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Contract law LA1040

Contract law is one of the seven foundation subjects required for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales and is a core requirement of the University of London LLB and CertHE Common Law programmes.

This module covers the key underlying principles of English contract law and includes key topics such as formation of contracts, consideration, privity, breach of contract and remedies for breach of contract.

Topics covered

  • The formation of contracts: Offer and acceptance. Consideration. Certainty of agreement. Intention to create legal relations.
  • The content of the contract: Conditions, warranties and intermediate terms. Exemption clauses. Implied terms at common law. Collateral contracts. Statutory implied terms with regard to the quality of goods sold and goods or services supplied.
  • Vitiating factors. Mistake: Misrepresentation. Duress and undue influence.
  • Illegality and public policy (excluding gaming and wagering): Contracts illegal at common law. Consequences of illegality. Contracts in restraint of trade.
  • Capacity to contract: with particular reference to the capacity of minors.
  • Privity of contract, (excluding agency and assignment).
  • Performance and breach: Substantial performance. Repudiation and anticipatory breach. Discharge by breach. Discharge under the doctrine of frustration.
  • Remedies for breach of contract: General principles governing the assessment of damages. Remoteness of damage. Damages for non-financial loss. Mitigation. Restitutionary remedies. Liquidated damages and penalties. Specific performance.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between policy and principle in common law and legislative provisions in contract law
  • Describe the essential elements of a contract and explain how a contract may be terminated
  • Identify and explain appropriate remedies for breach of contractual obligations
  • Describe the economic, social and political context in which contract law is applied
  • Demonstrate understanding of the development of contract law and discuss its possible future direction(s)
  • Summarise standard legal materials and arguments
  • Analyse statutes and cases concerned with contract law and apply principles to problem scenarios
  • Identify issues raised by legal questions and problems and provide reasoned solutions
  • Carry out straightforward research tasks, using internet based resources.


3hr 15 mins unseen examination

Essential reading

The essential reading for this course is the subject guide and reading pack provided. The extracts are from:

  • Poole, J. Casebook on contract law. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) 12th edition [ISBN 9780199687237].
  • McKendrick, E. Contract law. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) 11th edition [ISBN 9781137475794].