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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAW1001 Module Title: LAW OF CONTRACT
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAW103
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: JAGO R Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
  • Run once, throughout the year
  • 2½ hours per week (2 1 hour lectures and a tutorial fortnightly)
Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment
Percentage weighting (%)
A 2,000 word assessment which has to be submitted in week 1 of the spring semester.
Three-hour examination
The examination will cover not only those areas dealt with in lectures and tutorials but also those included in general and guided reading.

Assessment Criteria

A – Content
  1. Identification of Issues
    Students should demonstrate the ability to identify the legal issues raised by the title.
  2. Research
    Students should demonstrate that they have undertaken appropriate research of both primary (e.g. cases, statutes) and secondary sources (e.g. journal articles and texts). Recognition should be had to the significant contribution authoritative academic viewpoints make to the subject. All legal authorities and other source material should be properly cited and a bibliography included with coursework.
  3. Analysis of the Law and Application to the Question
    Students should demonstrate the ability to analyse the relevant law, recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and to apply it to the issues raised by the title.
  4. Evaluation and Synthesis
    The law should be subjected to critical analysis and, where appropriate, a consideration of its wider context.
  5. Conclusions
    Students should demonstrate the ability to reach appropriate conclusions drawn from their analysis of the law and of the issues raised by the question. Depending upon the nature of the question, such conclusions may appear in the course of analysis or in a concluding section.
B - Presentation
  1. Structure
  2. Clarity of expression
  3. Conciseness
  4. Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
  5. Legibility
The assessment strategy is designed to discover whether the student has understood the main principles of contract law, undertaken the required reading, and developed a critical awareness of the central tensions in the subject.
Module Overview
This module considers the role of contract law in providing a basis for commercial and individual transactions. Understanding the nature of a legally enforceable agreement is the primary objective of the module. The increasing importance of European law will be shown and comparisons made with contract law in other jurisdictions. The course will focus on the nature of a contract in English Law, the vitiating factors which may affect it and the effects of a breach of its terms. The distinctions between common law and equity in this respect and in respect of quasi-contracts will be explored The ethical values, philosophical principles and practical implications relating to the enforceability of contracts will be explored.
Module Aims
The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the English law of contract in context. The module provides students with a full understanding of the philosophical and ethical concepts which have influenced the development of contract law. It will explain the constituent parts necessary to establish a contract under English law.
Students address such questions as:
  • What is a legally enforceable agreement?
  • What is in the nature of a binding promise?
  • How are contracts enforced?
  • What terms can be implied into a contract?
  • What happens when the terms of contracts are breached?
  • What sort of terms and/or agreements cannot be enforced?
Learning Outcomes
At the end of the module, students are able to:
  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the nature and operation of the English law of contract in context;
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the ethical, philosophical and political influences on English contract law;
  3. Identify the meanings of offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relationships;
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of how the interpretation of contractual terms affects the enforcement of the agreement;
  5. Analyse the impact of consumer protection law, particularly in relation to exclusion and limitation provisions;
  6. Identify the factors which may render a contract void or voidable;
  7. Identify the factors which lead to the termination of a contract and the practical consequences and remedies which may then arise;
  8. Demonstrate a basic understanding of remoteness and measure of damages in relation to breach of contract;
  9. Identify common law provisions and remedies distinguish them from those arising under equity;
  10. Comprehend the significance of European and international laws on contracts and make comparisons with other jurisdictions;
  11. Apply acquired knowledge to non-complex problems;
  12. Evaluate critically the fundamental principles of contract law;
  13. Undertake directed legal research to locate relevant materials.
Module Content
  1. The nature of contract and the philosophical and ethical concepts underpinning contractual laws.
  2. Offer
  3. Revocation and termination of offers
  4. Acceptance
  5. Consideration
  6. Promissory estoppel
  7. Intention to create legal relationships
  8. The classification of terms and representations
  9. Implied terms at common law and by statutes
  10. Exemption clauses at common law
  11. Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
  12. Unfair Terms in Consumer Regulations 1994
  13. Capacity
  14. Mistake at common law
  15. Mistake at equity
  16. Non est factum
  17. The nature and types of misrepresentation
  18. Remedies in misrepresentation
  19. Physical and economic duress
  20. Undue influence
  21. Illegality and public policy
  22. Termination by performance and agreement
  23. Termination by breach
  24. The doctrine of frustration
  25. Remedies for breach of contract at common law and equity
  26. Remoteness of damage
  27. Measure of damage
  28. Quasi-contractual remedies
  29. Third party rights and privity of contract
  30. Relevant European and international provisions
  31. Comparisons with contract law in other jurisdictions
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The method of teaching is by lectures and tutorials.   The lectures will introduce the students to the subject areas and provide an overview to enable students to understand the basic principles and underlying concepts.   The tutorials will open out the subject and consider key principles and theories of the law of contract, make comparisons with other jurisdictions, and analyse contractual situations. Students will be provided with signposts to background and supplementary reading.   During tutorials students will be expected to demonstrate they have researched the topic area and to apply that research to discuss given legal problems.   Programmes of guided reading will be provided and students will be required to demonstrate, during tutorials, that this has been undertaken.   Students will be expected to present logical arguments founded on legal authorities.   Their ability to challenge the propositions of others and to respond to challenges to their own will be monitored and developed.   The format of the tutorials will involve the consideration of scenarios mirroring real life as illustrated by existing case law. The teaching and learning strategy is designed to stimulate private study using derivative and original sources, both paper based and electronic and to develop an understanding and critical awareness of the essential principles and underlying philosophies and ethical values of the law of contract.
Selected Texts/Journals
Expected purchase:
McKendrick Contract Law (Palgrave, 2005)
Background Reading:
Adams and Brownsword Understanding Contract Law (Sweet & Maxwell 3rd ed. 2000)
Beatson Anson’s Law of Contract (O.U.P. 2002)
Beale Bishop and Furmstone Contract – Cases & Materials (Butterworths 4th ed. 2001)
Beale Bishop Law of Contract (Butterworths 14th ed. 2001)
Chen-Wishart Contract Law (O.U.P. 2005)
Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston Law of Contract (Butterworths, 2001)
Halson Contract law (Longman, 2001)
Koffman and Macdonald The Law of Contract (Tolley Publishing, 2004)
McKendrick Contract Law Text, Cases and Materials (O.U.P. 2005)
O’Sullivan & Hilliard The Law of Contract (O.U.P. 2004)
Poole Contract Law (O.U.P. 7th ed. 2004)
Treitel The Law of Contract (Sweet & Maxwell 11th ed. 2003)
Upex Davies on Contract (Sweet & Maxwell 4th ed. 2004)
Wightman Contract: a Critical Commentary (Pluto 1996)
Reference only:
McKendrick Sweet & Maxwell’s Contract, Tort & Restitution Statutes 2003/2004 (Sweet & Maxwell 2003)
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