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LAW3047 : Commercial Law

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00in person lectures. flex: delivered by ZOOM through synchronous and non-synchronous activity
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
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 ZOOM seminars)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities65:0030:00Preparing for seminars and group project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00To assist students with preparation for seminars, assessments and to consolidate understanding
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity11:001:00Group presentations on retention of title to prepare for summative essay. FLEX – move online.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00Own 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A70Choice of three from six questions: 24 hour take home paper
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M30Students required to draft a retention of title clause based on research they conducted as part of their formative assessment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MStudents to research the law and practice of retention of title clauses
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.

Reading Lists