LAW 1510 - Contract Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

The course acquaints students with the common law rules relating to enforceable agreements and puts those rules in their practical perspective. The course is not directly concerned with the statutory modifications made with respect to specific classes of contract (eg sale of goods), or with the more general controls imposed by the Australian Consumer Law, which are dealt with in other courses, though it will refer to those regimes and explain their relevance. The following topics will be covered: remedies for breach of contract; formation; privity of contract; terms and interpretation; performance and termination; vitiating factors.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1510
    Course Contract Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501
    Corequisites LAW 1501
    Incompatible LAW 1003, LAW 1503
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description The course acquaints students with the common law rules relating to enforceable agreements and puts those rules in their practical perspective. The course is not directly concerned with the statutory modifications made with respect to specific classes of contract (eg sale of goods), or with the more general controls imposed by the Australian Consumer Law, which are dealt with in other courses, though it will refer to those regimes and explain their relevance. The following topics will be covered: remedies for breach of contract; formation; privity of contract; terms and interpretation; performance and termination; vitiating factors.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Alex Wawryk

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Analyse, evaluate and apply general principles of contract law, undertake legal research using a range of primary and secondary materials at a foundational level.

    2. Identify relevant legal issues and apply relevant legal principles to generate solutions to complex problems relating to contractual dealings.

    3. Develop well-structured, cohesive and persuasive written arguments for a legal audience. 

    4. Exercise judgement in the identification and application of relevant legal principles to a contractual dispute in an academic environment.

    5. Embody professionalism and ethical behaviour in providing legal advice in an academic environment.

    6. Use reflection and feedback to inform development of the capacity to effectively analyse problems and apply relevant legal principles to generate meaningful solutions.

    The Legal Practitioners' Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC) sets rules for the
    academic requirements for admission to legal practice in South Australia.
    Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding and application
    of 11 core areas of legal knowledge. This course teaches the following topics
    within these core areas:

    Formation, including capacity, formalities,
    privity and consideration  
    Content and construction of contract
    Vitiating factors   
    Fiduciary obligations      
    Equitable remedies

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be supplied, through MyUni, with weekly study guides that outline the material and issues to be covered in both lectures and seminars.

    The prescribed textbook for the course is Stewart, Swain and Fairweather, Contract Law: Principles and Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
    Recommended Resources
    Students may want to acquire a casebook with conveniently edited summaries of various court decisions that involve relevant issues of contract law, though this is not essential. The following two casebooks in particular are recommended — either would be suitable:

    •  Paterson, Robertson and Duke, Contract: Cases and Materials (13th ed, Thomson, 2016)
    •  Carter, Cases and Materials on Contract Law in Australia (6th ed, Lexis Nexis, 2012)

    Here are some other texts that students might wish to use for reference, in addition to the prescribed text:

    •  Paterson, Robertson and Duke, Principles of Contract Law (5th ed, Thomson, 2016)
    •  Carter, Contract Law in Australia (7th ed, Lexis Nexis, 2018)
    •  Willmott, Christensen, Butler and Dixon, Contract Law (5th ed, OUP, 2018)
    •  Seddon and Bigwood, Cheshire & Fifoot’s Law of Contract (11th Aust ed, Lexis Nexis, 2017)

    These are by no means the only contract law books available. In particular, there are a range of introductory or ‘basic principles’ books. Mone of these in particular are recommended. If students feel the need to acquire or use such a text, they should choose whichever one makes most sense to them or seems most suited to their needs.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni course page for Contract Law can be accessed at

    Besides this course outline and the study guides, students can use MyUni to  access copies of the PowerPoints used in lectures, recordings of the  lectures, any materials that students are specifically required to read for the seminars, and assessment tasks. There is also a Discussion Board for the course on MyUni. This has been set up as a way  of enabling students enrolled in the course to communicate with one  another. Students may use it to post questions that they are hoping some other student can answer. But if their question is really to one of the teachers in the course, they should e-mail that teacher directly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The Contract Law course has a value of 3 units and will involve 2 hours of lectures and a 1-hour seminar each week.

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

    The course requires a combined weekly commitment of 3 hours attending lectures and seminars or a total of 36 hours of formal class time across the semester. In addition to the time spent attending the lectures and seminars, there is a requirement that students prepare for the seminars. To actively and productively participate, students will have to do reading and preparation. Students should expect to devote an average of 12 hours per week to their studies in the course, including the scheduled classes and the online quizzes.
    Learning Activities Summary
    A summary of weekly lecture and seminar topics will be made available through the course website.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Quizzes (10) Individual Throughout semester 5% (10 x 0.5%) Not redeemable 1, 6
    Assignment Individual Fri 13 September 2019, 2pm 30% Redeemable
    by final exam for mark of at least 45%
    Final exam Individual Exam period 65 or 95% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The assignment is compulsory, because it covers essential material that is not assessed in the final exam. Failure to complete this item of assessment will result in course failure.
    Assessment Detail
    1. Online quizzes (5%)
    Students will be expected to complete 10 online quizzes, released over Weeks 3-12. Each quiz will involve 10 multiple-choice questions on material and issues previously covered in lectures. To complete a quiz, students must answer all questions correctly. Each quiz may be attempted as many times as is necessary to complete it. Each quiz successfully completed will be worth 0.5% of the total mark for the course. Each quiz must be completed before the start of the week following its release.

    2. Assignment (30% redeemable)
    This compulsory exercise will involve a single problem-style question, raising issues covered in Remedies and Formation. Answers must not exceed 2,000 words in length. The question will be available on Friday 6 September 2019, from 9:00am on the course website. The due date will be Friday 13 September 2019, 2:00pm.

    The assignment mark is redeemable, for those who get a mark of at least 45%. If a student gets at least that mark for the assignment, but does better on the final exam, only their final exam mark will count towards their overall result. Otherwise, the assignment counts for 30% of the overall mark.

    3. Final Exam (65% or 95%)
    There will be a 2 hour final exam, plus 10 minutes’ reading time. The exam will be open book, meaning that any notes, materials or books (excluding University library books) may be taken into the examination room. The exam will test understanding of all issues covered in the course, with the exception of Formation.

    The weighting of the final exam will vary as follows:
    • for a student who gets below 45% for the assignment or does better on the assignment than the final exam – 65%
    • for a student who gets at least 45% for the assignment but does better on the final exam – 95%

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin. Details on how to do this will be provided with the assignment instructions.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.


    1. Late Submission: Submission penalties of 5% (of the total mark of the assignment) for each day (or part thereof) will be deducted for late submission (including weekends and public holidays). So an assignment graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is up to one day late, for a final mark of 58%, 10% if it is two days late, etc.
    2. Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated word length will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks available per 100 words or part thereof. So with a word limit of 2,000, an assignment graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 2001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 2101 words long, etc.  The word count for this purpose includes all headings and all citations, whether in footnotes or otherwise, but excludes cover page information.  Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.

    Turnaround time: The interim assignment for this course will be returned to students within 4 weeks of the submission date. Group feedback, together with written, individual feedback will be provided.

    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

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

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • 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.