Course specification and structure
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PMCOSORE - MSc Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Subject Area Business and Management
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time Day 2 YEARS  
Course leader Samuel Idowu

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc CSR and Sustainability programme is designed to give students who we assume will be from different disciplines and backgrounds the opportunity of developing their skills and understanding in the emerging and evolving field of Sustainability and Sustainable Development. The field of corporate social responsibility has continued to reorient our perception of how we need to conduct our operational business practices in order to solve a number of addressable social, economic and environmental problems, graduates from all disciplines need to understand many of the issues involved. The course has been designed to meet this objective. Scholars have argued that there are different perceptions to CSR. Elkington in his triple bottom line model argues that there are three elements to CSR namely economic, social and ecological responsibilities, Carroll argues that the elements are four namely economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in 2015 notes that these elements are in fact five, which are People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace. Understanding what these theories are saying about CSR is a good foundation of embedding ethical practices about CSR in tomorrow’s CSR manager. The programme is designed to do this.

There are six core modules which all students will study on the course, they will also have the opportunity of choosing two optional modules from a list of six.

All students will take a 20 credit core module on Fundamentals of CSR and Sustainability. It is the objective of this module to lay the required foundation for CSR with this module.

Students will be directed to develop their understanding and show their ability to apply knowledge and analyses to various business contexts through a range of opportunities, including the use of their own work experience, case studies, business scenarios, presentations, problem-based learning exercises and study visits.

Lectures and seminars which constitute the formal face-to-face elements of the course are essential activities that will support the development of knowledge and understanding. These sessions will provide students with tools of analysis, outline methods for evaluation and give clear guidance on how students may best extend and apply their learning independently. The face to face sessions are action oriented and student-centred to encourage ‘deep’ as opposed to ‘surface’ learning, and give students the opportunity to apply their understanding to various business scenarios, and to test out their ideas.

An important aspect of the skills they must leave the programme with is working successfully with others to achieve a desired objective, a number of their assessments will use group assignments which we believe will help them to develop the interpersonal skill and personal awareness.

These students will be allocated with personal academic tutors, who they will be encouraged to get to relate with about issues relating to their course.

Course aims

The MSc CSR and Sustainability aims to enable its graduates

  1. Develop awareness of issues surrounding Sustainable Development and how it should be weaved into operational practices of corporate entities.
  2. Develop an understanding of the role of the consultant in developing sustainable businesses.
  3. Develop a critical awareness of sustainability debates both within economics and between economics and other disciplines with respects to environmental degradation brought about by business economic activities across the globe.
  4. Acquire the practical skills necessary to undertake successful auditing of the working environment.
  5. Develop awareness of the importance of the outer and inner contexts of organizations, emphasizing the importance of internal stakeholders to successful CSR outcomes.
  6. Develop the substantive knowledge and critical thinking skills required to engage with sustainability issues in a professional context.
  7. Develop the skill required to critically evaluate the prospects for effective environmental governance with respect to climate change and sustainability
  8. Understand the ‘business case’ for CSR which suggests that socially and environmentally aware companies can expect to survive and prosper in a competitive business environment.
  9. Develop awareness the challenges of overcoming stakeholder resistance to CSR and sustainability changes.

Course learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
Graduates who have successfully completed the course will be able to:

• Analyse Sustainable and Environmental reports of corporate entities worldwide
• Demonstrate specialist knowledge and understanding of sustainability and sustainable development issues
• Critically evaluate core issues surrounding CSR in business and social environments.
• Articulate the need for social innovation and entrepreneurship in the modern corporate scene
• Demonstrate a good understanding of the principles of economic analysis and its application in examining environmental problems through appreciate the economic causes and consequences of environmental degradation brought about by economic activities.

Cognitive/intellectual skills
By the end of the course the graduates are expected to develop higher order skills reflected in their ability to:

• Be able to relate theoretical issues learnt on the degree to the their own practice and work environment
• Undertake independent research and use acquired knowledge to analyse and evaluate specific issues and sustainability problems that face business and society.
• Demonstrate self-awareness and self-development, general study skills, problem solving, working with others, communication, self-management, self-presentation and decision-making.
• Demonstrate higher level skills in understanding research issues in sustainability and sustainable development.

