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Commercial transactions: law and practice

This module explores various types of commercial transactions, the role played by finance, and the forms of business organisations which can enter into commercial transactions. You’ll examine the legal regulation of the sale of goods, the supply of services, and agency, distribution and franchise agreements. In addition to gaining knowledge and understanding of this important and growing area that affects business organisations, you will develop associated legal and study skills. The module deals principally with the law of England and Wales.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module code
Study level
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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What you will study

This is a 30-credit module suitable for study if you have an interest in the way in which the law impacts on and regulates commercial transactions, and can be studied as part of the free-choice element of the LLB. 

The module considers the legal principles of contract law and the sale of goods in relation to business and consumer transactions. It also explores the role played by finance, consumer protection and competition law. In addition, you will be provided with an opportunity to develop a range of associated skills including:

  • the basic principles of drafting commercial agreements and how they affect business and consumer transactions
  • problem solving by identifying material facts and legal issues, applying legal principles and exceptions to find solutions
  • conduct legal research and come to a reasoned conclusion.

Professional recognition

If you are intending to use this module as part of the free choice for the LLB, and you hope to enter the Legal Professions, you should read carefully the careers information on The Open University Law School website. There are different entry regulations into the legal professions in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. You should read the information on the website as it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet these requirements.

Outside the UK

Please note that this module is only concerned with the law of England and Wales.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor with whom you can communicate by email, telephone and post, who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Your tutor will also run online tutorials that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to take part in. 

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment or EMA on paper.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a project. 

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014 and will be available for the last time.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school


This is an OU level 2 module and you will need the study skills required for this level of study, which may have been obtained either from OU level 2 study or from another university.

While this module can be studied on a stand-alone basis it assumes that you already have knowledge and understanding of the English legal system. We strongly advise you to study both Rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law (W100) (if you are a non-graduate) and Understanding law (W200) before starting this OU level 2 module.

Please note that prior study of W100 alone is insufficient preparation for this OU level 2 module.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


Start End England fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015 £1316.00

New to OU? Registration closed. Already an OU Student? If you can pay in full by card you can register here until 03/10/14


The deadline for financial support applications has now passed

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your annual fees and spreads them out over up to a year, enabling you to pay your fees monthly and walk away with a qualification without any further debt. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Gift vouchers

You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the following denominations, £10, £20, £50 and £100. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. You may, for example wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser.

Note: Your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is based upon current details for  year 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015.
This information was provided on 20/09/2014.

What's included

Two module manuals and case book. Access to a module website that offers forums, learning resources, news items and access, via the OU library, to online legal databases for research purposes.
The study materials are updated annually, but it may be necessary to update during your study of the module if there is a major (and unexpected) change to the law.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

If you have a disability

The written study material is available in a comb-bound format. The study materials (excluding text books) may be available on CD-ROM in PDF format and are also available to download from the College of Law website. Some components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. You will need to spend time using a personal computer and the internet.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.