Join us online to study the legal aspects of project contract management.

Learn about the legal principles, contracts, and supply chain processes involved in establishing and managing projects.

With expert guidance from industry, you’ll explore the role of law and its impact on project contracts. You’ll develop your knowledge of contract law and intellectual property (IP) law, contract types and contract lifecycles, negotiation and dispute resolution.

You’ll learn to:

  • identify appropriate contract management strategies
  • manage each stage of the contract lifecycle, and contractual relationships
  • avoid and resolve contractual disputes
  • use basic contract negotiation techniques.

Study with us anywhere and set your own study hours on this flexible online course that fits around full-time work.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of our accredited:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this accredited MSc qualification.

What you’ll study

In this course, you’ll cover the following topics:

Introduction to the legal system

  • Legal research.
  • Legal methodology.

Introduction to contract law

  • Formation of contracts.
  • Contract validity.
  • Terms of contracts, including limitation of liability and statutory regulation of contract terms.
  • Breach of contract.
  • Impossibility of performance.
  • Company contracts.
  • Choice of law and dispute resolution.

Further aspects of law relevant to project management

  • Overview of IP law.
  • Legal obligations of directors and managers.

Development of a project contract strategy

  • Leverage: corporate, alliance, strategic supplier status, frame agreements, Kraljic matrix, stakeholder matrix.

Contract lifecycle models

  • Three lifecycle models – Cullen, OGC (Office of Government Commerce), IACCM (International Association for Contract and Commercial Management).
  • Using the IACCM as the base process for the course and assignment case study.

Negotiation and disputes

  • Negotiation strategy, tactics and planning, including ethics, perception, cognition, and emotion.
  • Types of dispute, including change – a major source of disputes.
  • Dispute resolution systems and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Examining case studies of disputes.

You’ll also explore:

  • Private contracts and government contracts.
  • Supply chain and value chain definitions.
  • The importance of a scalable risk-based process for putting contracts in place for goods and services.
  • The team required for successful project contract management, the roles of the players and the project manager.
  • Commercial skills and competency requirements.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Describe the role of law and its impact on contracts, together with the basic elements of contract law.
  • Explain the role of intellectual property law and evaluate its implications for contractual relationships.
  • Identify the right type of contract and the important terms and conditions for any given situation.
  • Manage each stage of the contract lifecycle, using appropriate tools and techniques to ensure project success.
  • Resolve contractual issues between clients and contractors effectively, including managing contract disputes within business relationships.
  • Create a professionally presented written report incorporating elements of self-reflection.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance-learning Commercial and Contractual Issues course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • recorded lectures and lecture notes
  • live discussions
  • virtual classroom collaborative sessions
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from internationally experienced PMO Manager Dr Clive Randall and academics from our School of Law.

Your course tutors

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:


This course will help you move into project management roles with confidence.

If you already work in a project-related environment, you’ll gain skills to move forward in your career, and expand your professional network.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have:

  • relevant experience that supports this level of learning, or
  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree.

You do not need to have a degree to join this course – you’re welcome to apply if you have relevant professional experience.

Apply for this course

Start date
22 May 2023
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