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The University of Southampton

LAWS2034 Introduction to Commercial Law

Module Overview

This course lays the foundation for further studies in commercial and maritime law by introducing you to advanced rules and applications of contract law. We will be exploring the ramifications of the tripartite contractual relationship involving agents, of the interaction between contract and property law in the context of debt financing, and of contracting transnationally through electronic means. Although these commercial contexts are very different, the course trains your commercial analytical skills by exposing you to a range of complex relationships which often involve numerous parties and transactions, and by understanding how the law settles these in light of the reasonable expectation of the parties, commercial expedience, the integrity of legal concepts as well as wider policy factors.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • understand the concepts, main principles and legal relationships between parties in commercial transactions, covered within the syllabus.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • understand the concepts, main principles and legal relationships between parties in commercial transactions, covered within the syllabus;
  • understand property and security in commercial transactions;
  • analyse relevant legal materials;
  • apply the legal principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex problems;
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • distinguish relevant from irrelevant materials.
  • identify and analyse key issues.
  • think critically, develop coherent arguments in writing.
  • manage your time effectively.
  • display clarity and objectivity in oral discussion, demonstrating an awareness of academic integrity issues.


The following is an indicative list of module content. These topics may change year-by-year, reflecting current developments and allowing syllabus evolution: (1) Party autonomy and competing values (2) Agency law (3) Debt financing (4) E-Commerce

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching for this module is by lectures and tutorials. Lectures will introduce the main principles and structure of the subject. You are expected to provide the main input to the tutorials, where the main issues are discussed.

Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

'Blackboard' learning platform. There is no set book. The Blackboard site will contain all the introductory material necessary, references to further sources, and links to further e-resources. All cases and statutes are available using the legal databases.



Mock Examination


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:


All recommended sources are available to students free of charge, either on the Internet, or on Blackboard, or on the legal databases.

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

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