Module code: LAWM168

Module Overview

This module will enable students to develop one of the key professional skills of the legal industry and refine their general transferable interpersonal communication skills. The practice of negotiation is key in ADR and crucial in managing the litigation process.

This module will imbue students with the theoretical knowledge to understand the fundamental principles, ethics, and context of negotiation in the context of contract and tort dispute resolution and will also educate them (through interactive learning exercises) in the practical conduct of the negotiation process using classroom simulations and case studies.

Successful completion of the module will enable students to identify when negotiation can be used appropriately to support parties in dispute resolution, to assist parties in identifying the key objectives and boundaries of the negotiation, to construct an advantageous negotiation strategy and to lead the negotiation in a structured, diplomatic, and flexible manner.

This module will strongly underpin the pillar of employability as a firm grounding in the theory and practice of negotiation adds high employee value across a range of industries and career roles, most notably in legal practice where it is recognized as the “most important part of a lawyer’s job” (Herring, 2023).

All modules in this programme link with preparation for the SQE and for future professional practice. The pedagogy of this module, including the assessment pattern, relates academic and vocational skills to professional practice in a legal environment. 

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

LILLYWHITE Claire (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 60

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 20

Independent Learning Hours: 25

Lecture Hours: 4

Practical/Performance Hours: 4

Guided Learning: 87

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content covers:

  • Directed SQE1 preparation from relevant section of online learning tool (including completion of MCQs) in dispute resolution, contract and tort.

  • Introduction to dispute resolution and theories and models of negotiation.

  • Introduction to regulatory regimes in negotiation.

  • Professional conduct and ethics in professional legal practice.

  • Appreciation of possible negotiation outcomes.

  • Research and planning in preparation for negotiation.

  • How to conduct a negotiation.

  • Understanding value of negotiation outcomes.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Negotiation Exercise 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to equip students with sound theoretical understanding and practical skills to:

  1. Critically understand the theoretical strands which contribute to designing successful negotiation strategy.

  2. Critically differentiate between the different models and techniques of negotiation.

  3. Engage in planning, structuring, and rationalizing a negotiation plan in relation to an assigned practical case study.

  4. Develop and apply practical and transferable professional interpersonal skills (eg. teamwork, oral communication, problem solving, conflict de-escalation)


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  1. A negotiation exercise (100% weighted)

Students will be presented with a complex fact pattern (which may involve multiple parties) and will be required to draft a detailed negotiation plan to take into the negotiation practical exercise. Students will conduct a 45- minute negotiation exercise with assigned peers. Students will be assessed on the skills demonstrated during the negotiation exercise and their planning (Addresses all learning outcomes stated above).  


Formative assessment:

  1. Submitting a draft negotiation plan and simulated negotiation exercise


Feedback: Students will be provided with formative feedback during the learning activities in the module. All students will submit a draft plan and undertake simulated negotiation exercises during their teaching sessions and will be provided with comprehensive tutor and peer feedback. The students will also be provided with written general feedback on drafting their negotiation plans which will be uploaded on Surreylearn.

Module aims

  • Demonstrate a sound and practical understanding of the theories of negotiation.
  • Demonstrate a sound and practical understanding of the different models of negotiation.
  • Demonstrate a sound and practical understanding of applicable regulatory regimes in negotiation.
  • Identify and differentiate the values between a range of possible negotiation outcomes.
  • Assist clients in identifying the key issues and boundaries upon which negotiation is conducted.
  • Draft a structured and practical negotiation plan.
  • Conduct negotiation in a structured, flexible, and ethical manner.
  • Explain the value in the negotiation outcome with clear reference to the extent to which it may benefit the client¿s position.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate sound and detailed knowledge of the theories and models of negotiation. KCP
002 Demonstrate sound applied knowledge of the models and techniques of negotiation. KCPT
003 Evidence ability to draft a detailed and practical negotiation plan, including the ability to identify, critically analyse and differentiate between a multiplicity of alternative interests, outcomes, constraints and perspectives. CPT
004 Evidence ability to identify core issues and to map out and differentiate between parties¿ desired and feasible outcomes. CPT
005 Demonstrate the ability to systematically research the background, context and potential legal issues arising from and impacting the negotiation case. KCPT
006 Demonstrate effective oral communication skills, teamworking skills and problem-solving skills. CPT
007 Demonstrate the ability to structure and articulate clear negotiation agendas and to conduct negotiation in professional, effective and ethical manner. CPT

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:

  • Require students to undertake independent study.

