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International Summer School

Contract Law

Which promises are legally binding, and which are not? What happens if you break a promise? In what circumstances can you escape from your promise? These are the fundamental questions of contract law.

Contract law is important because of the extent to which it governs our lives: when we are shopping in the supermarket, or renting a house, or employed at work, or booking a holiday - most of our transactions, whether routine or exceptional, are contractual. This module will provide an introduction to the major principles of English contract law.

The module is divided into two halves. The first half is about making and breaking a contract. Here we look at the ingredients necessary to create a binding contract: offer, acceptance, certainty of terms, intention to be bound, and consideration. We also discuss the terms of the contract, and how to control unfair terms, and what remedies are available for breach of contract. The second half is concerned with the vitiating factors, that is, those circumstances which allow one of the parties to escape their contractual obligations: misrepresentation, mistake, frustration, duress, undue influence, unconscionable bargain, and illegality. We also consider restitution, that is, what happens after a contract is set aside.

Module at a Glance

Module Title Contract Law
Module Code ISS1101
Module Convenor Dr Charlie King
Credit Value 7.5 ECTS
Scheduled Teaching 24 x 2 Hour Sessions
Total Module Hours 150 Hours
Guided Independent Study

Pre-Reading Before Arrival
Preparatory readings for lectures and seminars

Formative Assessment

Topic workshops – Oral feedback from lecturer and peers Practice exam question (1125 words) – Oral and written feedback from lecturer

Summative Assessment

Take Home Assessment – 2250 Words – 100% of credit – written feedback

Sample Pre Reading

Contract Law: McKendrick (London: Palgrave, latest edition)

Sample Lecture Sessions

Terms of Contracts

Breach of Contract


Duress and Undue Influence

Apply now

Applications for our 2024 are now closed. Please complete our Register your Interest form to get information on our 2025 programme, including dates and notification of our application window. 

"Studying Contract Law at the University of Exeter gave me a unique insight into development of contract law. The course provided me with a deeper level of understanding of the content, while still being taught at an appropriate standard for those who did not have a prior understanding of the law. Being able to study with such experienced Professors made learning the content simple, interesting and enjoyable."

Laura, Griffith University, Australia

Introduction to International Summer School Contract Law

Find out more about the Contract Law course by hearing from Charlie King, the module convenor for the programme.