CONTRACT LAW I - 2017/8

Module code: LAW2073

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

URBAN N Mr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits

15

ECT Credits

7.5

Framework

FHEQ Level 5

JACs code

M222

Module cap (Maximum number of students)

N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 8

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 100%

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module overview

The module considers and critically examines the role of contract law in providing a basis for business and non-commercial relationships.The creation, nature and contents of a legally enforceable agreement and the issues and controversies which arise in the individual transactions will be explored and discussed in-depth. The course will focus on the nature of a contract in English Law and the influence  of common law, equity and statute in judicial and arbitral interpretation of contractual documents in particular contexts.

Integration with core legal skills and critical method training

The module also shares ten one hours ‘Justice, legal systems and method’ lectures with the other Level 5 Semester One law modules for JD Pathway students. These cover an introduction to the following areas:

Legal method: Introduction to the study of law; Use of sources: Authority and precedent; Interpretation; Research skills; Legal writing; Academic sources and critical analysis.

History of the English legal system; Comparative overview of legal systems; Introduction to common law and common law method; Introduction to critical legal method and theories of justice

These teaching sessions will be fully integrated into the study tasks and activities in the substantive study of this module during this Semester, and inform the learning outcome below. These sessions are delivered in collaboration with the Library and learning resources team to demonstrate the practical elements of legal skills and research.

Module aims

Consider critically the English law of contract up to the point where a contract is formed and performed.  Contract law will be analysed 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 be able to understand and discuss in depth the principals involved in

Identifying  a legally enforceable agreement

  The modern approach to contract interpretation

Determining what  terms can be included in a contract and how  terms are incorporated into contracts

The ways in which statutes moderate the exercise of parties' freedom to contract as they deem fit.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature and operation of the English law of contract in context K
Demonstrate a good critical understanding of the ethical, philosophical and political influences on English contract law K
Identify the meanings of offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relationships K
Demonstrate a critical understanding of how the interpretation of contractual terms affects the enforcement of the agreement
Analyse the impact of consumer protection law, particularly in relation to exclusion and limitation provisions K
Apply acquired knowledge to non-complex problems C
Analyse the fundamental principles of contract law K
Undertake directed legal research to locate relevant materials CPT
Critically apply the knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve novel problems and answer essay questions KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:


The nature and function of the law of contract
Philosophical and ethical underpinnings of modern contract law
The court hierarchy,  methods of legal reasoning and the doctrine of precedent
Offer and acceptance
Intention to create legal relations
Consideration
Promissory estoppel
The classification of terms and representations
Exemption and limiting  clauses at common law, and under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Consumer Right Act 2015

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy follows an enquiry-based learning approach.

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 2-hour seminars, either resolving legal problems or performing a critical analysis of the law. Typically the seminar groups will each contain 16 students, who 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.

For efficiency and ease of understanding, teaching of critical legal skills may be blended with the substantive subject-specific lectures.        

The learning and teaching methods would typically comprise:


A 1 hour session introducing the enquiry-based learning method used in this module and how it should be approached in the context of contract law
11 x 1 hour substantive subject-specific lectures
1 hour feedback session on the formative assessment
2 x 1 hour revision lectures
2 hours of lectures on critical legal skills (see “Module Overview” section above for further detail)
0.5 hour training in legal research skills, delivered by the Library and learning resources team (see “Module Overview” section above for further detail)
8 x 2 hour seminars, as described above


Note: as this module is assessed by examination, the formative assessment will also be by examination, which may be held in place of one of the substantive subject-specific lectures.   

Assessment Strategy

The assessment addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate and critically assess the following

Identification of Issues

students should demonstrate the ability to identify the legal issues raised by the questions

Analysis of the law and application

students should demonstrate the ability to analyse the relevant law to a substantial level, recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and should be able to apply that law to the issues raised by the questions

Evaluation and synthesis

the law should be subjected to critical analysis and, where appropriate, its wider context should be considered.

Conclusions

students should demonstrate the ability to draw appropriate conclusions and show critical thinking based upon their analysis of the issues raised by the questions.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

1 x 2 hour exam where students are required to answer three questions. One essay question, one problem question and one other question of either type.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will undertake 1 x formative mock exam where they will be required to answer one question in one hour. A choice of essay or problem question will be provided. Students will receive written feedback on their formative assessment.

Reading list

Reading list for CONTRACT LAW I : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/law2073

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 2017/8 academic year.