Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to M101
Tied to M103


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide a general understanding of the nature and functions of the law of contract.
  • To critically examine key elements of the law of contract.
  • To provide some understanding of the common law in action.


  • Theories underpinning contract law
  • The nature of Agreement including the rules on offer and acceptance
  • Other elements of a contract including intention to create legal relations
  • Consideration and Promissory Estoppel
  • Contractual Terms (including exemption and limitation clauses)
  • Misrepresentation
  • Frustration
  • Duress and Undue Influence
  • Breach and Remedies

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the law of contract in England and Wales.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to critically analyse the law of contract (and its development) and apply it to factual situations.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to apply analytical and writing skills as well as the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning.

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

  • Lectures are used primarily to impart knowledge - and also to suggest approaches to evaluation and critical analysis;
  • Tutorials will be used to develop and enhance students capacity for legal-problem solving in a particular factual situation, evaluative critical analysis and their appreciation of laws' linkage with broader fields of enquiry;
  • Formative assignments are used to develop subject-specific and key skills.
  • The examination tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to questions raised. The examination questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 weekly 1 hour 20
Tutorials 5 Normally: two in Michaelmas; three in Epiphany 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 175
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
written examination 2 hours 100% yes

Formative Assessment:

Two essays of 1,500 words each, 1 compulsory and the other optional.

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