Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

LAWS1021 Foundations of Contract Law

Module Overview

Contract is important in a number of different ways. Firstly, it is a building-block module on which other subjects will depend in later years of the degree. Contract law also exemplifies principles of law and techniques of analysis which go to the heart of any legal system. The existence and application of the law of contract have far-reaching effects on social relations and economic practice, whether the perspective is that of a large commercial company or of a consumer. Last but not least, the law of contract affects our daily lives and conditions the way in which business is conducted. This module aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of the principles of the law of contract and with a rigorous training in the analysis and practical application of those principles. At the same time the module aims to develop critical understanding of the underlying issues such as the need for policy considerations, the endeavours to balance different groups of contract parties, the limits of the rule of precedents and the question of judicial activism.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main principles which govern: • entry into a contract • the terms of a contract;
  • the principal policies and values underpinning contract rules;
  • existing areas of debate about what the law is and what it ought to be.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse relevant legal materials, including case law;
  • apply contractual principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solutions of practical problems;
  • critically appraise and offer solutions in existing areas of debate in contract law.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate others’ arguments;
  • develop and present a written argument with appropriate evidence;
  • identify and analyse key policy issues.


This module will introduce students to some of the main concepts of contract law. The main areas covered will be 1) The process by which a binding contract is formed and amended. 2) The rules governing express and implied terms. 3) The main principles misrepresentation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be by a combination of twice a week one hour lectures and weekly one hour tutorials in small groups. Students will be expected to attend all lectures and tutorials and will be expected to have prepared for, and participate fully in, tutorials. The lectures will provide you with a structured outline of the key doctrines and principles of contract law and an introductory critique of topics and concepts. The tutorials work alongside the lectures and focus on discussion of selected topics and concepts as well as practicing answering problem and essay questions. They also provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and obtain feedback on their progress. The tutorials are interactive and you are expected to come prepared for the tutorial and engage actively in discussions.

Preparation for scheduled sessions40
Wider reading or practice20
Follow-up work20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Access to primary source material in the form of cases, statutes and secondary materials are all available either in the Library of via electronic legal databases.. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.


You are expected to purchase one textbook which will be indicated at the beginning of each year. The required textbook is expected to cost around 25 GBP-30 GBP. You are responsible for meeting the cost of one essential textbook and of producing such assignments as are required to fulfill the academic requirements for the module, e.g. might wish to print out law journal articles, law cases, and lecture slides.

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings