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Contracts (LAWS50029)

Graduate coursework level 5Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 5
Subject codeLAWS50029
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject studies:

  • the content of contracts;
  • invalidating factors in contract formation; and
  • the termination of contracts.

The study of contract builds on the foundations laid in LAWS50026 Obligations, and includes express terms and implied terms. The study of termination includes termination for breach, for failure of condition and by frustration, and includes some consideration of the proprietary consequences of contracts. The study of invalidating factors includes misinformation (mistake, misrepresentation, misleading conduct), abuse of power (duress, undue influence, third party impropriety, unconscionable dealing, and unconscionable conduct) and illegality.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this subject is for students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the foundations of the law of contract through close reading of cases, statutes and scholarly writing and through participation in class discussion. It is expected that on completion of the subject students should have a sound understanding of the law relating to the identification and interpretation of contract terms, and the grounds on which a contract can be rescinded or terminated, and will be able to:

  • critically analyse and challenge the basis of relevant contract law decisions;
  • identify relevant principles in cases and statutes;
  • apply those principles to particular fact situations to reach well-reasoned conclusions about the rights and obligations of the parties in those fact situations;
  • develop creative arguments as to ways in which the relevant principles could be applied to novel fact situations; and
  • evaluate relevant principles and analyse particular problems from a range of theoretical and/or comparative perspectives.

Generic skills

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following skills:

  • the capacity for close reading and critical analysis of a range of sources relevant to contract law;
  • the capacity for critical, independent and creative thought and reflection on the role and function of contract law;
  • the capacity to solve complex problems related to contract law, including through the collection, analysis and evaluation of information; and
  • the capacity to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike.


Eligibility and requirements


Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50023 Legal Method and Reasoning
Summer Term
LAWS50024 Principles of Public Law
Semester 1
LAWS50026 Obligations
Semester 1
LAWS50025 Torts
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Optional interim assessment of a 1-hour exam during first half of semester (30%) AND a 2-hour exam during scheduled examination period (70%);


  • 3-hour exam scheduled during the main examination period (100%).

More information on the above assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorArlen Duke
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours48 hours
    Total time commitment144 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    Email: law-aso@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 4475
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details

144 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • Jeannie Paterson, Andrew Robertson and Arlen Duke, Contract Cases and Materials, 13th Edition, 2016.
    • Specialist materials will also be made available from Melbourne Law School.
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    If required, please contact law-admissions@unimelb.edu.au for subject coordinator approval.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 27 July 2019