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Unit information: International Sale of Goods in 2023/24

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name International Sale of Goods
Unit code LAWDM0143
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Mark Campbell
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Following a general introduction to international sale of goods, the unit will address two main areas. First, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna, 1980) (CISG), a measure aimed at harmonising legal rules on international sales, and which has been adopted by more than 80 countries (although not the UK). There will be consideration of matters such as CISG’s sphere of application, the correct approach to its interpretation, and remedies. Second, aspects of English law relevant to international sales, including the particular rules that have developed in relation to FOB and CIF contracts. This part of the unit will consider the Sale of Goods Act 1979, including provisions relevant to passing of property and risk, as well as remedies.

The aims of the unit are as follows.

  • To understand the legal issues raised by an international sale of goods.
  • To understand the particular forms of contracts that have developed to meet the needs of international sales transactions (e.g. FOB/CIF contracts, INCOTERMS).
  • To understand and analyze the relevant provisions of the CISG.
  • To understand and analyze relevant aspects of English law.
  • To be able to identify the legal problems posed by complex factual situations and to understand how the applicable rules and principles provide answers to such problems.
  • To understand the ways in which current legal frameworks dealing with international sales might be reformed.
  • To understand the significance of measures aimed at harmonizing legal rules relevant to international trade.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, the student will be able, to a degree commensurate with the level at which the unit is taught, to do the following.

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of legal issues that arise in connection with contracts for the international sale of goods and be able to offer a critical analysis of those issues.
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of relevant aspects of CISG and English sales law and be able to engage in a critical assessment of such legal rules and principles.
  • Critically assess the rationales for, and significance of, measures aimed at harmonizing legal rules relevant to international trade.
  • Be able to apply relevant legal rules and principles to hypothetical problem scenarios.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

2 x summative assessments: 2 x Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (50% each)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0143).