Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) and Contract Law (LAW 1071).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To build on foundations laid in Contract Law, with specific reference to sale & supply of goods.
  • It is intended that students shall acquire sound and accurate knowledge of these areas, providing them with a useful resource both for future practice and their everyday lives.
  • It seeks to develop students' facility in handling of 'black letter law' areas and, in particular, ability to comprehend and apply relevant statutes, analyse and reason from decided cases.
  • It also seeks to identify areas of law appropriate for reform.


  • The Scope of the Sale of Goods Act 1979
  • Delivery & Payment
  • Meaning and Significance of Property & Risk
  • Non-Existent Goods at the Date of the Contract
  • Post-Contractual Loss of Goods and Other Forms of Subsequent Impossibility
  • The Passing of Property
  • The Principle of Nemo Dat and the Exceptions to that Principle
  • The Content of Sales Contracts
  • Exclusion and Limitation Clauses
  • Remedies

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a sound and accurate (but not necessarily comprehensive) knowledge of commercial law.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • apply the existing law to given factual scenarios and advise accordingly
  • Analyse and evaluate the existing law in terms of its legal and commercial context.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate the skill of communicating complex ideas and arguments in clear written form

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

  • The core principles of the subject will be conveyed by lectures, as will the principles of contract interpretation and drafting. Additional reading will be set to ensure that more complex aspects of the principles are investigated. Tutorials will be used to reinforce the lectures, to ensure that the reading has been understood, and to develop subject knowledge and subject-skills as outlined above. The formative essay develops both subject-skills and communication skills.
  • Summative assessment comprises one summative essay (20%) and one unseen examination (80%). The summative essay will assess students’ ability to undertake independent research in the field of sale of goods law and test their understanding of the mechanics of the terms of commercial contracts. For the examination, students are given a choice of questions to answer, but the paper is structured in such a way as to assess students on all the specific outcomes. 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: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1,500 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

One written essay of no more than 1500 words.

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