Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Corporate Insolvency ACCFIN4029

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will study the theory and practice of corporate insolvency processes and financial distress, including a consideration of the role played by the insolvency profession. Issues of accountability, corporate governance, bank lending practices and stakeholder concerns will be explored in depth, primarily from a UK perspective but also with reference to practices in other jurisdictions.


One 3-hour lecture for 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Normally a grade D3 or above in Financial Accounting 2 or suitable equivalent.

Please refer to the current undergraduate prospectus at :

Excluded Courses






Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to provide students with both a theoretical and practical understanding of corporate insolvency and financial distress and to enable students to question the role of insolvency policy in society and hence to understand the impact of a change in policy on practice. The course aims to contextualise insolvency and financial distress against political, economic, social and international environments. A further aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the insolvency profession and to enable students to critically evaluate the role of insolvency practitioners and their impact upon distressed organisations and society.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Explain, compare and evaluate the different corporate insolvency procedures and restructuring processes available to financially distressed companies from a theoretical and practical perspective;

2. Explain and critically evaluate the impact of financial distress and the different procedures on different stakeholder groups, taking into consideration the economic, legal, political and social contexts in which distress occurs;

3. Identify and evaluate developments in insolvency practice and law internationally and assess their potential impact on stakeholders, organisations and society;

4. Describe the evolution of the insolvency profession in the UK, its historical significance to the development of the accountancy profession and critically appraise the role of the insolvency practitioner within society;

5. Critically evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of regulation of the insolvency profession and company directors, recognising and evaluating the inter-relationships between different institutional bodies and the effectiveness of legislation;

6. Evaluate inter-disciplinary research and debate and evaluate its potential value to enhance knowledge, theory development and/or practice development.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits