COMMERCE 7021 - Commercial Law & Accounting Information Systems (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the Australian legal framework for business entities, particularly in relation to their commercial transactions. The course also introduces students to business information systems, including roles and types of information systems, software and technological developments.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMERCE 7021
    Course Commercial Law & Accounting Information Systems (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 36 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ACCTING 7019
    Assessment Exam/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Catherine Davies

    Commercial Law: Dr Colette Langos

    Accounting Information Systems: Ms Cathy Davies 

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Commercial Law (CL) section

    1    An understanding of the Australian legal system and how it applies to regulate commerce.

    2    An understanding of the application of Common Law and Statute law relevant to commerce.

    3    An understanding of the basic principles of Contract Law and their relevance to commerce.

    4    The ability to evaluate and synthesise information and existing knowledge from a number of sources.

    5    The ability to identify legal issues and apply the law to arrive at reasoned solutions to legal problems.

    6    An appreciation of the importance of lifelong learning in the ever-changing field of legal regulation of commerce.

    Information Systems (IS) section

    1   To gain an understanding of Information Systems, business processes and the roles played by Accounting Information Systems in businesses and organisations, including database systems and relational databases and information systems audits.

    2   To gain an understanding of information systems controls: (1) information security (2) confidentiality and privacy (3) processing integrity and availability.

    3   Discuss, critically appraise, and write about information systems concepts and IS development.

    4   Use Microsoft Access to use a database to process information in an accurate and useful manner.

    5   Prepare and use information systems documentation techniques to understand and document information systems.

    6   To understand the steps involved in the development and implementation of new Information Systems, and appreciate the role users play in this.

    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Text Books (for the Commercial Law Section)

     Sweeney, B, O’Reilly, J & Coleman A (2013) Law in Commerce, 5th edition, Australia: LexisNexis Butterworths  ISBN: 9780409334456


    Text Books (for the Information Systems Section)

    Romney, M. B., Steinbart, P.J., Mula, J. M., McNamara, R. and Tonkin, T. (2013) Commercial Law and Information Systems (M) – Information Systems Section, A Custom Edition for the University of Adelaide, Pearson Australia, ISBN: 978-1-4860-0554-3

    This is also available in an e-book, downloadable from the Pearson web site.

    Recommended Resources

    Online Learning
    Commercial Law and Accounting Information Systems

    Electronic copies of the lecture slides and workshop materials will be provided in MyUni ( Students are strongly encouraged to regularly check MyUni for updates. 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Teaching of both Commercial Law and Information Systems sections will involve lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials and workshops examining the materials covered in course content. All students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials in this course.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course or 13 hours for a four-unit course, of private study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one
    tutorial class each week.

    Tutorial classes will be held weekly commencing the week beginning Monday 9 March.  Membership of tutorial classes is to be finalised by the end of the second week of semester.  Students wishing to swap between tutorial classes after this time are required to present their case to the Lecturer-in-Charge, but should be aware that such a request may not be approved.

    Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Accounting Information Systems section
    This 18-hour section of the course focuses on the foundation of Accounting Information Systems, business processes and data processing cycle, information systems documentation, the database system, the creation and use of well-designed databases and the development and implementation of new information systems. Information systems controls, audits and security issues are also covered.

    Commercial Law section
    This 18-hour section of the course focuses on the Australian legal system, including the roles of the parliaments and the courts. It includes an introduction to the basic rules of contract law, exploring the rules for making valid contracts and interpreting their contents (including consumer protection statutory guarantees), as well as the rules that apply to ending contracts and remedies. The emerging role of e-commerce in modern times will also be considered.


    Day Date     Topics
    Thursday 14 April 2016 Accounting information systems: Introduction and overview; Fundamentals of business processes and transaction processing. Files, database systems and relational databases. MS Access.
    Friday 15 April 2016 Systems development and systems analysis ; Systems design, implementation and operation. Systems development and documentation techniques; Database Design using the REA data model
    Saturday 16 April 2016 Information systems controls: Information security; Confidentiality and privacy. Processing integrity and availability; Auditing computer-based information systems.
    Thursday 21 April 2016 The Australian Legal System – Regulation of the Australian Economy; Contracts – Formation
    Friday 22 April 2016 Contracts – Terms; Contracts – Termination and Remedies I
    Saturday 23 April 2016 Contracts – Termination and Remedies II (ACL); Exam revision
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tutorial classes will be focus of the small group discovery experience in this course.  As they are based on a problem-based learning approach, they form an important mechanism for developing communication skills and strategies for small group discussion and presentation of ideas and arguments.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Commercial Law section

    Knowledge gained in the Commercial Law section of this course will consist of the following assessment items:

    1. Active workshop partcipation (5%) 

    This item requires students to contribute to class discusions. For example, students will be required to actively contribute to legal problem solving activities by referring the class to applicable case law or legislation and explaining how the law informs legal argument.

    2. Peer assessment (5%)

    Students will be paired and are required to assess each other on whether they are able to explain a nominated point of law (covered in the course). This assessment item requires students to be familiar with course content and to be able to explain relevant law clearly. A student can attain either 5% (5/5 marks) or 0% (0/5) (not a percentage in between). Each reviewer is expected to write down comments for the speaker as to what aspects of the law the speaker needs to explain more clearly (if any). The speaker will then be allowed to review their explanation and present it one more time. All peer-assessments will be monitored.

    3. Commercial Law Exam (40%)

    The exam will allow 15 minutes reading time and allow 1.5 hours of writing time. It will cover topics covered in the course content.

    The Commercial Law Primary exam will be held on Monday 16th May in Nexus 10, Level 7 (704 & 705) commencing at 2pm. It will finish at 3:45pm (reading plus writing time). The Exam is OPEN BOOK. Dictionaries are permitted.

    Information Systems section

    1. Active participation in workshops (5%)

    2. AIS Test (15%)

    The date of the AIS test is: Monday 2nd May – 3:30 pm.

    3. AIS Exam (30%)

    The date of the Primary AIS Exam is: Monday 9th May - 2pm.

    [The R/AA Exam is Monday 30 May - 2pm.]The exam for the Information Systems section of the course is CLOSED BOOK. Dictionaries are NOTpermitted. In the Information Section of the course the use of calculators is not permitted.

    Assessment Related Requirements

    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    Commercial Law

    1. Active participation in workshops - 5%

    2. Peer review - 5%

    3. Commercial Law Exam - 40% The date of the Primary Commercial Law Exam is Monday 16th May - 2:00pm [in Nexus
    10, Level 7 (704 & 705)]. It will finish at 3:45pm.

    [The R/AA Commercial Law Exam is Friday 3rd June - 3:00pm].

    The Commecial Law Exam is OPEN BOOK. Dictinoraies ARE permitted.

    Information Systems

    1. Active participation in workshops - 5%

    2. Test - 15%. The date of the AIS test is: Monday 2nd May – 3:30 pm

    3. Exam - 30%. The date of the Primary AIS Exam is: Monday 9th May - 2:00pm.

    [The R/AA Exam is Monday 30 May - 2:00pm.]

    The exam for the Information Systems section of the course is CLOSED BOOK. Dictionaries are NOT
    permitted. In the Information Section of the course the use of calculators is not permitted.
    Presentation of Assignments
    • Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.   
    • All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission.
    • All group assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by all group members before submission.  All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    • Lecturers/markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s Policy on Plagiarism:
    Assignment Guidelines including Referencing Details

    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide will have been given to you at the beginning of your program.  This guide will assist you structure your assignments.  A copy of the guide can also be downloaded from:

    This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including writing essays and management reports, making oral presentations etc.

    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies it is important to draw on the relevant ‘literature’ to support critical analysis. Also essential is to reference the literature used. Correct referencing is important because it identifies the source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)

    The Harvard system is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the Communication Skills Guide.

    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are provided on page 6 of the Communication Skills Guide.

    Late Assignment Submission

    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the Lecturer-in-Charge of the course before the due date.  Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised by a 10% mark reduction for each day that it is late (including week-ends).

    Return of Assignments

    Lecturers aim to mark and return assignments to students within three (3) weeks of the due date with written feedback. Students are responsible for collecting their marked assignments from either their tutorials or lectures. If assignments aren’t collected after two (2) weeks, the assignments will be available at the Student Hub for two (2) weeks.

    Examination Information

    It is each student's responsibility to read the examination dates for each course section.  Misreading the timetable is not accepted as grounds for granting a replacement/additional (sup) exam.

    University staff are not permitted to provide examination times to students over the telephone or in response to personal enquiries.

    Examinations will be held only at the time and locations stated in the University’s Examination Timetable, so they may not be taken in another country.  Students should not make any  arrangements to be absent until after the replacement/additional (sup) exam period.

    For the Commercial Law section of the course, students are permitted to take a Dictionary (English or English-Foreign) into the examination.

    For the Information Systems section of the course, students are NOT permitted to take a Dictionary (English or English-Foreign) into the examination and the use of calculators in the examination is not permitted.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.