Business Environments and Construction Law

Module aims

  • To enable students to appreciate and harness human assets in the modern business environment. 
  • To enable students to discuss, as engineers, the business and legal environment for construction sector in the UK.  
  • To show students how law/legal systems shape the sector.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss concepts of people in organisations doing deals and performing work that carries significant risks, with financial and societal factors, and participate in team-based activity to apply/recognise some concepts.
  • Recognise core business/law relationships affecting civil and environmental engineering.
  • Discuss legal risks in terms of torts, contracts, statutory obligations and engineering dispute resolution processes, particularly adjudication, and make use of insights from the B5 module.
  • Compare key differences between the UK ‘common law’ legal system and other legal systems.
  • Relate the business/law concepts to civil engineering practice and project management, using a system of case study scenarios.

Module syllabus

The course is introductory; there is no assumed knowledge of specialist theory. 

  • Business Environments: Harnessing Human assets.  Includes an in-class team-based assessed activity.
  • Construction Law: UK legal system, industry context, disputes, project management. Topics include liabilities in contract and tort; construction-specific law; relevance to project management and industry reforms


Co-Requisites: CIVE97019 Microeconomic Theory, CIVE97025 Innovation in Civil Engineering, CIVE97021 Project Management

Teaching methods

Business Environments: Professor Malhotra uses lectures combined with discussion, audio-visual material, scenarios and group-based games.   This complements and informs the Human Resources aspect of the B3 Project Management and builds on material covered in the B5 Innovation in Civil Engineering module.

Construction Law Tes Adamou and Alison Ahearn use an active-learning approach mixing traditional ‘lecture’ information followed-up by in-class discussions of scenario, to develop the skills of discussing legal problems.

In-class non-assessed law quizzes may be offered as learning aids.   


Full details are provided in a separate assessment document.

Module leaders

Ms Alison Ahearn
Dr Namrata Malhotra