CEM206-Construction Contract Law

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Will Hughes

Email: w.p.hughes@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The procurement of construction work takes place within specific legislative frameworks. Contracts result from agreements between businesses for all forms of consultancy and construction work, whether they are formally written or not. New developments in statutes, court cases and standard form contracting have a significant impact on the kinds of deals that take place in the construction industry. Also, new business processes promote new ways of working and collaborative business arrangements that require a deeper understanding of the way that business participants interact in the construction process. The construction industry is characterised by the way that each participant typically works for a different practice or firm, and they are all expected to work together, usually under the terms of business contracts (formal or informal) within the statutory framework that prevails. This module seeks to explain the statutory and contractual context of contracts in construction, in order that the students will be able to recognise and confront the kinds of problem that can get in the way of successful contract management.

To understand and interpret contractual relationships in construction projects. Lessons from research and practice are used side-by-side with the teaching to provide robust explanations and help to develop a deep understanding of the consequences of how construction contracts are drafted, chosen and managed.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will be able to make informed decisions about risk apportionment, procurement methods, contract strategies and dispute resolution strategy. In addition, students will be able to explain the legislative context of contracts, and the impact that innovations and current policy development are having on construction procurement policy.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be familiarised with legal approaches to construction contracting, and will understand the diverse influences on contract policy and procurement.

Outline content:
• Principles of the law of contract and recent developments
• Relationship between procurement practice and contract law
• Developments in procurement policy
• Contract choice and procurement strategy
• Claims management
• Tort law in the construction context
• Civil liability for building defects
• Remedies for breach of contract
• Project security: Insurance
• Bonds and guarantees
• Arbitration and litigation
• Alternative dispute resolution

Global context:
Construction contracting is related very closely to the place in which construction work is carried out. By making clear the reasons for specific contract clauses, placing them in their statutory and common law context, students will understand that contracts are context-dependent.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught by lectures, tutorial discussions and seminars, some of which will involve specialist experts in aspects of construction law. Self-administered on-line tests are used to help guide reading and learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
Guided independent study 10 66
Total hours by term 34.00 66.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Class test administered by School 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:
Self-administered multi-choice tests based on the core text-book for the module will be available for the students to check their own understanding of the main issues in this module.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 September 2018


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