Commercial Contract Law

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
21 October 2020


Requisites for this module
LW101 and LW108



Key module for


Module description

This 15 credit module, taught over one term, will build on the general contract law principles taught in Contract Law introducing students to some key legal and policy issues surrounding the regulation of contracts between parties acting in the course of a business.The module begins with discussion of applicability of the general rules of contract law to contracts between parties acting in the course of a business; and the bifurcation in regulation between such 'business to business' (B2B) contracts and business to consumer (B2C) contracts in recent times. It then considers: the implied terms and remedies applicable to supply of defective, mis-described and unfit for particular purpose goods (including issues of rejection/termination, and restrictions on these remedies based on slight breach, seller rights to cureand 'acceptance').Next it considers the importance of corporate social responsibility for commercial contractual parties. It examines the meaning and implications of corporate social responsibility and highlights the contractual methods of promoting it. It finally compares the contractual methods with administrative enforcement.

Module aims

The module aims to enable students to understand, apply to problems and critically appraise (doctrine and policy issues related to) conformity standards and remedies in sales contracts and the promotion of corporate social responsibility in commercial contracts.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module the students will be able to demonstrate the following:
1. An understanding of the 'place' of B2B (Business to Business) contracts in relation to general contract law, consumer law, domestic law, supranational law and debates as to values and policy aims
2. An understanding of the key sources of the relevant rules
3. An understanding of the nature/meaning of the relevant rules
4. An ability to apply the relevant rules to hypothetical problem situations
5. An ability to provide clear, well-structured and critical evaluation of the relevant rules

Module information

1. Introduction: general contract law, distinctions from consumer contract law; values; Europeanisation and globalisation
2. Implied terms as to description, quality and fitness for particular purpose
3. Remedies: rejection/termination (including restrictions based on slight breach, seller rights to cure and 'acceptance')
4. Meaning of corporate social responsibility and its importance in commercial relations and contracts.
5. Contractual methods for promoting corporate social responsibility in commercial relations.
6. Comparison of the contractual method of promoting corporate social responsibility and the administrative enforcement via unfair commercial practices.
One two hour lecture per week Four Tutorials
In support of the lectures and tutorials, there are special arrangements to improve the learning experience and assessment performance for all students. So, in particular the lectures and tutorials are now supported by 2 'formative' multiple choice tests; extensive written guidance on writing assessments,including model answers provided after tutorials; as well asvarious forms of student self-assessment,including students assessing their own performance against the model answers..

Learning and teaching methods

This module is taught through a mixture of weekly live webinars, pre-recorded videos, and tutorials. Each week, the module teaching team will first produce and make available on Moodle two 25-minute pre-recorded video lectures. The module teaching team will then deliver a weekly live 50-minute webinar in which they further explore key legal concepts and answer your questions about the topics. These lectures and webinars will subsequently be available online through Moodle so that you can re-watch them as part of your independent study. Alongside this, there will be five bi-weekly 50-minute small group tutorials. The module teaching team will also produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes. These notes will introduce the material to be covered in the lectures, webinars and required readings. The notes will also contain tips designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the lectures and webinars and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the material covered in lectures, webinars and the required readings, obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular Multiple-Choice Quizzes on Moodle. The quizzes will be based on the reading set for that week so that the quiz forms part of your preparation for each tutorial. The quizzes will enable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


  • Trouble with accessing resources?, https://essex.libwizard.com/id/0ca0192f0d51b4c22469d6030fd1306f

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Summative Essay    80% 
Practical   Multiple Choice Quizzes    20% 

Additional coursework information

80% Summative Essay 20% Multiple-Choice Quizzes

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Christopher Willett, email: cwillett@essex.ac.uk.
Professor Chris Willett, Ugochi Amajuoyi
Law General Office, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Karen Mc Cullagh
University of East Anglia
Lecturer in Law
Available via Moodle
Of 1861 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
1861 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

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