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University of Exeter Business School

Business Law and Mitigating Risk

Module titleBusiness Law and Mitigating Risk
Module codeBEMM386
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr William Casely ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

All sizes of organisations are increasingly working across international boundaries, with many SMEs becoming ‘micro-multinationals’. Businesses rely on the law to be recognised as a trading entity, for their interests to be protected, and to facilitate their increasing diverse relationships. Practically, this course will enable you to understand the requirements of setting up your own business and assist you in successfully navigating the legal space. You will master the ability to navigate and negotiate commercial contracts, manage and mitigate business risk through acquiring the capability to identify and understand key commercial, policy and legal requirements.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to equip participants with an understanding of how law and policy affect new venture and business growth. It will enable participants to gain the necessary skills to identify risk and work with legal professionals and the key considerations when negotiating commercial terms in everyday business in order to achieve their business goals. Ultimately, participants will be better placed to strike commercial agreements, identify and navigate potential risk to their business entity through each growth phase.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. analyse and identify potential legal and policy risks
  • 2. describe the legal requirements for business and trading within each phase of business growth
  • 3. understand the legal, commercial and practical implications of commercial agreements

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. interpret legal and policy terms/concepts, leading to an understanding of legal issues in business
  • 5. evaluate business risk from a legal and policy perspective

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. critically evaluate the role of legal and business professionals in mitigating risk
  • 7. determine business feasibility within a legal framework

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to business law (English and International)
  • Introduction to risk
  • Lessons learnt - Guest lectures from startups and legal professionals
  • Business law, policy, and risk
    • Forming and organising a business
    • Intellectual Property
    • Finance life cycle
    • International Markets
    • Commercial contracts and negotiation 

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 Activity16Lectures: Subject sessions and guest lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity16Workshops: Workshops exploring a variety of topics
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity18Online introduction & in course: Introduction to topic (pre-learning)
Guided Independent Study100Research and assignment: Completing a real-world risk audit for a start-up

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Workshop exercises and discussionsIn class (Approximately per day = 60 minutes)1-7Verbal

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
Risk Audit and commercial scenario1003,500 words1-7Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Risk Audit and commercial scenario (100%)Individual Risk Audit and commercial scenario (3500 words, 100%)1-7August resubmission period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Clarke M.A, Hooley R.J.A, Munday R.J.C, Sealy, L.S, Tettenborn A.M and Turner P.G. (2017) Commercial Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (5th Ed.) OUP Oxford. ISBN-13: 978-0199692088

Stokes R (2016) Commercial Law (9th Ed). Sweet & Maxwell.  ISBN-13: 978-0414037373

Balaban Lewis D. and Sargeant M(2017) Employment Law: The Essentials Paperback (14 Ed.) CIPD - Kogan Page. ISBN-13: 978-1843984382

Info Entrepreneurs. (2009). Negotiate the Right Deal with Suppliers. Available at:

Key words search

Law, Business, Risk, Negotiation, Entrepreneurship

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date