Competition Law LAW4016

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the EU and UK rules on competition law, an important and dynamic area of law, with a link to concerns about the market and wider societal values.


There will be 20 x 2-hour seminars spread throughout semesters 1 and 2.

Requirements of Entry

This course is only available to LLB students

Excluded Courses





Summative assignment (40%): 3,000-word problem question Examination (60%): unseen examination, all essay-style questions

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the competition law and policy of the UK and the EU. The course examines the main competition law provisions which deal with market dominance, agreements to restrict competition, and mergers. It looks at how these areas of law are implemented and enforced in a legal, political and economic context. It discusses questions surrounding the enforcement of these rules. Students will develop their communication skills, both oral and written, through this course. Group work during seminars is encouraged. The overriding aim of the course is to develop the student's capacity for analytical and critical thought. The course uses a mix of theoretical knowledge transfer and problem-based reasoning, in addition to critical reflection.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. demonstrate an ability to define the key concepts of competition law and policy (including competition, relevant market, market power, undertaking, agreements, vertical and horizontal integration);

 2. demonstrate a knowledge of the substantive rules of EU and UK competition law. Particularly those contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and subsequent secondary legislation including the rules relating to restrictive business practices contained in Article 101, those relating to abuse of a dominant position contained in Article 102 and the rules relating to block exemptions, intellectual property and the control of concentrations; as well as the UK rules contained in Chapter 1 and 2 of the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002

3. demonstrate a knowledge of the procedural rules relating to the operation of competition policy within the European Union as applied by the European Commission, and of competition policy in the UK as applied by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA);

4. evidence an understanding of the use of economic concepts underlying competition law and theory by the Competition authorities and courts.

5. demonstrate an ability to analyse decisions of the Commission and the CJEU, and of the CMA and the Competition Appeal Tribunal from the stand-point of their legal validity and consistency with previous comparable decisions;

6. demonstrate an ability to apply their knowledge of the law to hypothetical problems in competition law and demonstrate understanding of the way the law applies in different scenarios;

7. demonstrate an ability to define and explain problems which have arisen in the course of the development of the law;

8. demonstrate an ability to produce informed and independent criticism of the decisions and judgements of the competition authorities and courts in the area of competition law;

9. demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the political goals and the objective aims of competition, particularly in the context of social goals or technological or economic developments;

10. an understanding of UK Competition Law and the functions and powers of UK Competition institutions, within the specific UK context, as well as specific competition law features such as Market investigations.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.