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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Fundamentals of Competition Law (LAWS10156)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to give students an understanding of the rules governing genuine competition in the marketplace in United Kingdom, as enshrined (primarily) in the Competition Act and the Enterprise Act. Because the UK rules are drawn directly from EU law, which was itself part of our law until January 2021 and will continue to influence, directly and indirectly, UK law, there will continue to be significant consideration of the relevant EU sources, principles and practices, with additional comparison to other competition laws (primarily American and German) as appropriate. Central topics for analysis include:

- basic economics of competition law: 'the marriage of law and economics';

- the notion of 'restriction of competition' generally and in relation to the most important types of restraints among undertakings;

- the concept of collusion, express or tacit, among competitors;

- the notion of abuse of market power;

- the enforcement of the Competition rules in the EU and in the UK, through administrative, judicial and criminal means.
Course description The indicative teaching programme:
- Introduction to basic economic concepts: what is 'competition'? Types of markets; the concept of consumer welfare; market power; schools of antitrust.
- The purpose of competition law in EU and UK law.
- The scope of the jurisdiction of, respectively, EU and UK competition laws.
- 'The Chapter I prohibition': the prohibition of cartels: the elements; agreements and concerted practices; horizontal and vertical restraints; the rule of reason; the role and purpose of the 'exemption clauses'.
- 'The Chapter II prohibition': abuse of a dominant position. Definition of relevant market; dominance; forms of abusive conduct; joint dominance and oligopolistic markets.
- Enforcement of competition law: the nature and structure of competition proceedings; the role and powers of the European Commission and of the Competition and Markets Authority; judicial control of both; civil remedies; criminal enforcement; the continuing application of EU law in the UK.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( European Union Law (Ordinary) A (LAWS08125) OR European Union Law A Ordinary (LAWS08116))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Students must have passed European Union Law A (LAWS08116) or an equivalent course at their home institution.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  32
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2 hour unseen examination in the December diet, worth 100% of the mark
The examination may be conducted online.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Sources of Law: - Develop knowledge and understanding of Sections 2 and 18 of the Competition Act, alongside Articles 101 and 102 TFEU which inspired them, and the related sources of law designed to give effects to them; - Acquire a critical understanding of the theoretical and economic underpinning of competition law; - Understand the internal market imperative of EU competition law and how, lacking that element, UK law differs from it; - Develop the ability to identify and critique the evolution of key aspects of the discipline, as a result of historical and political change as well as of normative development ¿ first and foremost, the fallout of Brexit.
  2. Subject-specific Skills: - Analyse and critique key judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU and the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the area; - Evaluate the implications arising from the interpretation of Articles 101/102 and the interpretation and application of sections 2/18 to specific cases, both for the present and for future developments (from a legal and a policy standpoint); - Identify and interrogate the intimate connections existing between competition law and the general principles governing the single market and trace the development of the approach used to harmonise these different trends and principles; - Construe legal arguments and suggests solutions to practical competition problems.
  3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills: - An ability to analyse and critique primary and secondary sources of law and to communicate effectively these outcomes; - An ability to develop coherent legal arguments, to suggest solutions to theoretical questions or practical problems; - The ability to produce independent written work showing critical understanding of the subject matter and critical engagement with existing debates; - Building on the existing knowledge and skills acquired in the course of Ordinary studies, the ability to retrieve, assess the relevance of and to synthesise material coming from disparate sources.
  4. Key Personal Skills: - Identify and analyse complex problems and issues; - offer insights, interpretations and solutions to proposed problems or question; - engage creatively in debate with others and cooperate toward the formulation of common solutions and outcomes on the basis of both individual knowledge and collective discussion.
  5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values: - ability to exercise independent judgment and operate in relative autonomy for the purpose of seminar preparation and production of written work; - ability to identify key issues of social responsibility of enterprises vis-a-vis society in the markets they operate in and to articulate legal standards, on the basis of judgments and policy documents, destined to resolve these issues.
Reading List
Jones and Sufrin, EU Competition Law: text, cases and materials: OUP.
Whish & Bailey, Competition Law: OUP.
Ezrachi, EC Competition Law: an analytical guide to the leading cases: Hart.
Middleton, MacCulloch, Rodger and Galloway, Cases and Materials on UK and EC Competition Law: OUP.
Marco Colino, Competition Law of the EC and UK: OUP.
Graham, EU and UK Competition Law: Pearson.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsFund Competition
Course organiserDr Robert Lane
Tel: (0131 6)50 2039
Course secretaryMiss Emma Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
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