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Unit of study_

CIVL4813: Contracts Formulation and Management

The objectives of this unit are to give students a fundamental knowledge of the legal system and contract terms under which projects are generally conducted. Initially, emphasis will be on contract negotiations and understanding what negotiation is about and how to prepare for negotiations and also how to manage the negotiation so that a suitable outcome for both parties may be achieved. Also being able to deal with difficult opponents will be something that will be considered. Emphasis will be on the principles of contract formulation, administration and finalisation, including prevention and/or settlement of disputes in projects. The syllabus comprises brief overview of the legal system in Australia and comparison with other legal systems introduction to project delivery systems and the running of a typical project, introduction to contract law and the formation of contracts, the principles of standard form contracts as well as bespoke drafting, an understanding of the risks undertaken by the different contracting parties, a detailed review of a standard contract promoting an understanding of major project issues such as time, variations and payment; implementation and administration; potential liabilities associated with project participation; contract conditions and specifications; understanding insurances and alternate dispute resolution procedures; notification requirements including time bar, understanding the commercial significance of issues such as latent conditions, subcontracting, bank guarantees and security of payment legislation.


Academic unit Civil Engineering
Unit code CIVL4813
Unit name Contracts Formulation and Management
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

CIVL3813 OR ENGG3854
Assumed knowledge

CIVL3805. Students are expected to have grasped the concepts of basic legal and management principles and the understanding of construction and engineering terminologies. As there are no any prerequisite courses for this UoS, without prior knowledge student can perform exceptionally well with regular attendance and participation in course activities.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Peter Cafe,
Lecturer(s) Natalie Perisa ,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Type C: Online. Fixed time during the formal exam period.
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Assignment
Written responses to scenarios
25% Multiple weeks Maximum 2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO3 LO2
Participation group assignment Tutorials
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Mid-semester Quiz
Multiple-choice questions, short-answer
15% Week 09 ~40 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?
  • Participation: responses to discussion board questions
  • Assignment: scenario-based responses
  • Mid-Sem quiz: quiz based on the first half of the semester content.
  • Final Exam: Combined multiple-choice, and long form problem questions testing subjects taught throughout the semester.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Discussion on negotiations, principled and modern; 2. What is it? Why is it important? Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO7
Week 02 Negotiations: Positional bargaining, alternative to positional bargaining Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO7
Week 03 Negotiations: Inventing Options for Mutual Gain, looking at objective criteria, emotional Intelligence Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO6 LO7
Week 04 Negotiations: Body language, negotiating globally, dealing with difficult people, negotiating etiquette Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO6 LO7
Week 05 Contracts: Introduction to contracts Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1
Week 06 1. Intention; 2. Capacity to contract; 2. Invitation to tender; 3. Offers versus invitation to treat Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 07 Contractual Offers, what does this mean? Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 08 Contractual acceptance as compared to offers Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 09 1. Consideration; 2. Implied terms Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 10 1. Exclusion clauses; 2. Variations; 3. Extension of time Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Misrepresentation, mistake, unconscionable conduct Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO5
Week 12 1. Discharge; 2. Negligence Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 13 1. Dispute resolution; 2. Mediation; 3. Arbitration; 4. Expert Determination; 5. Litigation Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

Tutorials: Students will be given case studies to work through problems to reinforce the fundamentals of each weekly subject.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Bailey, I, Bell, M, Understanding Australian Construction Contracts (First). Thomson Reuters, 2008. 343.94078624.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify the requirements for the formation of valid contracts
  • LO2. understand how contract clauses deal with major issues such as time, claims, variations, and payment
  • LO3. identify issues which may give rise to disputes, and appreciate how to minimise and manage disputes
  • LO4. read and understand the basic requirements of an engineering or construction contract, including the rights and obligations of each party, the order of precedence of contract documents, and time restrictions
  • LO5. develop a working knowledge of the appropriate documentation required when administering contracts, giving/receiving notices, claims, and applications for variations/extensions of time/payment
  • LO6. communicate effectively, clearly, and concisely a contractual position to the relevant audience
  • LO7. recognise the importance of effective communication in a dispute forum, including principled negotiation.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
More flexible student experiences have been included.


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