module specification

BL5051 - Consumer Protection Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Consumer Protection Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   In-class assessment (45 minutes)
Coursework 70%   Problem based essay 2,500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Thursday Morning
Autumn semester City Thursday Morning

Module summary

The area of consumer protection law has seen a marked increase in its profile and in the level of legislation, regulations and directives applicable. Membership of the European Union, the move towards a single market and the reduction of trade barriers, have contributed to the increase in the quality and quantity of goods in circulation within the Community and the harmonisation of consumer law. One example of this impact can be found within the area of product liability and the development of strict liability in relation to injury caused by defective consumer products.

Other contributing factors include the influence of consumer advice organisations such as the Consumer Association and self - regulation within consumer related industries such as the travel industry. Consumer law has also responded to the changes in society and technology in the development of regulations that focus on the concepts of E-Commerce and distance selling. A consequence of these developments is an increasingly complex and interconnected set of EU Directives, Regulations and statute law.

Prior learning requirements

Level 4 business law module or equivalent

Module aims

The module aims to:

1. explore the relationship between consumers and businesses and to understand the significance of the intervention of the State in the creation and continued development of legal obligations;

2.  help the student understand the impact of European law and non-governmental organisations in the development of consumer protection law;

3.  to appreciate and explore the impact of the legislation and codification of consumer transactions and its response to the changing needs of society;

4.  to encourage students to think critically in the application of the consumer law rules and to adopt a practical approach in producing solutions to problems.



Introduction to Consumer Law
Sources of consumer law and consumer institutions
contractual, criminal, statutory liability

The Sale of Goods and the Provision of Services - domestic and international
Contractual obligations and remedies for the provision of goods and services
Rights of rejection - EU impact, limitation of liability and exclusion clauses in business and consumer contracts.  Introduction to E-Commerce.

Product Liability
Civil and criminal liability for defective and unsafe goods. Distinguished from common law rules of negligence. Development of case law and strict liability. Consumer Protection Act 1987 Part I&II.  Aspects of criminal liability: General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. 

Consumer Finance
Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended by Consumer Credit Act 2006.

Learning and teaching

During bit lectures and seminars students will be required to lead group discussion on issues as directed. Case studies will be used in class discussion to focus on legal problems.
Students' learning will be structured around the weekly contact and will be complemented by the students' independent work based on the directed reading contained within the module booklet.  The three hours contact time will encompass a mixture of lectures and seminars. It is anticipated that the lecture/seminar structure may vary depending on the volume and complexity of the specific subjects within the module. In some weeks the lecture will be replaced by a two-hour seminar session and students will be notified in advance. Every week, the students will be required to read the recommended chapters in the textbooks and articles to compliment the themes covered during the lectures.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

1. critically analyse and apply civil procedures available for contracts for the provision of goods and services;

2. analyse and explain the use and validity of exclusion clause in consumer and non-consumer relationships;

3. analyse and explain statutory civil liability for injury caused by defective products as distinguished from common law liability;

4. understand and explain the statutory criminal liability of producers and suppliers for goods in circulation;

5. appreciate and analyse the distinction between contractual and criminal liability for statements relating to goods and services;

6. research and analyse current legal issues relating to consumer protection law;


Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy will allow for the delivery of the learning outcomes outlined above. The in-class assessment/coursework will focus on a topical current issue within consumer law and will account for 30% of the overall grade. The second assessment point will involve in depth research and analysis in the form of an extended problem based essay and will account for 70% of the overall grade.


Woodroffe & Lowe's Consumer Law and Practice, Sweet & Maxwell, 2010
Atiyah, Sale of Goods, 12th ed., Pitman Publishing, 2010
Furmston, Commercial and Consumer Law, Routledge, 2010
Rose, F,D, Blackstone's Commercial and Consumer Statutes, (most recent edition) (2011) Blackstone Press
Dobson, Sale of Goods and Consumer Credit, 6th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2000
Bridge, M, The Sale of Goods, Oxford University Press, 2000
Harvey & Parry, Law of Consumer Protection and Fair Trading, 15th ed., Butterworths 2000
Macleod, J., Consumer Sales Law Cavendish, 2002,
Miller, C,J, Harvey, B,W, Parry, D, Consumer and Trading Law, Text, Cases and Materials, 1998, Oxford University Press

Relevant law journals are available from the library (hardcopies) and LMU on-line library resources (e.g. LexisNexis, Lawtel and WestLaw)  (The Week in Europe)  (EU official web site)  (EU consumer affairs)  (UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills)  (Office of Fair Trading)  (UK, European Consumer Centre)