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LAW3003 : Competition Law

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Reader
  • Lecturer: Dr Francesco De Cecco, Dr Jonathan Galloway
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Module aims:

To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the different types of commercial behaviour that are subject to competition law scrutiny by EU and UK authorities.

To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the relationship between EU and UK/Member State competition law and enforcement bodies.

To evaluate the effectiveness of EU and UK competition law in achieving the stated objectives.

Companies increasingly operate in global markets with little regard for the boundaries of the nation state, and yet commercial behaviour in one part of the world can cause ripple effects in many jurisdictions due to economic integration. This module considers how EU and UK competition law attempts to deal with anti-competitive behaviour both within and beyond their jurisdictional borders, from both a civil law and (increasingly) criminal law perspective.

Essentially the module will focus on the legal scrutiny of two broad categories of behaviour: monopolistic behaviour and anti-competitive agreements. The module will also introduce the legal regimes for the control of mergers (UK) and state aids (within the European Union).

An awareness of competition law and its impact upon business not only equips students with legal skills useful for those wishing to enter into legal practice, but also provides students with a greater commercial awareness that will be useful for all, irrespective of their chosen career path.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introduction to UK & EU competition policy and law
•       Competition law enforcement framework and jurisdiction
•       Cartels and anti-competitive agreements
•       Control of monopoly power
•       Merger control
•       State aid

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Non-synchronous online lecture recordings, text and links to external source material (via Canvas).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Synchronous in-person lectures timetabled for each week. (Flex: Could be delivered via Zoom).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Coursework preparation and exam revision.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:005 x 1hr seminar cycles. Flex: Could be delivered via Zoom).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Feedback and Q&A drop-ins, where students are encouraged to raise and discuss issues.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1103:00103:00Guided independent study.
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion60:303:00Non-synchronous discussion boards on critical topics, monitored by module coordinator (via Canvas).
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and online lecture materials aim to deliver a holistic and, where appropriate, interactive presentation of the individual topics, enabling students to inform their knowledge, test their understanding and be directed towards opportunities for further reading. Pre-recorded lecture extracts are supplemented with additional notes and reading materials for each topic area.

Module talks and lectures are reserved for instances where students benefit from the interactive element of large-group synchronous activity (e.g. when in Q&A sessions involving coursework, when engaging with guest lecturers, etc). Where possible, these sessions will be recorded to allow for asynchronous access at a later point.

Seminars and online discussion boards will be interactive and require advanced preparation through guided learning. These small group sessions promote analytical, argumentative and critical skills essential for discourse. They also allow students to explore key elements of a topic in greater detail and to recognise the contentious themes of the module through written and oral debate.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A67Timed examination. Answer 3 questions from a choice of 6
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M332000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written Exercise 1 (33%) will take the form of a traditional essay or blog post exercise designed to promote critical thought on one-or-more of the broader themes of competition law. It will give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their research skills, and their ability to understand the operation of law within the commercial environment, and present coherent arguments supported by appropriate legal basis and precedent.

The examination (67%) provides an important incentive for students to establish a foundation of knowledge in the subject. The unseen examination tests the demonstration of knowledge and understanding in the context of an application of skills that need to be developed over the whole module. The examination provides a means for testing students' ability to analyse, synthesise, deploy critical judgment and evaluate alternative arguments. It also allows candidates to demonstrate intended learning outcomes across a broad range of topics within the syllabus.

Reading Lists