Construction Law is a vibrant area of law involving a wide range of professionals. And since 1994, the University of Strathclyde has provided the Master of Laws (LLM) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Construction Law on an evening study basis over one or two years.
The master’s degree in construction law provides extensive training and insights for lawyers and construction professionals with an interest in developing a thorough knowledge of construction law for practical application.
It is designed for lawyers seeking greater understanding of the processes and management of construction projects, as well as in depth legal expertise relating to such projects, and, construction professionals whose work involves them in any of the various stages of major construction projects from commissioning to completion.
Delivered by experts from Strathclyde University and from the professions, the master’s degree in Construction Law provides a unique opportunity to gain an invaluable postgraduate construction qualification from one of Scotland's leading Law Schools.
To facilitate learning of the essential aspects of law and construction, the programme includes compulsory modules for law graduates: The Context of Construction, and for non-lawyers: Legal Process and the Law of Contract and Other Obligations.
Construction Law is constantly developing through case law and legislation to meet the challenges thrown up by the development of the industry worldwide. With delays in landmark projects like the Scottish Parliament and Wembley and work underway for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Construction Industry is very much in the spotlight.
New legislation has transformed how disputes are handled in a sector which was known for ingrained adversarial attitudes. This coupled with a much more sophisticated approach to front end risk analysis and dispute management techniques - with a greater emphasis on partnering - have created a cultural shift. Other dynamics such as globalisation and environmental/sustainability issues are all at work in shaping the future of the Industry. Construction Law is specialised and covers a number of legal areas. This is due to the nature of the industry, the numbers and range of parties involved, the nature of the issues, and the large financial stakes. This is reflected, in particular, in the use of complex and lengthy standard form contracts and a range of elaborate legislative provisions affecting the industry.
In the process Construction Law has emerged as a set of legal concepts and rules that operate with variants through the whole of the English-speaking world. The Construction Law programme is therefore intended to be of relevance both domestically and internationally. In addition to the specialised knowledge and enhanced problem solving skills which candidates gain, successful completion provides an array of additional benefits:
* Enhanced career advancement
* Improved service to clients
* Exemption from the associate and member examinations of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
* Satisfaction of your professional CPD obligations
* A further academic qualification as tangible evidence of your expertise
* Networking opportunities with professionals from all sectors of the industry
The LLM/PgDip has been running successfully for over ten years and its structure and content are subject to ongoing review to reflect changes in the law and industry, as well as to embrace changing technology in delivering the course.
The modules outlined below were offered in previous years but may be subject to some change in future: please contact the Department for the most up-to-date information.
The Context of Construction
This introductory module is compulsory for Law graduates in order to familiarise them with the structure, processes and procedures, and all the many professionals involved in the Construction Industry, such as project managers, architects, designers, planners, civil engineers, building services, quantity surveyors, et al.
Issues covered include :
* The Nature of the Construction Industry
* Clients, Firms and Projects case study in the Construction Process
* Contractual Strategies
* Professions working within the Construction Industry
* Disputes in Contracts
* Construction Reports
* Futures and Trends in Construction
Legal Process and the Law of Contract & Other Obligations
This introductory module is compulsory for those without a Law Degree, to familiarise them with the sources of law, legal procedures, and the concepts of substantive law, as a general background to other more specialist modules.
The areas of law covered include:
* Law of Obligations
* The Law of Contract, general principles, contract terms
* Unjustified Enrichment
* Delictual Liability and Negligence
Law of the Construction Industry
Designed to provide not only an understanding of the law directly relating to construction projects, and the obligations arising there from, this module also develops the skills required to deal with issues/claims that commonly arise. This module is compulsory for all.
Issues covered include:
* The role of the Contract Administrator, Quantity Surveyor and Planning Supervisor under JCT 2005
* The Employers' Obligations and Contractors' Obligations
* Completion, Liquidated Damages and Making Good Defects
* Extension of time
* Critical Path analysis techniques
* Loss and Expense
* Legal black holes
* Termination consequences, retention of title
* NEC3 structure
* Indemnity and Insurance
The Law & Practice of Construction Management - Construction Procurement
This module provides an understanding of construction procurement with particular reference to legal issues and risk issues consequent thereon. The aim of the module is to show the development of various forms of procurement over the last 20 years or so and also to examine practical management issues in relation to construction projects. This module is compulsory for all.
Issues covered include:
* Traditional procurement techniques
* Design and build
* Novation of professionals
* Design liability
* Management contracting and construction management
* Early Contractor Involvement Contracts
* Partnering and Framework Agreements
* Private Finance Initiative
* Letters of Intent
This module provides an understanding of different types of dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on the law and procedure of Arbitration, Adjudication, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Class members either take this module, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) (subject to demand/threshold numbers) or a module from another LLM course.
Issues covered include:
* Sources and Principles of Arbitration Law (International and Domestic)
* Adjudication: an in-depth examination of case law and practice flowing from the 1996 Construction Act
* Alternative Dispute Resolution
* Expert Witness
* Enforcement and Diligence
By taking the Dispute Resolution module as part of the LLM course, students gain exemption from the associate and member examinations of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Private Finance Initiative (subject to demand/threshold numbers)
This module provides an examination of the development of PFI/PPP in the UK and on an international basis, as well as providing an understanding of the major issues, contracts and players involved in PFI/PPP projects. Class members either take this module, Dispute Resolution or a module from another LLM course.
Issues covered include :
* A History of Project Finance - the Private Finance Initiative and the Public / Private Partnerships
* Concession arrangements
* Insurance Risks on Major Projects
* Shareholder Arrangements
* International Project Finance