Foundations: Competition Law & Economics

Subject LAWS90065 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Term 4, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start 03-Oct-2016
Teaching Period 10-Oct-2016 to 04-Dec-2016
Assessment Period End 09-Dec-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 04-Oct-2016
Census Date 28-Oct-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 18-Nov-2016

This subject is delivered completely online and there are no printed subject materials.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 80 hours
Total Time Commitment:

150 hours

Students are expected to log into the LMS and familiarise themselves with the subject, layout, navigation, activities, readings and assessments the week before formal teaching begins.

Students will not be expected to complete any set tasks or readings but will be asked to introduce themselves to their student cohort on the discussion board and will be encouraged to make a start on readings for the first module at least.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level.

Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to use a computer, including read material on screen, to a competent standard;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Dr Rhonda Smith (Coordinator), former Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Subject Overview:

Competition Law is an area of law with mixed legal-economic content. The central disciplinary underpinning of competition law is economics. It is therefore essential that those practising in this field, whether as legal advisors to business, competition authority staff, or members of tribunals or courts have a solid grounding in the economic theories, concepts and techniques that underpin the policy, law and enforcement in this field.

This foundational subject introduces students to the history and spread of competition law across the world over the last century and to the range of objectives, influenced by various economic schools of thought, that have informed its development in different places and at different times. It ensures that students are well-versed in core economic vocabulary, concepts and frameworks and the ways in which they are translated into categories of legal prohibitions and enforcement approaches, common to all competition systems.

The subject sets the foundation for the course, providing crucial groundwork that will equip students to confidently tackle the economic content of the remaining subjects in greater detail. While the subject includes material with basic numerical equations, examples and diagrams, it does not require students to have advanced mathematical or statistical background knowledge or skills.

Highlights of the subject include:

  • Practical application of economic concepts and techniques through problem-based learning activity; and
  • Expositions and insights from leading economists and practitioners on various aspects of economics and the role of economists in competition law and practice.
Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will have:

  • Developed important foundational knowledge about the historical origins and development of competition systems, the policy objectives of the law, and the role of economics in the design and application of competition law;
  • Started to develop specialised cognitive and technical skills that equip them to independently and critically analyse and apply economic concepts and theories relevant to competition law; and
  • Shown a capacity to use the knowledge and skills they have gained in the subject in a way that demonstrates effective autonomy, judgment, adaptability and responsibility as an expert learner and practitioner in the field of global competition and consumer law.
  • Participation in and contributions to discussion board and tutorials, Weeks 1-8 (10%)
  • Mid-term practical exercise (max 1000 words), Week 4 (20%)
  • Consolidation practical exercise (max 2000 words), Week 7 (30%)
  • Final practical exercise (max 4000 words), Week 9 (40%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Global Competition and Consumer Law
Master of Global Competition and Consumer Law
Master of Laws (Global Competition and Consumer Law)

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