Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Principles of Law and Health and Safety

Course summary

Course code: BUIL1210
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Built Environment
Course Coordinator(s): David Thomas


Pre and co requisites



Property and construction professionals in both the private and public sector provide advice across a range of issues within the construction industry. In order to give appropriate advice it is necessary to consider the impact of both health and safety implication and legal implications on advice given, in a cogent and reasoned form.
Students should also develop an understanding of the context in which they operate in terms of working safely and legally and be able to understand how this affects the business environment in which they work.

The course aims to:

• Equip students with the ability to recognise and resolve legal problems within a framework of the law and legal systems of England and Wales.
• Develop an understanding of the general principles of the law of contract, including formation, matters affecting validity and enforceability, discharge and remedies for breach and use of standard form contracts.
• Enable students to understand the general principles of the law of tort, including liability, remedies, defences, negligence, nuisance, trespass and occupiers liability.
• Introduce and explain key legislation relating to construction.
• Relate the Requirements of Health and Safety with the legal aspect such as protection of the works, the workforce, visitors to site and neighbouring property and persons.
• The team approach and the Construction, Design and Management Regulations.
• The construction context - Health and Safety Executive fatality and injury statistics.
• The role of personal protective equipment and communicating health and safety.
• Management of hazards and risks on construction sites.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:
• Have acquired an ability to resolve legal problems within the legal system of England and Wales.
• Understand and be able to explain the general principles of the law of contract.
• Understand and be able to utilise the general principles of the law of tort.
• Be able to outline and explain the key legislation relating construction.
• Understand the practical requirements of health and safety legislation in terms of CDM, HSE etc to the Construction process and be able to discuss how this integrates into the legal process.

Indicative content

The legal content will cover sources of English law, civil and criminal courts and proceedings, hierarchy of courts and the legal professions. The essentials of contract and terms of a contract will also be explored. Performance, breach and remedies will also be covered along with discharge, limitation and privacy of contract.
Tort will be covered particularly with regard to the tort of negligence. The main principles of the health and safety will be introduced. Dispute resolution and the relationship between the legal system and the construction industry will be investigated.
Basic health and safety legislation and the common tools used to assess and manage risk and hazards in construction
The HSE website will provide resources and real world scenarios which will be used to construct learning and provide context.
The importance of communication, teamwork and personal safety will be investigated and contextualised within the development of a safety culture.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered by lectures, discussions and workshops and seminars to explore legal concepts and the main issues of Health and Safety within the Construction Industry.


Portfolio - 50%
1500 Words
A portfolio of formative assessment leading to typically two individual written papers

Exam - 50%
Two Hour Examination

Pass mark 40%