module specification

EC4009 - The Corporate Environment (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title The Corporate Environment
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   Economics in-class test
Unseen Examination 20%   Time constrained legal case study
In-Course Test 30%   Coursework - Problem Based Learning (up to 2,000 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module introduces students to key aspects of the corporate environment. It focuses on the economic and legal context in which modern corporations operate.  An understanding of the economic environment for businesses is crucial as the market place becomes more globalised and competitive. Hence, a comprehensive overview of topics such as demand and supply, market structures, consumer behaviour, international trade, economic growth, foreign exchange market will be discussed.  Similarly, students will study a range of topics designed to introduce them to the essential aspects of business law including the classification of law, sources of law, dispute resolution and elements of a contract. Where relevant these topics will focus on issues from a domestic, European and international perspective.

Module aims

The module aims to

  1. develop an understanding of key economic concepts relevant to business corporations and to apply these to business problems and challenges;
  2. enable students to digest topical issues as well as economic data and be able to perform business economic analysis;
  3. develop an understanding of the key principles of law and the place and function of law relevant to business organisations;
  4. develop skills that will enable students to analyse legal problems and economic issues in a business context and to express solutions to problems both orally and in written form, individually and as part of a team.

It also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; subject research; literacy; quantitative analysis; communication, including oral presentation; self assessment and reflection; problem solving; IT; applied analysis; and critical thinking.


Business Economics
Introduction: Scarce resources, economic systems, global economic challenges
Markets: Coordination and the price mechanism
Market scenarios using the supply and demand model
Consumer demand and an introduction to international trade
Theories of the firm: Cost, revenue and profit, Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Imperfect Competition Multinational corporations
Labour and other factor markets
Externalities, the tragedy of the commons, policy
The macroeconomic environment, aggregate demand
Economic fluctuations and government policy
Unemployment and inflation
The open economy and exchange rates

Business Law
The classification of law
Sources of law, overview of global legal systems
EU & international perspectives of law
Resolving disputes – court and tribunal structures
Introduction to aspects of contract law: elements of a binding contract
Applied contract law – (commercial &employment)
Issues in business law, - civil, criminal liability and ethics

Learning and teaching

Delivery of the Corporate Environment module will consist of 1.5 hour lectures followed by 1.5 hour workshops. The module will be student centred. Students will be encouraged to research economic and legal issues from a variety of sources in addition to module materials including newspapers, textbooks and on-line sources and to identify aspects relevant to their areas of study.

The business economics lectures will provide the opportunity for the whole class to come together and to interact with the lecturer who will provide the basic economic theoretical frameworks and present a set of examples and real world cases. These should help students understand the key concepts and ideas that are typical of economic analysis. The lectures notes and other resources will be made available to students before the lecture on the virtual learning platform. The teaching and learning activities in the workshop session will be structured along the principles of problem-based learning. The sessions will have a student-centred focus with the students asked to drive their own learning with the support, assistance and encouragement of the teaching team.

The business law elements of the module will also follow a problem based learning approach in which basic legal principles will be conveyed via tutor led sessions and analysed and applied during the seminar sessions led by the students.  Students will be issued with a detailed learning pack containing interactive notes which should be read in advance of the lectures and seminars.   Students will work in small groups in order to generate the information to solve specific problems, case studies and tasks. The seminars will be as topical as possible involving identification and discussion of current legal issues.  The seminars will also involve different types of activity including group and field work to enable students to explore a wide range of legal issues and problems through academic sources. Students will be encouraged to gather and evaluate information from a variety of media including, for example, the use of dedicated videos and podcasts made for and by the students.

The module's teaching, learning and assessment activities have been designed with the aim of developing the following set of skills: academic reading (textbooks, newspapers, websites, economic/business reports), researching (identifying relevant material, evaluating sources, awareness of appropriate methodologies), analysing and interpreting data, presenting data, academic writing (report, short tasks, referencing), note-making, communicating/presenting – orally and writing, critical thinking, problem solving, self-assessment and reflection, interpersonal (working with others), IT skills development, numeric and quantitative skills, and creativity.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a sound understanding of key economic concepts and methods used in business analysis and be able to present business economics analysis in a critical, informative and structured way;
  2. understand and critically analyse the dynamic interaction between the global economic environment and private individuals and businesses;
  3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key principles of the English legal system, relevant legal institutions, and principle areas of law which relate to business within a global context;
  4. identify and critically analyse legal problems which arise in a business context, provide solutions to those problems, and communicate their answers effectively using appropriate legal terminology and structure.


Sloman J., Hinde K., Garratt, D. and Hunt, A. (2013) Economics for Business, 6th ed., Pearson
Begg D. Ward D. (2007) Economics for Business, 2nd ed., McGraw Hill
Gillispie A. (2007) Foundations of Economics, Oxford University Press
Sloman J. (2007) Essentials of Economics 4th ed, Pearson
McAleese D. (2004) Economics for Business, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall.
Riches & Allen (2011) Business Law, 10th ed.,, Longman
Wild, C. Weinstein, S (2010) Smith & Keenan’s English Law, 16th ed., Pearson
Be-Spoke module text (Pearson)
Adams, A. (2012) Law for Business Students, 7th ed., Pearson
Finch E. Fafinski, S. (2011) Legal Skills, 3rd edition Oxford University Press