LA0545 - Contract Law [CPE FT, CPE DL]


By the end of the module you should be able to:

explain what is required to form a contract, the impact of various terms of a contract, when a contract is invalidly formed, how a contract may be brought to an end, the remedies available upon a contract being broken and the principles of restitution;

identify areas of the law of contract where the law of tort provides an alternative cause of action;

read a case and formulate a principle of law upon which the decision in a case is based and identify other statements of law which are not necessary to decide a case;

analyse legislation, breaking sections into constituent parts and show how such parts apply to a body of facts;

construct legal advice and/or legal argument from the application of case law and legislation to a body of factual material;

analyse, evaluate and discuss contractual concepts;

research independently areas of contract law; and

demonstrate an ability to explain contractual principles clearly and succinctly in a written form.


McKendrick Text, cases and materials Oxford

Treitel The Law of Contract Sweet and

Smith The Law of Contract Sweet and

McKendrick Contract Law Palgrave Macmillan

Taylor and Taylor Contract Law Oxford University

Poole Textbook on Contract Oxford University

Upex Davies on Contract Sweet and

Poole Casebook on Contract Oxford University

Beale, Bishop and Cases and Materials on the Oxford University
Furmston Law of Contract

Holland and Webb Learning Legal Rules Oxford University


1. An overview of the law of contract, its place in the common law and the operation of the doctrine of judicial precedent. The factors affecting modern contract law.

2. Formation of contract: agreement, certainty, intention to create legal relations and consideration.

3. Formalities of contract.

4. Contents of contract: express and implied terms; interpretation of contracts; exclusion and limitation clauses; the impact of the law emanating from the European Union; the drafting of contracts.

5. Vitiating factors: mistake, misrepresentation, duress, undue influence and inequality of bargaining power.

6. Illegality: contracts void by statute, contracts illegal by statute or at common law, contracts void at common law on the grounds of public policy.

7. The doctrine of privity of contract and exceptions to the doctrine.

8. Discharge of contract: Performance; Breach of Contract; Agreement; and Frustration.

9. Remedies for breach of contract. Outline of Restitution.


To provide students with an insight and understanding of the characteristics of contract, in particular to formation, performance, deficiencies and remedies.

To provide a programme whereby students will utilise a range of sources of law, notably case law, statute and EC legislation.

To facilitate students in using legal knowledge and source materials to appraise and resolve problems at both practical and academic levels.


Students should be able to:

- examine and analyse relevant statutory and common law provisions;

- evaluate critically the legal principles underpinning the law of contract;

- analyse and apply legal rules in proposing practical solutions to contractual problems;

- assess the impact of EC law on the domestic law of contract;

- undertake critical appraisal of developments in the law of contract.


First Degree




GDL is delivered full-time in one year and distance learning over two years.
The distance learning students have study days throughout the two years and are provided way is a workbook and answer book on contract law on the ELP learning site. Students are told the recommended text and other suitable texts. Students are provided with the study schedule to help them gauge how to work methodically through their studies. Students send in seminar answers as required by the study schedule and feedback can be on the hardcopy returned, by e-mail, in person or over the telephone as required by the circumstances.


For the full-time students the students attend year long lectures and year long seminars. They also have access to the ELP learning site on which there are comprehensive documents for contract law which is modified each year as required to meet the focus of the teaching in that particular year. Students also have access to the electronic versions of the contract law workbook and answer book.

For the distance learning students the students attend study days throughout the two years [ contract law takes place in year one], students have the ELP learning site on which there is a comprehensive provision of contract law documents, they have the electronic workbook and study schedule and the recommended textbook.


assessment and feedback stategy

Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

the students have coursework to hand in in January of their academic year of study and this 2000 word work comprises 30% of the final Mark. The rationale for this is to encourage the students to do legal research and learn about a common law subject in depth.
The students then do a two-hour examination in summer which requires them to answer three questions from a choice of six. The rationale here is that students ability to work under pressure is tested along with their ability to apply legal knowledge to problems and to essay questions. They only do three questions the course of the fact that they have done the coursework element.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

The students undertake a timed test before Christmas. They do this in all the core subjects and contract law is the first one. It allows the students and staff to assess where the students are and to identify any shortcomings at an early stage.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

For the timed test students get a comprehensive feedback sheet and any particular problems can be raised in seminars or students can come and see the tutor personally on a one-to-one basis.

For the coursework element, students get comments on an assessment sheet on their individual piece of work and they also get a comprehensive several page feedback on what they could have potentially put in the answer. Students with issues come to see the tutor on a one-to-one basis.

Course info

Credits 15

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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