures have developed

  • The different ways in which a business can be run

  • How a business becomes incorporated

  • The various roles and responsibilities of those involved in companies including shareholders and


  • How companies are administered and what formal requirements apply

  • The nature of the ‘corporate personality’ as a separate entity from those who manage or own it

  • The separation between those who manage the company as ‘Directors’ and those who own the

company as ‘shareholders’

  • The limited liability of shareholders

  • The ability to transfer ownership of the company as between shareholders


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam
3 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam
3 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

Core texts

Business Law, James Marson and Katy Ferris (OUP 2015, 4th ed.)

Introduction to Business Law, Lucy Jones (OUP 2015, 3rd ed.)

Essentials of Business Law, Ewan MacIntyre (Pearson 2015, 5th ed.)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.