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Module SXL-3150:
Commercial Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Mr Thomas Perry

Overall aims and purpose

The initial aim of this module is to consolidate the students’ knowledge of the general law of contract, especially remedies. Thereafter the module seeks to provide the students with a sound academic understanding of the laws of England and Wales pertaining to the sales of goods, sufficient for the students to be able to identify and solve problems arising in common commercial contracts relating to the sales of goods. Once the students have mastered the subjects covered by this module they will then be equipped to move on to study more specialised aspects of commercial law, for example consumer law as a substantive subject and international sales law.

Course content

The course will contain lectures dealing with the distinction between sale; service; hire; hire purchase and barter transactions and with the significance of these distinctions. These will be followed by lectures and tutorials to include the duties and obligations of the buyer and seller and the remedies for breach of a sales of goods contract; the validity of exclusions and/or limitations of liability in contracts of sale; the concept and relevance of property and title; how and when property passes in a sales of goods transaction; the use and validity of retention clauses and the uses of agency.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

50-59% To achieve a Lower Second Class (C) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key areas/principles in the area of law, including familiarity with the essential case law, legislation and academic debates in the area. Be able to identify the key legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate some, if only limited, evidence of background study, using appropriate sources, including some relevant case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be focussed on the question asked, with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. • Attempt to present some relevant and logical arguments. • Not contain a large number of substantive legal errors. • Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit.


60-69% A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.


70%+ An outstanding, possibly brilliant, answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.


40-49% An answer which, while always in the main accurate and correct, fails to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material and is lacking in criticism. An answer which while reliable with regard to correctness is either not comprehensive or not entirely pertinent.

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply detailed knowledge to complex actual or hypothetical situations in relation to remedies under the general law of contract and under the Sales of Goods Act 1979, in particular the market price rule.

  2. Provide an account of key ideas, concepts and arguments relating to nemo dat non quod habet (and the various exceptions thereto) and also in respect of Romalpa clauses.

  3. Show a critical understanding of the basic terms implied by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 into commercial contracts.

  4. Provide evidence of a detailed knowledge of the rules in respect of the passing of property and risk sufficient to be able to undertake independent legal research into the basic differences between cif and fob contracts.

  5. Provide evidence of a detailed knowledge of the basic rules of delivery and acceptance under the Sales of Goods Act 1979 and of the real and personal remedies available to both buyer and seller.

  6. Identify and discuss critically the key elements of a contract for the sale of goods and the differences between a contract for the sale of goods and other commercial transactions such as hire purchase and contracts for work and materials.

  7. Identify and discuss critically the key issues in commercial contracts where liability may be limited or excluded and to demonstrate an understanding of and be able to suggest explanations for the differences in dealing as consumer and non-consumer in this respect.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 1
Final examination 2

Teaching and Learning Strategy


The module will be taught by means of 44 hours of seminars, 4 hours per week, taught over the course of one semester.

Private study 156

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: