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2.1.1 Offer - Introduction

Welcome to the first lesson of this module guide – the offer! The offer is the first core requirement of the formation of a contract. An understanding of this section is vital for learning contract law. Despite an ‘offer’ being a seemingly simple term, an offer will not always be explicit, and at this point it is the job of the courts to identify what does and does not constitute an offer.

If there is no offer, the other parts of the contract will not operate, this is why it is so important to be able to understand what an offer is.  After completion of the section, you should be comfortable with being able to identify offers and understand how they relate to the formation of the contract.

This section will begin by giving a comprehensive explanation of what an offer actually is, before exploring how the courts will assess whether something will amount to an offer or not. Following, there will be an exploration of ‘presumptions’, which is where the court will or will not presume an offer exists based on pre-existing conduct of one party. Finally, the issue of the revocation of an offer will be considered.

Below are some goals and objectives for you to refer to after learning this section.

Goals for this section

  • To understand the importance of an offer to a contract
  • To understand what an offer is
  • To understand what will constitute an offer

Objectives for this section

  • To be able to define an offer
  • To be able to apply the ‘reasonable man’ test and assess whether an offer exists
  • To be able to provide arguments and counter-arguments for whether or not an offer exists based on the conduct of a party
  • To be able to differentiate between an offer and an invitation to treat
  • To be able to identify, understand and apply the presumptions of offers
  • To be able to understand and explain the court’s reasoning behind the various presumptions
  • To be able to understand the ‘multi-acceptance’ issue
  • To be able to define and explain a unilateral contract
  • To be able to explain when an advertisement will amount to an offer
  • To be able to identify an advertisement which will amount to an offer
  • To be able to identify when and how an offer may be revoked

Start the Lecture

We have three lengths of lecture to suit varying study needs. Select one of the options below to get started (if you have already chosen a study level you will see the option highlighted in violet):

Summary Notes Standard Lecture Detailed Lecture

Problem Questions

Each lecture is also accompanied by hands on examples of problem questions for the subject. You can jump directly to the questions below:

Hands on Examples


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