Law of Contract for Business

Contracts are an inevitable part of life, and vital in the context of business. The Law of Contract short course equips you, as an entrepreneur, leader and/or manager (private or public sector), with essential perspective and insight to ensure that you apply an informed and effective strategy in relation to the contracts into which you enter.

The focus of the course is on those aspects that feature most prominently in business. The course is strongly oriented towards developing insight and practical application through analysing actual cases and solving real-world problem scenarios. Although there is considerable overlap in terms of the general principles related to the Law of Contract in various countries, there are important finer points to note regarding the specifics in most legal systems – especially in terms of developments in applicable case law in systems drawing on precedents. This course deals specifically with South African Law of Contract, and would be of great value to anyone conducting business in South Africa.


Technology-Enhanced Distance Learning

Starting Date:

Every Month except December and January

Topic Lectures:

Online lectures of each topic

Course Duration:

9 Weeks on a part-time (online) basis


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  • Technology-Enhanced Distance Learning

    All short courses are completed individually through technology-enhanced distance learning. You do not need to attend any classes. You have access to your lecture videos and other material on a weekly basis, and all your assignments are submitted online.

  • Course Fee

    The fee is R 8, 850.00, which includes your online study material. Persons based outside South Africa can pay in US Dollars, Euros or GB Pounds. Payment of fees must be effected before access to the course.

  • Language Requirements


  • Course Availability

    Short courses are available internationally. A new cycle of short courses starts every first Monday of each month from February to November.

  • Learning Outcomes

    After completion of this short course, you will be able to:

    • Understand what the basic divisions of law are, and how various areas of law can affect your life and business.
    • Know when and where contracts are concluded orally or in writing, and the effect of various aspects of offer, acceptance and consensus on the existence or contents of a contract.
    • Have insight into the elements to be considered when asserting or denying a contract, with reference to the legal principles regarding consensus.
    • Identify when a contract or supposed contract might be voidable or void due to mistake, misrepresentation, undue influence or duress.
    • Understand the nature and legal consequences of reasonable and unreasonable mistakes, as well as innocent, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations.
    • Be aware of the most important limitations on the contractual capacity of various persons, and appreciate the effects of a party acting beyond the scope of his or her capacity.
    • Know the basic requirements of contractual legality, and the effect of performance being or becoming impossible before or after the conclusion of a contract or supposed contract.
    • Assess the enforceability of an agreed restraint of trade in a particular instance.
    • Identify the formalities prescribed in respect of certain key contracts, and explain the effects of non-compliance.
    • Understand the position of co-debtors and co-creditors, as well as the basic process and consequences of cession, delegation and assignment.
    • Know the practical implications of common contents of contracts, including cancellation clauses, acceleration clauses and penalty clauses.
    • Be keenly aware of the nature and effect of: essential terms and non-essential terms; express, tacit and implied terms; and suspensive and resolutive conditions or time clauses.
    • Recognise and distinguish between situations of termination of contract and situations of breach of contract, and know the basic consequences of each.
    • Strategise effectively regarding the legal remedies that are available for different forms of breach of contract, with reference to practical examples and case law.
    • Be mindful of the practical impact of the Consumer Protection Act and the National Credit Act on contracts or potential contracts in your business.
    • Know the rights and duties of the parties to a contract of sale, how and when ownership is transferred, and which parties by law bear the risk in various business situations.
    • Understand a range of practical cases dealing with the most pivotal contractual principles applied in the commercial context.
  • Assessment and Awarding of Certificates

    Assessment may involve multiple choice, a brief discussion of an important concept or issue, or solving a short case scenario. Your final short course mark will be based on the marks obtained in two of the assignments during the course and then a final exam. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the short course. Should you achieve a distinction (75% or higher), this will be so indicated on your certificate.

  • Entrance Requirements

    The course is open to anyone who is basically proficient in English and has internet access.

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What past students say about our courses

The MCom programme at Cranefield has fundamentally changed my outlook and made my service delivery and strategic focus more nuanced. The modules are the best strategic and business learning I have undertaken, vastly overtaking my previous studies both within and outside South Africa. I highly recommend Cranefield for every senior government official.

Neil Lewis

Senior Manager: Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA

I have definitely benefitted from my experience with Cranefield. When I completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management, I was a Project Manager at a bank. The course matter delivered by Prof Steyn and his colleagues equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to move across industries and I am now privileged to be the Operations Director of an organization which is leader in transport infrastructure.

Chris Papas

Operations Manager