Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW3047 : Commercial Law

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zoe Gounari
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
LAW1221Contract Law
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to introduce students to some key aspects of the sale and supply of goods in England and Wales. The core of this module is an extension of the themes that students have already studied in the context of contract law, with a specific focus on contracts for the sale and supply of goods. These will be examined with reference to the legal and commercial concepts underpinning transactions of this type, both from a business-to-business, as well as from a business-to-consumer perspective.

Thus, the key objectives of this module are to:

1) Familiarise students with some key aspects of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as well key principles of the law of agency and its role in commercial transactions;

2) Make students aware of the key obligations and rights arising from the contract for the sale and supply of goods;

3) Encourage a critical analysis of the law by identifying areas appropriate for reform

4) Develop the students’ ability to comprehend and apply relevant statutes to given scenarios, as well to extract and analyse the relevant legal principles from decided cases and reason authoritatively from that basis.

Outline Of Syllabus

* An introduction to basic concepts of commercial law, including the meaning and significance of property and risk

* The scope and policy aims of the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

* The scope and underlying policy aims of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

* An introduction to the law of agency and its role in commercial transactions, with specific regard to the appointment of agents, the concept of authority, and the impact of an agent’s actions on the principal’s relations with third parties.

* The parties’ rights and obligations under the contract of sale, specifically with respect to:

- Statutory implied terms;

- Non-existent goods at the time of the contract;

- Post-contractual loss of goods and other forms of contractual impossibility;

- The passing of property;

- The principle of nemo dat quod non habet and its exceptions;

- Retention of title;

- Exclusion and limitation clauses;

- Delivery and payment;

- Remedies.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module, it is expected that students will have gained sound and accurate knowledge and understanding of the following:?

1) The basic concepts and broad policy objectives underpinning English commercial law

2) The core principles of agency law?

3) The key aspects of the contract for the sale of goods, from a business-to-business and business-to-consumer perspective.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1) An understanding of the fundamental doctrines, concepts, and rules of English commercial law;

2) The ability to identify legal issues arising from given sets of facts, interpret and apply the relevant legal rules and advise accordingly;

3) The ability to formulate sound legal arguments and to reason based on legal principle and decided cases;

4) The ability to analyse and evaluate existing law in terms of its legal and commercial context.

5) The ability to identify issues for research, and to carry out a structured programme of research that identifies relevant primary and secondary sources.

6) The ability to combine case law, legislation, guidance, and other materials from a broad range of sources in order to formulate authoritative and persuasive legal arguments;

7) The ability to prioritise legal issues within given sets of facts and to make reasoned assessments of the merits or otherwise of particular arguments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00Non-synchronous online lecture recordings supplementing the material delivered in-person.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00in person lectures. flex: delivered by ZOOM through synchronous and non-synchronous activity
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities80:152:00MCQs
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:001 hour in person seminar groups (FLEX: could be delivered as on-line synchronous ZOOM seminars)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities65:0030:00Preparing for seminars and group project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Group presentations on the area of law which is relevant to the clause the students will be required to draft as part of the summative assessment. The purpose of this exercise is to prepare for the summative assessment. FLEX – move online.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00To assist students with preparation for seminars, assessments and to consolidate understanding
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study173:0073:00Own reading and study based on module handbook, textbooks and lecture materials.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module material will be delivered in 18 one-hour lectures whose purpose is to provide an overview of and contextualise the topics identified in the module handbook. The lectures will be accompanied by detailed lecture materials, whose purpose is to help students navigate the reading required for each topic, as well as consolidate their knowledge when revising. Through small group teaching, students will be given the opportunity to test their understanding of the module material as they will be required to apply the knowledge they acquired through reading to complex questions and factual scenarios arising out of the topics identified in the module handbook. Through this process students will also develop their abilities to identify and prioritise legal issues, identify, evaluate and apply relevant legal principles, and to formulate reasoned arguments which draw upon their understanding of the subject and are supported by both primary and secondary sources.

A small group teaching session will be dedicated to a student-led group project which is to take place prior to the summative assessment and will require students to research a key area of commercial law in sub-groups, examine it in its commercial context and present their findings and reasoned conclusions to the rest of the group.

The ‘drop in’ sessions to be scheduled at key stages in the module will allow students to ask questions concerning course content, while the MCQ activities will provide students with instantaneous formative feedback on their knowledge and understanding of substantive course content and allow them to assess their own progress.

The teaching methods have been adapted for delivery in the post-COVID environment and are based on the presumption that in-person sessions will be possible but that this needs to be supplemented by making alternative arrangements under ‘FLEX’ in case of limited scope for on Campus teaching.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A7024 hour take home paper. Choice of two from five questions.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M30Students are required to draft a contract clause to address a commercial problem to be set by the module leader. Students will base their clause on research they will have conducted as part of their formative assessment. 1500 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The purpose of the exam is to assess the students’ knowledge and understanding of the module material as well as their skill to accurately, clearly and concisely identify and evaluate the relevant legal principles, apply them to given sets of facts, and advise accordingly through reasoned and authoritative arguments.

The purpose of the summative assessment is to assess the students’ ability to conduct individual research as well as to apply their knowledge and understanding of the law to a complex commercial scenario. Formative assessment through the presentation of a group research project will provide context for the subject matter of the summative assessment and provide feedback on the students’ knowledge and understanding of that topic.

Finally, MCQ-based assessment set periodically over the course of the module will provide instantaneous feedback to students regarding their knowledge of the subject and will allow them to track their progress.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.