AF4034 - Business Law for Accountants

What will I learn on this module?

You will develop a basic understanding of the core legal principles, and key aspects of, business law appropriate to your area of study. In the first part of the module you will be introduced to the legal system and key legal principles. You will learn the importance of primary sources of law – statute and case law. You will then go on to study three subject areas which are important for businesses and business practice:

• Contract Law - including the formation of a legal contract, the differences between terms in a contract, remedies for breach of contract, and the law governing the sale of goods and supply of services;
• Employment Law - including principles of employment contracts, duties of employers and employees, discrimination and dismissal; and
• Tort Law - including principles of negligence, vicarious liability, product liability, occupier’s liability and nuisance.

The second half of the module will build upon these core legal topics focusing on the law regulating businesses and business practice specifically. You will cover nine specific topics:

• Legal forms of business association;
• Formation of a company;
• The role of directors, including appointment, removal, service contracts and legal duties;
• The role of shareholders, including types of shares and ownership and control;
• Company procedure, including the types of resolutions and meeting procedures;
• Equity and debt financing;
• Company accounting requirements and the role of auditors;
• Corporate insolvency; and
• Financial crime, in the form of money laundering and bribery.

Through studying these topics, you will gain an overall understanding of how the UK legal system [or local equivalent] operates and the inter-relationship between statute law and common law.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a mixture of formal lectures, workshops and independent study. Through lectures you will be introduced to the theories, law and regulations underpinning the syllabus.

Workshops will allow you to consolidate and deepen your knowledge of the law and how it applies to business practice and governs corporate behaviour. They will provide you with an opportunity to discuss pre-workshop tasks and to undertake further group-based tasks. Workshops will also provide you with a forum to discuss the law in detail with your peers and your tutor and to obtain useful feedback. The use of case study material/problem questions will provide you with an understanding of how the law works in practice.

You will experience a mixture of directed and independent learning. Directed learning will centre on lectures supported by detailed learning materials which will be made available via the module Blackboard/eLP site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists. Workshop preparation will involve directed pre-reading, pre-workshop tasks, completing practice MCQs etc. Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the topics you are studying. Independent learning will also be required as part of your preparation for workshops which will include wider reading.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research and has an extensive range of law materials in its library collection including books, journal articles, and case materials. Many of these materials are available electronically and you will have access to on-line legal databases through Northumbria Library which will help you to access relevant materials.

You will be supported in your learning through technology such as Blackboard/eLP, online reading lists, and Panopto lecture recording

This module is designed and managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module Blackboard/eLP site, maintained by your Module Tutor. The module Blackboard/eLP site will be used to provide materials, make announcements, provide assessment guidance and to highlight any relevant legal developments.

You may communicate with the tutors of this module in person or by email. Where questions are raised by students that may be of interest to the whole cohort, the tutors may respond to questions via the module discussion board on the Blackboard/eLP site. Should you encounter any difficulties with your studies, the Module Tutor or your workshop tutor will be available to meet with you individually to provide additional support and guidance.

Your learning will also be supported by feedback from your peers and tutor following debate and discussion regarding workshop tasks. To support your learning and preparation for the assessment, example past exam papers and points of answer to workshop tasks will be made available.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will be expected to engage with the basic principles of law and demonstrate your understanding of the nature of these principles and their application in the wider business context. (MLO1)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will develop skills in analysing, summarising and evaluating case law and its interpretative effect in the application of statutes. (MLO2)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• You will also develop and reinforce the ethical characteristics of a Northumbria graduate through the consideration of the values that underpin the legal system, the judicial process, the role of directors and shareholders together with the ethical standards that companies should adhere to and reflect on how they connect with your own values. (MLO3)

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the year, your tutors will be developing your ability to understand and analyse the law. They will provide you with feedback on your answers and discussions in workshops.

The final assessment will take the form of a three-hour (plus 15 min rereading time) closed book examination worth 100%. The examination combines MCQs and written answers to legal questions. The MCQs will be weighted at 20% of the overall mark and will enable a detailed knowledge of the core legal principles and the legal aspects of business organisations to be assessed. The written legal questions will test levels of understanding and application of the key substantive areas in greater detail and will account for 80% of the overall mark.

This assessment will address MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.





Module abstract

Effective accountancy practice is underpinned by key laws and legal principles – and this module will give you a strong foundation in both. You’ll study how contract law, employment law and tort law are relevant to businesses generally and accountancy practice specifically. You’ll also learn about different forms of business ownership and acquire an understanding of the regulation of companies, including their accounting and auditing requirements. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to explain key legal principles as well as to locate relevant sources of law, applying them to problem-based scenarios to show your understanding. Your tutor will help you develop your commercial awareness and employability by discussing topical events and companies and, once you complete this module, you’ll be exempt from several professional body exams.

Course info

UCAS Code N405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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