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Contract Management (MOOC)

Contract Management (MOOC)

Contracts are fundamental to all business activities and relationships are fundamental to all contracts. Through the course, you will realise the importance, complexity, and challenges of designing and delivering good contracts. You will learn how your objectives and those of your customer/client can be achieved in an effective way.

About the course

The course has been developed by the University of Southampton, in association with the Crown Commercial Service, UK Cabinet Office, Civil Service Learning and the International Association of Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM).

Each week, you’ll get the chance to hear guest lectures from, and discuss your own ideas with, practitioners from public and private sector organisations around the world.

You can find out how this course helped the career of Laylo, a Contracts Manager at ZTE Investment Foreigner Enterprise, in her learner story.

What you will learn

The course covers three key themes:

Relationship fundamentals: you will explore what can go right or wrong in relationships; examine the rules that govern public and private sector procurement; and ask how you can make sure what you buy (or sell) is what you and your customer/client really needs.

Relationship complexities: you will look at the complex supply chains and networks that are a feature of many contracts, learning how to manage interdependencies and the needs of multiple stakeholders.

What does this mean to you? The final part of the course will bring the above ideas together, using an example scenario (the challenge of building your own house) to put theory into practice.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Explore what can go right or wrong in relationships;
  • Identify ways you can ensure that what you buy (or sell) is what you and your customer / client really needs;
  • Explore your supplier relationships and compare what your fellow learners are doing more or less of than in your own organisation;
  • Debate how the rules and regulations that govern public and private sector procurement can affect behavior;
  • Engage in a stakeholder analysis activity by sharing your own ideas and providing feedback on others;
  • Reflect on what actions you will now take to learn more about the course topics and take the lessons forward into your workplace.


This free online course is designed for anyone who wants to better understand what is involved in commercial business relationships, and the process of managing contractual agreements. It is suitable for those working in the public, private, and third sectors. Relationships and contracts are core to all commercial as well as not-for-profit activities. Managing them well is a core skill for everyone in all aspects of life.

About the instructors

Douglas Macbeth is a Lead Educator Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management. Using theory and practice to make business better is what excites him.

Tim Cummins is founder and Chief Executive Officer of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, a global, non-profit professional association.

Starting date: 19 June, 2017

Duration: 3 weeks, 3 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Douglas Macbeth, Tim Cummins

Institution: University of Southampton, IACCM



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