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.
Fits around full-time work
This course is designed to fit around work. With flexible hours and 24/7 study access.
You’re in expert hands
We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
How you’ll study
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.
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.
You’ll learn from internationally experienced PMO Manager Dr Clive Randall and academics from our School of Law.
This course is assessed entirely online.
You’ll be assessed throughout your course. We use a range of assessments designed to encourage you to reflect and draw upon your own professional experience.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service – including one-to-one advice sessions
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course tutors
Professor Greg Gordon
Greg is Head of our Law School. Prior to joining us as a lecturer in 2004, he practised as a commercial litigator in Aberdeen and London, primarily in the oil and gas sector. Greg leads our LLM in Oil and Gas Law and is a local committee member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.View Greg’s profile
Dr Clive Randall
Clive’s career spans over 30 years in Civil Engineering, project controls, then the oil and gas industry. He’s sat on project boards and held senior positions on some of the UK’s largest energy infrastructure projects. Clive has been accountable for numerous business services functions in both project environments and operations. These include business planning and strategy, project risk, economics, cost management, data management, governance and assurance, and stage-gate processes. He now mentors and supports various companies in these areas.
Kirsty is a Teaching Fellow in our School of Law. She’s a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, and Robert Gordon University. Prior to joining us in 2021, Kirsty worked as a Solicitor and Notary Public and appeared regularly at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. She is also a member of the University’s Centre for Scots Law.View Kirsty’s profile
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:
Masters in Project Management
Accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM).
Delivered online, part-time.
Also available to study to Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or Postgraduate Certificate level (60 credits).View MSc Project Management
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.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
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.