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Study information

Business Law for Accountants

Module titleBusiness Law for Accountants
Module codeBEA1003
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Iva Guterres (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description


This module considers the law that affects business in the UK, focusing on the law as it applies in England & Wales.  You will gain an appreciation and understanding of the workings of the legal system, the law of tort, contract law, the law of agency, employment law and other areas of law that effect businesses.

Additional Information:

Many legal systems in the world are based on the UK system (Hong Kong, ex-Commonwealth countries, Australia, USA) and so, although this module is UK-based, it has relevance to countries that have adapted the UK law system.  As part of the business law, you will also be taught European Law.


This module will increase your knowledge of legal principles and help you understand the role of law in regulating businesses.  It will develop your oral and written communication skills and you will learn to use appropriate legal language, identify and analyse legal problems, produce reasoned arguments and conclusions and recommend a course of action based on legal principles either working independently or as part of a team.  Knowledge of the law and the skills developed in this module will provide you with a solid foundation which can be applied to all employment situations.

External Engagement

The module has input from the following external accreditation bodies:

  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales)
  • ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
  • CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)


Law is relevant to every issue on sustainability and knowledge of the law is required in order to practice any kind of sustainability related activity.

All of the resources for this course are accessible through ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to enable you to understand and demonstrate knowledge of the legal systems in the UK and the principle features of business law.  By the end of the module, you will be able to identify and assess legal issues and apply knowledge to legal problems affecting business and reach appropriate conclusions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. describe and explain the English legal system.
  • 2. explain and discuss the principal features of the law of tort and contract law.
  • 3. apply this knowledge to legal problems, reach appropriate conclusions and recommend a course of action using appropriate legal language.
  • 4. explain the main principles of the law of agency.
  • 5. outline the legal implications of information technology for business.
  • 6. outline the basic principles of employment law.
  • 7. identify issues arising in areas of business law and identify and apply relevant legal rules.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. explain the role of law in regulating businesses
  • 9. use appropriate legal in discussing issues and problems.
  • 10. identify and analyse legal problems in the context of a business environment

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 11. produce reasoned arguments and conclusions to issues and problems
  • 12. work independently to gather and organise information
  • 13. demonstrate basic problem solving skills
  • 14. demonstrate written communication skills
  • 15. demonstrate oral communication skills

Syllabus plan

The English Legal System:

  • Classification of law
  • The Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Legal Personnel
  • The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent
  • Statutory Interpretation


Types of Business Enterprise:

  • The main types of business enterprise
  • Partnerships
  • Companies
  • Key distinctions between a sole trader, an ordinary partnership and a company



  • Formation of a contract
  • Terms of a contract
  • Vitiating factors
  • Discharge of contract
  • Remedies



  • Definition and creation of agency
  • Authority and liability of an agent
  • Rights and duties of an agent  Duties of a principal
  • Termination of agency
  • An introduction to employment law:
  • Contracts of employment
  • The Fixed - term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
  • The Working Time Regulations 1998
  • Termination of employment
  • Wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and redundancy
  • Discrimination in employment



  • The nature of tort
  • Vicarious liability
  • Negligence
  • General defences
  • Remedies


Miscellaneous matters:

  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • The Data Protection Act 2018
  • Revision.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Tutorials
Guided Independent Study117Reading and preparation for tutorials, workshops and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tutorial questions for discussions1 hour in class discussions (plus 3 hours preparation by students)1-14Tutor comments and suggested solutions on ELE
Mock exam2 hours1-14Suggested solutions on ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class test201 hour1-14Suggested solutions on ELE
Examination802 hours1-14General feedback provided on ELE. Individual meetings with students if required.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In class test (20%)In class test (20%) (1 hour)1-14August reassessment period
Examination (80%)Examination (80%) (2 hours)1-14August reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Only students who fail the whole module will be re-assessed with an in-class test and/or summer examination, whichever is relevant as above.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Suggested reading:

  • MacIntyre, E. (2018). Business Law (9th ed.). Pearson
  • Adams, A., Caplan, S., & Lockwood, G. (2020). Law for Business Students (11th ed.). Pearson Education. 


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web-based and electronic resources:  lecture notes, tutorial questions and solutions will be posted on ELE:

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Lecture handouts and tutorial questions will be provided.

Key words search

Business Law

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

This module is for Accounting students only

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date