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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Law

LAW41915: Carriage of Goods by Sea

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to M1K116 Laws
Tied to M1K616 European Trade and Commercial Law
Tied to M1K316 International Trade and Commercial Law


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to acquire an in-depth understanding of specialist contracts used in the carriage of goods by sea in the context of domestic law and international conventions, and to apply these rules to some common disputes in this area


  • This module gives students the opportunity to develop a knowledge of an element of international trade; that part of maritime law that deals with the documents used to protect the interests of the parties to the contract of carriage of goods by sea. The core of the course will focus on bills of lading and charterparties. The module will also consider the main international conventions that operate in this area i.e. the Hague Visby and the Hamburg Rules. This module will cover the following topics:
  • 1. The carriage of goods by sea in the context of English contract law and international conventions;
  • 2. Parties to the contract of carriage of goods by sea;
  • 3. Bills of lading;
  • 4. Charterparties;
  • 5. Passing of property;
  • 6. Loss of goods;
  • 7. Damage to goods;
  • 8. Breach;
  • 9. Frustration;
  • 10. Remedies.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of carriage of goods by sea.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse complex legal arguments so far as they relate to the carriage of goods by sea.
  • Be able to interpret and apply international conventions in so far as they relate to carriage of goods by sea.
  • Be able to apply these principles to a range of scenarios involving the carriage of goods by sea.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the law in relation to carriage of goods by sea
Key Skills:
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to research and communicate effectively orally and in writing on aspects of carriage of goods by sea.
  • Be able to use appropriate web-based materials for conducting research.
  • Be able to analyse and explain complex material.
  • Be able to do all of the above independently

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The teaching will be based on some introductory lectures followed by seminars supported by substantial but targeted prior reading by the students. Seminar teaching will enable the teaching staff to communicate material and ensure that the appropriate level of subject knowledge and skills are being attained, and that problems with key skills can be addressed where necessary.
  • The assessment in the form of two 3000-word essays enables students to demonstrate detailed subject knowledge, to apply subject skills and key skills in relation to a specific legal topic.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 Weekly with a few reading weeks 1 hour 6
Seminars 10 Weekly with a few reading weeks 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3,000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

The course will incorporate elements of formative assessment, but the methods of assessment may vary from year to year. They may incorporate: written work, either an essay or problems question or individual presentations

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University