CONTRACT LAW - 2024/5

Module code: LAW1054

Module Overview

The module considers the role of contract law in providing a basis for commercial and individual transactions. The creation, nature and contents of a legally enforceable agreement and the issues and controversies, which arise in this regard, will be explored and discussed. The course will also cover the effects of a breach of contract and the factors which vitiate the validity and enforceability of contracts. The ethical values, philosophical principles and practical implications relating to enforceability of contracts will be explored. The course will focus on the nature of a contract in English Law and the roles of common law, equity and statute.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

STARZA-ALLEN Antony (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 114

Lecture Hours: 36

Seminar Hours: 24

Guided Learning: 90

Captured Content: 36

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

n/a

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Agreement (offer and acceptance)

  • Intention to create legal relations

  • Consideration

  •  Promissory estoppel

  • Incorporation of terms into contracts, including terms implied at common law and by statutes

  • Exemption/exclusion clauses at common law, and under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015

  • Termination by breach

  • Remedies for breach of contract

  • The doctrine of frustration and restitution upon frustration of contract

  • Physical and economic duress

  • Undue influence

  • The nature and types of misrepresentation

  • Remedies for misrepresentation (including damages and rescission)

  • Privity

  • Global contract law / Smart contracts (if available) Students will consider topics in relation to aspects of social justice, rights, fairness, commercial practice and technological developments.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Exam (2 hours) 30
Coursework 4000 word coursework 70

Alternative Assessment

NIL

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to identify issues and the relevant law, analyse and apply the law. Students should demonstrate the ability to draw appropriate conclusions, based upon their analysis of the issues raised by the questions. The law should be subjected to critical analysis and, where appropriate, its wider context should be considered. The ability to write legal advice and to critically analyse legal doctrine is an essential skill for future practice. The assessment addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • One closed-book, in-person exam worth 30% of the module mark to be taken at the end of semester one.

  • One 4,000-word coursework worth 70% of the module mark to be taken at the end of semester two



 

Formative feedback

Detailed feedback will be provided following the semester one exam.

The feedback will identify what was done well and areas for further improvement in preparation for the coursework in semester two. The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.

Module aims

  • This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the English law of contract. Contract law will be considered in its wider context and students will be introduced to some of the philosophical and ethical concepts which have influenced the development of contract law. Students will address such questions as: What is a legally enforceable agreement? What is the nature of a binding promise? What terms can be included in a contract and how are terms incorporated? How are contracts enforced and terminated? What constitutes a breach of contract? What remedies are available for breach of contract? When may parties be excused from performance of a contract? What sort of terms and/or agreements cannot be enforced? What remedies are available to those who wish to avoid a contract?
  • This module aims to provide students with an understanding of enforcement aspects of the English law of contract in context as well as an appreciation of the philosophical and ethical concepts which have influenced the development of this area of the law.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the meanings of offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relationships CK
002 Demonstrate a basic understanding of how the interpretation of contractual terms affects the enforcement of the agreement CK
003 Analyse the impact of consumer protection law, particularly in relation to exclusion and limitation provisions CK
004 Apply acquired knowledge to solve problems CPT
005 Evaluate the fundamental principles of contract law CK
006 Undertake directed legal research to locate relevant materials CPT
007 Demonstrate a basic understanding of the nature and operation of the English law of contract in context CK
008 Explain the factors which may render a contract void or voidable, the factors which lead to the termination of a contract and the practical consequences and remedies which may then arise CK
009 Demonstrate an understanding of remoteness and measure of damages in relation to breach of contract CK
010 Formulate critical analysis and demonstrate an awareness of contract law in its wider context CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: Lectures will introduce the topics, give a general overview of the principles of each topic, give guidance on how to analyse the law and research those topics and in some instances give specific examples of the law and its effect. The lectures will not give a full description of, or appreciation of, the law. In order to learn in greater depth and breadth, such as to satisfy the learning outcomes, students will answer questions of some complexity in the seminars, either resolving legal problems or performing a critical analysis of the law. Typically in the seminar, students will work in small groups to research the law and present answers, demonstrating self-direction and originality, of both approach and resolution. Students should be prepared to field questions during their presentations, either from their tutor or from fellow students, and to follow up the presentations with group discussion and feedback. Presentations may be required in any form, including advocacy for a specific party in a problem question or argument for or against a specific proposition.

The learning and teaching methods would typically comprise:

18 x 2-hour substantive subject-specific lectures;

6 x 2-hour seminars in semesters one and two.

The learning and teaching strategy introduces students to essential legal skills necessary for problem solving, critical analysis and the development of transferable and employability skills. It encourages students to develop independence, resourcefulness and to reflect on the current state of the law. In semester one, students will focus on problem solving. Students will be introduced to innovative learning methods that promote the ability to identify and extract legal information from online databases and other materials; organise, retain and understand a wide range of legal information; accurately identify legal issues in problem scenarios; analyse legal issues to produce complex and nuanced arguments; and produce supported, nuanced and persuasive conclusions. In semester two, topics will be taught in the context of the following themes: social justice and rights, fairness and commercial and technology. Students will develop a critical understanding of contract law expressed in essay writing.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW1054

Other information

The learning and teaching on this module develops the following attributes: - Employability - Digital Capabilities - Global and Cultural Capabilities - Sustainability - Resourcefulness and Resilience The core legal skills and digital capabilities developed in this module (outlined above) are transferable to other modules and will promote employability in the legal profession and related fields. Students will critically reflect on the implications of contract law for wider society, its origins and uncover the assumptions found in the doctrine. The study of contract law in this module will empower students as future lawyers and to develop as leaders in sustainability by promoting informed and responsible decision making in the interaction of contract law and society. Students will also develop a critical awareness of the associated social and ethical issues, fostering global and cultural capabilities. Students will build resourcefulness and resilience by developing their ability to work independently, to engage in directed and non-directed research and reflect on their own academic progress.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.