Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module LAW53015: Electronic Commerce

Department: Law

LAW53015: Electronic Commerce

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2019/20 Module Cap


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to provide an in-depth study of key legal issues that arise in relation to electronic commerce.


  • introcuction to the technological and legal issues that arise in relation to electronic commerce;
  • International, European Union and United Kingdom policies and inititatives on electronic commerce law;
  • the interrelationship between the common law contract principles and those that are developing for electronic commerce;
  • jurisdiction.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the substantive and procedural rules of law relating to both business to business and business to consumer trading via networked computers;
  • students will develop a critical understanding of the policy issues that arise with regard to both the above types of trading via networked computers.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the effect of commercial transactions conducted over the internet in terms of validity and enforcement;
  • the effect of EU and UK consumer protection legislation on the validity of transactions between consumers and online sellers;
  • the effect of the sales of goods legislation on business-to-business transactions conducted over the internet;
  • issues of liability in contract and tort and of jurisdiction with respect to business-to-business and business-to-consumer online transactions;
  • intellectual property issues with respect to domain names
  • security issues with respect to encryption of personal data and digital signatures
Key Skills:
  • Students will:
  • gain the ability to research, analyse and understand international and UK legal instruments with respect to internet-based commercial transactions.
  • gain the ability to apply traditional tenets of contract, commercial and consumer law on internet-based transactions.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be primarily lecture led, the lectures’ aim being to impart information and guide students through the material they will have to research and analyse. Exercises available on DUO will allow the self-assessment of the students’ understanding of the material and will prepare them for the summative assessment that will consist of a 3000 word assessed essay and a one and a half hour exam, each weighing 50% of the final mark. The relevant learning outcomes will be achieved through:
  • Monitoring the student’s understanding of the material and providing additional guidance where necessary;
  • Enabling students to develop a critical view of the material covered through assessed formative essays and discussion-led lectures.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 1 Weekly, interspersed with several reading weeks 2 16
Preparation and reading time 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

One assignment of approximately 1500 words in Epiphany Term.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University