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CIVL4813: Contracts Formulation and Management (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL4813: Contracts Formulation and Management (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Perisa, Natalie
Dr Cafe, Peter
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: CIVL3813 OR ENGG3854.
Brief Handbook Description: The objectives of this unit are to give students a fundamental knowledge of negotiations, 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.
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 prerequisite courses for this UoS, without prior knowledge student can perform exceptionally well with regular attendance and participation in course activities.
Lecturer/s: Perisa, Natalie
Tutor/s: t.b.a.
Timetable: CIVL4813 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Students will be given case studies to work through problems to reinforce the fundamentals of each weekly subject.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
1. Identify the requirements for the formation of valid contracts.
2. Understand how contract clauses deal with major issues such as time, claims, variations, and payment.
3. Identify issues which may give rise to disputes, and appreciate how to minimise and manage disputes.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
4. 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.
5. Develop a working knowledge of the appropriate documentation required when administering contracts, giving/receiving notices, claims, applications for variations/extensions of time/payment.
6. Communicate effectively, clearly and concisely a contractual position to the relevant audience.
7. Recognise the importance of effective communication in a dispute forum, including principled negotiation.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Mid-Sem Quiz No 15.00 Week 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
2 Assignment Yes 25.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7,
3 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
4 Tutorial Yes 10.00 Multiple Weeks
Assessment Description: Mid-Sem Exam: Multiple-choice exam based on the first half of the semester lectures.

Assignment: Written. maximum 2500 words.

Final Exam: Combined multiple-choice and long form problem question exam testing subjects taught throughout the semester
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Discussion on negotiations, principled and modern. What is it? why it is important?
Week 2 Negotiations –Positional bargaining, alternative to positional bargaining
Week 3 Negotiations-Inventing Options for Mutual Gain, looking at objective criteria, Emotional Intelligence.
Week 4 Negotiations-Body language, negotiating globally, dealing with difficult people, negotiating etiquette.
Week 5 Contracts-Introduction to contracts
Week 6 Intention, capacity to contract

Invitation to Tender

Offers versus Invitation to Treat
Assessment Due: Mid-Sem Quiz
Week 7 Contractual Offers

What does this mean?
Week 8 Contractual Acceptance as compared to offers
Week 9 Consideration, Implied Terms
Week 10 Exclusion Clauses


Extension of Time
Week 11 Misrepresentation,


Unconscionable conduct
Week 12 Discharge,

Week 13 Dispute resolution



Expert Determination

STUVAC (Week 14) Consolidate knowledge from first half of semester, note relevant clauses of standard form contract.
Exam Period Review tutorial materials for long form problem question solving examples.
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Civil/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Civil 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil / Arts 2016, 2017
Civil / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Civil / Science 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 42.87%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 47.15%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.