Practical/transferable skills including employability
By the end of the course, students will have developed practical/transferable skills in CSR and Sustainability that will enhance their chances of employability in the field. They will be able to:

• Demonstrate a sound understanding of practical issues relating to Sustainability and be capable of providing sustainable advice in dealing with them.
• Manage the process of incorporating the advice of consultants within the company.
• Make sound judgements in the absence of complete information, and communicate these findings clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
• Demonstrate high order skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis in dealing with a business environment challenge
• Work independently to plan and deliver an environment audit proposal for their organisation to a professional standard and demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems.
Subject-Specific Practical Skills
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate research methods to propose a detailed investigation in the subject
  • Foster a critical awareness and deep interest in Practical Sustainability and combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core modules to develop sustainability management skills.
  • Understand issues surrounding corporate governance, essential requirements of good governance and the UK Combined Code and Corporate Governance Codes in selected countries around the world.
  • Explain complex ideas and analyses in their area of research through written exposition that will lead to collection of data for the dissertation.
  • Collect, interpret, evaluate, manipulate, analyse, synthesise and represent information and data pertinent to the investigation.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

This course complies with the QAA Characteristics Statement for Master’s Degrees (2015) sters-Degree-Characteristics-15.pdf , and the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Master’s Degrees in Business and Management

Assessment strategy

A range of Assessment methods will be used by module leaders on the course. These assessment methods are designed to measure achievement and to foster the development of the range of learning outcomes given in Section 11 above. It is anticipated that the assessment strategy will support the development of effective and responsible CSR practitioners and experts. Timely feedback to students by module leaders a university wide policy will be adhered to.

Modules required for interim awards

The course conforms with the Regulations of the University Postgraduate Scheme and there are no additional regulations. All core modules must be taken and passed to gain the award

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The MSc CSR and Sustainability degree will organise a week long induction programme for students on the degree. The focus of the induction will be to active learning and development whilst inculcating the principles of individual and team learning and development, action planning and preparation for academic study at master’s level. A number of the degree’s core modules are designed to give students the opportunity to develop their reflective learning and personal development. One of the in-course assignments on Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility will for example will require students’ to work in groups to find solutions to a few problems on social, economic and environmental issues contained in cases which will be provided to them. The module on Practical Sustainability also lends itself to helping students develop their reflective learning and self-development in the field of CSR. There are also a number of project modules which are designed to promote reflective learning on the degree.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Students will be actively encouraged to arrange to meet with the university’s Careers Service. Additional activities including networking events, masterclasses, workshops, guest lectures, book launches etc will be used to support career development and employability during the course.

Career opportunities

CSR is an umbrella term that many companies use to describe a variety of activities and can permeate through many roles in an organisation. Potential careers can be in all aspects of an organisation and we would expect our graduates to become managers and future leaders in business with an interest in implementing CSR. Successful graduates could also be consulting or advising corporations on their CSR efforts.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a good bachelor’s degree (2.2) in any subject

Exceptionally, candidates with significant CSR experience at a senior level may be considered. Interviews are generally required for non-standard entry.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2017/18 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 31 May 2017 Last validation date 31 May 2017  
JACS codes
Route code COSORE

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AC7070 Fundamentals of CSR and Sustainability Core 20 CITY AUT THU EV
EC7083 Environmental Economics and Investment Core 20 CITY AUT TUE EV
EC7P82 Practical Sustainability Core 20 CITY SPR TUE PM
EC7P96 Consultancy Core 20 CITY AUT TUE PM
FS7P44 CSR and Sustainability Project Core 40 CITY SUM NA NA
MN7084 Research Methods for Global Business Core 20 CITY SPR TUE EV
BL7001 CSR and Environmental Law Option 20 CITY SPR THU EV
EC7086 Growth, Trade and Development Option 20 CITY AUT MON EV
FS7051 Principles of Islamic Finance and Economics Option 20 CITY AUT THU PM
FS7052 International Corporate Finance Option 20 CITY AUT WED EV
MN7161 Human and Ethical Perspectives in Organisations Option 20 CITY SPR MON EV
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
          NORTH SPR WED EV

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AC7070 Fundamentals of CSR and Sustainability Core 20        
EC7083 Environmental Economics and Investment Core 20        
EC7P82 Practical Sustainability Core 20 CITY SPR TUE PM
EC7P96 Consultancy Core 20        
FS7P44 CSR and Sustainability Project Core 40 CITY SUM NA NA
MN7084 Research Methods for Global Business Core 20 CITY SPR TUE EV
BL7001 CSR and Environmental Law Option 20 CITY SPR THU EV
EC7086 Growth, Trade and Development Option 20        
FS7051 Principles of Islamic Finance and Economics Option 20        
FS7052 International Corporate Finance Option 20        
MN7161 Human and Ethical Perspectives in Organisations Option 20 CITY SPR MON EV
TR7084 Translating for International Organisations Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV