KB6030 - Construction Engineering Law and Procurement

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how to apply the principles of the laws of contract and tort to the pre-contract, contract and post-contract stages of construction/engineering projects. You will study topics such as:

• The English legal system, and the hierarchy of the Courts,
• How the law develops; from judicial precedent (in case law,) to statute (in public policy and public choice),
• The essential features of the laws of contract and tort,
• The range and complexity of project inputs and the alternative patterns for the delivery of the project, in terms of procurement, selection and payment arrangements,
• The impact of contract law (via offer and acceptance, implied terms, breach, and liability); and in tort (via professional negligence),
• Commonly-used standard contracts and their subcontracts,
• Insurance, bonds, and warranties,
• Project outcomes and obligations, specifically: progress, payment, completion within time, within budget and to specified requirements,
• The means of compensating for contingencies such as liquidated and ascertained damages, loss and expense and rights of determination,
• Contractual procedures at pre-contract, contract and post-contract stages, and
• Areas of potential disputes, and their resolution.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through engaging with a series of lectures, seminars and independent learning. The lectures will cover the theory of key principles relating to the contractual procedures within the develop-design-construct process. The tutor will also assign you some guided but independent learning materials with particular examples or case studies which involve general principles as well as contentious legal positions. In analysing these learning materials, you will form your own justified, persuasive and informed opinions which will be tested through discussion and debates in seminars, as well as from feedback received from the tutor in class and through the assessment process.
Guest lecturers, where available, will be invited to provide first hand perspectives on some of the matters encountered in the lectures, seminars or case studies, from their recent practical experiences.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will guide you through the course using a series of lectures and seminars. You will be expected to make substantial use of electronic sources for research purposes. The e-learning portal will be used to facilitate and support the tutor-directed learning activities. It will be used to support you both as a repository for such information and learning resources as well as a tool for all module communication.

This will be carried out through the seminar programme in which, following individual research, students will carry out exercises, discuss their findings with the tutor as well as debate some of the contentious issues with peers.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will be expected to interpret the procedural role of the contract in defining and controlling project outcomes and planning and compensating for contingencies.
• You will also be expected to appraise the relationships defined by a range of alternative methods of project delivery, contractual forms and locate and define liabilities, including post-contract liabilities.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will develop your skills in analysing the impact of the laws of contract and tort on construction/engineering transactions; make informed judgements by critically evaluating problems and prepare, deliver and defend succinct presentations and reports on complex administrative issues.
• You will develop your skills in recognising the areas of potential disputes, and the means of their avoidance or likely resolution.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• You will also develop and reinforce the ethical characteristics of a Northumbria graduate as you consider the values that underpin ethics in procurement, contract procedures and contract administration of engineering and construction projects. You will have the opportunity to reflect on how these are linked to your own values.

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed by two components equally weighted summative assessments, one in each semester.

The first assessment (50%) component will require you to research and develop an individual case-based report containing your research solution for a given scenario in Semester 1.

The second assessment (50%) component will also require you to research and develop an individual case-based report containing your research solution for a given scenario in Semester 2.

Feedback from the first assessment will feed forward to help you to improve your final assessment while the discussions in class will also allow you to reflect on the learning and assist you in improving your skills as well as the assessments.





Module abstract

‘Construction Engineering Law and Procurement’ is a module designed to help you to develop skills in applying the principles of contract law to the pre-contract, contract and post-contract stages of construction and engineering projects. The contractual management process will be considered within the context of the alternative methods of procurement and project delivery as well as the cultural differences imposed by alternative standard forms of contract.

Using a range of up-to-date case law, academic articles and industry reports, you will engage with current debates, evaluate case studies and review current developments in procurement and contractual procedures within the develop-design-construct process and how these contribute towards commercial success or failure.

In a construction industry which heavily relies on correct interpretation and administration of contracts, companies employ and value professionals who have a sound understanding of dispute avoidance as well as the common areas of potential constraint, liability, dispute.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 to 5 years part-time, depending on entry qualifications

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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