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The University of Southampton

LAWS6175 International Sale of Goods

Module Overview

International commodity sales, located in the centre of a commercial network, are the driving force for marine transportation and cargo insurance. The international commodity market (including oil, as well as grain, foodstuffs, bulk ore) accounts for over 80 percent of global tonnage of goods shipped, with some of the largest companies in the world as players. The c.i.f. and f.o.b. contracts, which hold unique features over the generations of development, form the backbone of this market. This course covers the law of international sale of goods on shipment terms, represented by c.i.f. and f.o.b. contracts. It concentrates on English law that governs most contracts for international trading of commodities, wherever the trading parties may be in the world. It examines how English common law and the accompanying Sale of Goods Act 1979 help resolve disputes which arise, whether in litigation or arbitration, between international sellers and buyers around the world.

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 the English law of international commodity sales
  • The commercial parties’ rights and obligations under c.i.f. and f.o.b. contracts
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse relevant legal materials, including statutes, case law and relevant clauses from standard commodity sale contracts
  • Identify and explain the contractual principles underpinning the law relating to international commodity sales
  • Apply the legal principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex problems
  • Appraise and criticise existing debates in international commodity sales law, using appropriate legal research skills
  • Locate and analyse relevant legal and other primary and secondary source materials including model contracts
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
  • Display clarity and objectivity in written discussion demonstrating an awareness of issue of academic integrity


The following is an indicative list of module content: • description of the main features of c.i.f. and f.o.b. contracts; • rights and duties of the parties relating to carriage and insurance; • transfer of risk; • transfer of property; • physical duties on shipping conforming goods; • documentary duties, in particular on the bill of lading; • rejection of documents and goods as well as damage issues.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching for this module is by lectures (8 x 2 hours) and seminars (3 x 2hours). 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. The most important part of learning is your own independent study. This will, however, be closely guided, and firmly tied into the lectures, tutorialsseminars and assessment. Most of the discussion will revolve around the main legal decisions, and the arguments that have been advanced, and accepted or rejected in the cases. In the seminars you will have the opportunity to present arguments orally to a group of peers and defend your position under challenge.

Blended Learning22
Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Michael Bridge  (2017). Benjamin’s Sale of Goods. 

Michael Bridge (2017). International Sale of Goods. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (48 hours) 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:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase them as appropriate. All recommended sources, apart from the main book, are available to students free of charge, either on the Internet, or on Blackboard, or on the legal databases. From the choices of possible mandatory texts e.g. Paul Todd, Cases and Materials on International Trade Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 2002) £45

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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