  • Provide interactive workshops with a clinical related element in the form of a negotiation exercise.

  • Include contributions from external practitioners in workshops.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Independent study, lectures and workshops.

In advance of workshops, students will be required to undertake independent study and complete MCQ’s which will test their foundational legal knowledge.

Introductory lectures and captured content will introduce students to the theory and practice of negotiation.

Working in groups, students actively engage in negotiation skills practice and provide constructive feedback to each other. Class feedback will assist students in identifying general strengths and weaknesses.

Students will gain important transferable professional skills in research, communication, teamwork, organisation, critical thinking and problem solving and personal skills including resilience, confidence and reflection.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAWM168

Other information

The School of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: Students will apply and refine their digital capabilities through engagement with online learning applications and activities. Students are expected to be proficient in navigating the University of Surrey’s VLE (Surreylearn) to support their learning, communicate with peers and tutors and submit assessment output. Students are further expected to be proficient in utilizing a variety of digital legal databases to effectively source research materials and complete learning tasks. The teaching activities in this module will also embed usage of interactive digital educational applications such as Padlet, Mentimeter and PollEveryhere to enhance student learning. All students are expected to be proficient in using professional digital tools such as email, MS Suite applications and digital communication applications such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google docs etc. at a basic level and will be provided with opportunities to engage with these tools during their learning activities and communications with tutors and peers.

Employability: This module is a strong embodiment of the Employability pillar and is a key contributor towards students developing and refining a key transferable and professional skill. Negotiation is not only a fundamental function of the legal profession, but the inherent skills also arising from effective negotiation practice is essential to successful interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution which is key in all professional environments. The module will prepare students to undertake negotiation effectively and confidently when they embark on legal practice and will empower them with skills to diversify their professional engagement into areas of ADR, international relations, diplomacy, and agency.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: This module supports the development of students’ global and cultural capabilities by strengthening their understanding of one of the foundational elements of global communication. Effective negotiation is essential for building greater global connections which will prove advantageous for all parties. Negotiation is frequently used in building and mediating international relations and in resolving international conflicts and disputes. A nuanced understanding of negotiation techniques will empower students in understanding and engaging in the various and different negotiation cultures and objectives across different societies and will aid in adding to students’ cultural capital in an increasingly internationalized professional and personal environment.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: This module supports the development of resourcefulness and resilience in students by requiring them to engage in a variety of learning techniques designed to encourage active learning through participation, reflection and co-operation. Students will draw on individual and collective resourcefulness to design practical and critically reasoned solutions to the challenges raised by the complex issues within the workshop problem tasks. Resilience and resourcefulness are further integrated within the module through the assessment strategy which require students to complete a multi-faceted practical exercise through which they identify and apply appropriate and relevant skills to the desired standard. Students will be able to undertake self-assessment, engage in open-ended inquiry and to make and defend their own choices and to determine and manage suitable tasks in the completion of their assessment. The practical assessment will also build and utilize resourcefulness and resilience by requiring students to construct and adapt strategies in real time and where unknown and unpredictable variables may arise in course of the task. The exercise will also assist in building students’ confidence in their ability to make independent decisions and to reflect and take ownership of the results arising. The classroom simulation formative exercises and feedback provide an opportunity for students to fail or make errors in a “safe” environment and to learn from such experience to building confidence and self-efficacy.

Sustainability: This module can promote the objective of sustainability through equipping students with the skills to effectively navigate and mediate the multi – partied joint decision-making processes and conflicts that characterise sustainability initiatives. It is acknowledged that the key challenges faced in local and global sustainability challenges involve varied and conflicting multi-party interests and disparities in bargaining power. Nuanced and ethical negotiation can contribute greatly towards the construction of practical and ethical solutions that can maximise benefits to various parties and advocate for those who are vulnerable to ecological and economical unsustainability.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Professional Legal Practice (SQE Pathway) LLM 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.