What You'll Learn in this Corporate Governance Course

  • Corporate governance sources and frameworks

  • Conceptualizing the nature and purpose of firms

  • The roles of boards of directors and managers

  • The rights and functions of shareholders (investors)

  • The liability of corporations and their managers

  • Rules and principles on executive pay (remuneration)

Course curriculum

  • 2

    Week 1: Introduction to Corporate Governance

    • Recommended Reading

    • Background

    • Defining Corporate Governance

    • Agency Costs

    • Sources of Corporate Governance

    • Corporate Governance Players

  • 3

    Week 2: Theories of the Firm and Corporate Purpose

    • Recommended Reading

    • Introduction

    • Historical Developments

    • Theories of the Firm

    • Emerging Views and Legal Developments

    • Which View Should Prevail?

  • 4

    Week 3: Boards and Shareholders

    • Recommended Reading

    • Board Primacy

    • The Shareholder-Director Relationship

    • Theoretical Rationales

    • Shareholders and Their Rights (1)

    • Shareholders and Their Rights (2)

    • Assessing the Role of Shareholders

  • 5

    Week 4: Institutional Investors and Shareholder Engagement

    • Recommended Reading

    • Types of Investors

    • Shareholder Engagement

    • Stewardship

    • Short-Termism

  • 6

    Week 5: Board Governance

    • Recommended Reading

    • Why a Board?

    • Board Functions

    • Independent Directors

    • Assessing Independent Directors

    • Board Diversity

  • 7

    Week 6: Internal Control and D&O Liability

    • Recommended Reading

    • Risk Management & Internal Control

    • Regulatory Responses to Corporate Scandals

    • Fiduciary Duties and Liability for Breaches

    • Protective Devices and Policy Considerations

    • Oversight Liability

  • 8

    Week 7: Corporate and Group Liability (I)

    • Recommended Reading

    • Liability for Torts: Background

    • Corporate Theories and Liability

    • Direct Liability

    • Vicarious Liability

    • Alternative Approaches

  • 9

    Week 8: Corporate and Group Liability (II)

    • Recommended Reading

    • Corporate Criminal Liability: Introduction & Development (1)

    • Corporate Criminal Liability: Introduction & Development (2)

    • Corporate Criminal Liability: Criticisms & Reflections

    • Corporate Group Liability: Background

    • Corporate Group Liability: Approaches

    • Corporate Group Liability: Evaluation & Reform Proposals

  • 10

    Week 9: Executive Pay (Remuneration)

    • Recommended Reading

    • Background

    • Regulatory Framework - UK

    • Regulatory Framework - US and Canada

    • Who Determines Executive Pay?

    • Designing (and Reforming) Executive Pay

  • 11

    End of Course Survey

    • Let Us Know What You Think

Your Benefits

  • Designed and taught by a leading expert

  • Reliable, thorough, and up-to-date

  • Start anytime, from anywhere

  • Contains over 11 hours of video lectures

  • Recommended readings for each topic

  • Complete in 9 weeks or based on your own schedule

  • Earn an official course completion certificate

Your Certificate

Upon successful completion, you will be issued an official course certificate. This will be particularly useful when you apply to universities, colleges, or jobs and promotions.


  • Who should generally take this course?

    This course is recommended for anybody looking to learn the most important business, regulatory, and policy principles of Anglo-American corporate governance from a comparative perspective.

  • Is this course suitable for (international) students?

    Absolutely. The course is particularly helpful for those who are preparing for or currently enrolled in business, management, or legal studies abroad.

  • Is this course suitable for professionals?

    Yes. It is an excellent course for those looking to familiarize themselves for professional reasons with the main principles of corporate governance.

  • How long does it take to complete?

    The course is flexible and it really depends on you and how much time you can devote to it. While it could be easily completed at a quicker or slower pace, we would generally suggest 9 weeks as a rough guide.

  • For how long can I access the course?

    You may access the course for 12 months. We believe that you should be able to take as much time as you want, and go back to sections or specific materials as many times as you need.

  • What if I have any questions or problems?

    No worries. Feel free to contact our friendly team at any time, and we'll help you out. Promised.

Course Design


Martin Petrin

Professor Petrin is a globally recognized corporate governance specialist with over ten years teaching experience. Before joining academia, he practiced with an international business law firm and advised major corporations. Professor Petrin has published widely in his areas of expertise, including as the author and editor of several books, and is a regular speaker at international conferences.