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Fundamentals of Built Environment Law (ABPL90290)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90290
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

An introduction to the principles and legal concepts that apply to the built environment professions and how this law develops and changes. The subject covers:

  • the fundamentals of common law;
  • liability in tort law for injury or loss caused to other people or their property;
  • legally binding contracts, their terms, obligations and breaches. These concepts extend into construction contracts, standard forms of contract, liabilities, litigation and arbitration;
  • concepts of property and ownership in Australia. The legal nature of land, improvements, fixtures and chattels, land registration systems and encumbrances. Co-ownership: subdivision, joint tenancy in common. licenses and leases. occupier's liability;
  • planning law;
  • environmental law;
  • intellectual property covering copyright, patents and consultancy issues.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  • Have a sound general understanding of the principles and legal concepts of common law and tort law;
  • Be aware of the different forms of construction contracts and the characteristic features and differences between each;
  • Understand the land tenure systems in Australia including ownerships, subdivisions and property leasing arrangements;
  • Be familiar with planning and environmental laws, the implementation systems and adoption by the professions;
  • Have a basic understanding of ownership rights with respect to intellectual property.

Generic skills

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

  • the capacity to analyse a range of legal environmental frameworks;
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • ability to find and apply legal principles within the environment professions.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
BLAW10001 Principles of Business Law
Semester 1
Semester 2

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



  • Assignment equivalent to 1000 words (20%) due in week 8, focussing on the Property law and associated legislation.
  • Assignment equivalent to 1000 words (20%) due in week 11, researching different project delivery models and associated legal issues.
  • Three hour examination equivalent to 3000 words during the examination period (60%) focussing on a wide range of issues covered during the semester relating to all aspects of the Fundamentals of Built Environment Law. A minimum mark of 40% has to be acieved in the examination in order to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorRobert Crawford
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours (3 hrs per week, 2 hrs lectures, 1 hr tutorial)
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period23 July 2018 to 21 October 2018
    Last self-enrol date 3 August 2018
    Census date31 August 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 September 2018
    Assessment period ends16 November 2018

    Semester 2 contact information

    Robert Crawford (Subject Coordinator)


Time commitment details

170 Hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Comprehensive coursework notes including selected readings provided via the University book room.

  • 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.

  • Available to Study Abroad and Exchange students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad.

Last updated: 16 June 2018