LW6010 - Commercial Contracts

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the key issues and consequences relevant to conducting business successfully in the modern world. You will learn how commercial contracts can be used as a risk management tool, how to exercise professional judgement and you will become more commercially aware. You will also learn about how businesses use marketing arrangements to increase sales and how competition law impacts on these arrangements. As you examine commercial contracts in realistic practical contexts you will learn about drafting issues and consequences in standard form contracts, how to allocate risk and you will develop an awareness of current issues and developments in the commercial environment.

Topics include:
• commercial sales of goods contracts;
• passing of property and allocation of risk in commercial contracts;
• express terms, implied terms and exclusion clauses;
• performance of the contract;
• consequences of breach of contract,
• agency and the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993
• distribution agreements; and
• EU competition law – Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the study plan and activities (independent study, recommended reading, directed learning, self evaluative tasks, informal assessments) throughout the module.

You will learn through a combination of lectures, practical workshop based small group sessions, tutor guided directed independent learning, self study independent learning, problem solving and feedback. You will have access to webcasts which are specific to the module. The lectures will cover the key concepts and principles of each topic. The small group sessions are practical workshop based sessions which will enable you to examine the principles introduced in the lectures against relevant, realistic and practical scenarios when you will have carried out additional independent learning including locating and reading relevant legal source material and answering preparatory questions. Your learning will centre on you identifying commercial and practical solutions to problem solving, advising and managing risk in commercial contracts using commercial awareness.

Learning materials which will be made available via the module dedicated e-Learning (eLP) site and will include powerpoint slides, lecture handouts, small group session instructions, guided reading using electronic reading lists, webcasts and self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your fellow students.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during small group sessions, through formative and summative assessment and a module teaching and learning plan (TLP). You will be provided with guidance on answering problem scenarios, flow chart answers to scenarios, answers to the preparatory small group session questions, the opportunity to engage in a realistic contract negotiation exercise, multiple choice questions and quizzes. You will be given guidance on the assessment criteria and the learning outcomes for the module.

This module is designed and will be managed by a designated Module Tutor. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module eLP site, maintained by your Module Tutor. You will be able to use the module eLP site to facilitate discussions with your peers, to locate materials, and be advised by your tutor about recent developments in the law. You may communicate with your Module Tutor and your Small Group Session Tutor by e-mail, telephone or face to face by appointment outside of your sessions as well as during your sessions if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

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:
At the end of the module you will have:

Developed knowledge and understanding of key issues arising in commercial contracts and recognise ambiguity and how to deal with uncertainty of the law in practical contexts.

Developed a critical awareness of key and current issues, ethical considerations and developments in the commercial world.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

You will have developed an awareness of legal and practical drafting issues in commercial contracts and the ability to communicate and explain and identify problems and practical and legal solutions to a range of audiences.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

PVA1.You will have gained an awareness of principles and values of law and justice and ethical issues arising in the context of commercial contracts and the allocation and management of risk.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by submitting to your small group session tutor a practice assessment of no more than 500 words for individual comments and an answer plan will be provided on the module eLP.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning and will be no more than 2,500 words.
The specific nature of the assignment may vary and may include essay, case study or a problem scenario question. Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.





Module abstract

Commercial contracts examines the key legal issues that commonly arise in commercial contracts relevant to conducting business successfully in the modern commercial world. You will focus entirely on business to business contracts (not consumer contracts) and develop an appreciation of the law which is relevant to commercial practice. You will develop commercial awareness and an understanding of common drafting issues, interpretation of terms in contracts and the legal rules in relation to the passing of property and risk in a contract. You will understand how to apply legal rules to use contracts as a tool to allocate and manage risk by considering realistic practical scenarios with a focus on commercial awareness. You will also learn about how business use different marketing arrangements such as agency or distribution in order to increase sales and consider the legal implications and also the impact of EU competition law on these arrangements. You will develop an awareness of current issues and developments in the commercial environment.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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