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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Contract Law in Europe (LAWS11268)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis module is a comparative contract law course. The main focus of the course is fundamental concepts of the law of contract. The course compares certain national systems of contract law, namely Scots, English, and German law. The course also considers many of the influential harmonisation initiatives taking place in Europe at the moment, principally the Draft Common Frame of Reference (Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law) and also the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 2010. Where relevant the course will consider European Directives (although the course does not have a specific focus on consumer law.)
One of the themes of the course is whether there is, indeed, a split between the common law and the civil law tradition in the field of contract law in Europe. Clearly initiatives have sought to produce a model contract law which could be used within the European Member States. The European Commission has recently announced a proposal for a regulation establishing an optional instrument in European Sales Law, see:
Is there, in fact, a ┐gulf┐ between the two traditions? Are harmonising initiatives likely to succeed? Is the goal of harmonisation either achievable or desirable? The debate on these issues will be informed by the analysis of the national legal systems which form the focus of this course.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet. Print consumables are recommended to provide hard copy of some on materials.
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The aims of this module are:

1. To understand the defining characteristics of certain national systems of contract law;
2. To engage in debate about harmonisation of contract law, and differences of legal culture
3. To identify the obstacles to harmonisation of contract law within Europe, and assess whether those obstacles could be overcome.

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the defining characteristics of contract law in particular national legal systems
2. Engage in informed discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of harmonisation of contract law within Europe
3. Understand their own systems of contract law through discussion and comparison with students from other legal systems.
Assessment Information
One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%). Requirements for all module assessment will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Special Arrangements
This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Introduction: what is a contract?
2. The European Landscape: the DCFR
3. Pre-contractual liability
4. Formation
5. Third party rights
6. Error/Mistake
7. Interpretation
8. Breach and Termination
9. Specific performance
10. Damages
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Laura Macgregor
Tel: (0131 6)50 2034
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4411
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