Course specification and structure
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PACORSOC - Advanced Diploma in Professional Development in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Advanced Diploma in Professional Development Level Masters
Possible interim awards
Total credits for course 40
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Subject Area Professional Courses
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Part-time 15 WEEKS  
Course leader  

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

The ADPD in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability programme is designed to provide students the opportunity to understand the field of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development and increase their chances of employability in the area. This Advanced Diploma in Professional Development is an executive-level course that provides a University Diploma, delivered in London. It is specifically designed for those in CSR and Sustainability in industry, public sector organisations and non-governmental organisations. The field of CSR has continued to evolve, and it has been argued that it is currently the most researched and debated field globally

London Metropolitan University has won several awards in Sustainability over the past years for the work undertaken to reduce our carbon footprint: Highly Commended Green Gown Award for carbon reduction, Green Apple, Most Sustainable Public Sector Organisation runner up and Public Sector Sustainability Award best carbon reduction). In 2015, the University was named the number 1 University in England and Wales for carbon reduction. This generated a considerable amount of publicity and we are now seen as a sector leader in this industry. The course is designed to attract existing professionals as part of continuing professional development and students looking to develop their skills in the expanding sustainability sector.

Students on the programme will study two core modules. The structure of the course is provided in the following table:

Module title: Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability

Credits: 20

Module title: Environmental Economics and Investment

Credits: 20

Reflective learning will be emphasised in the programme. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of context and the range of factors that influence outcomes, including their own impact. It is envisaged that students on the programme might have full time jobs in the field of CSR and Sustainability; they will be encouraged to actively relate what is going on on the programme to their work environment.

Guest lecturers and teaching staff are renowned within the industry / discipline. Students will have a course leader with whom they will be encouraged to discuss all relevant issues relating to their course.

Students have the opportunity to progress from the Diploma to the full Masters programme in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability by receiving credit for the two modules completed as part of the ADPD programme.

Note: If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the School reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the School cancels a module it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative.

Course aims

The ADPD in CSR and Sustainability aims to.

  1. Develop awareness of issues surrounding Sustainable Development and how it should be weaved into operational practices of corporate entities.
  2. Develop awareness of the importance of the contexts of organisations, emphasising the importance of internal stakeholders to successful CSR outcomes.
  3. 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.

Course learning outcomes

The course will equip students with the skills and attributes that will enable them to operate successfully in the complex and challenging area of CSR and Sustainability. It brings together University and School distinctiveness, and refers to two principal sets of QAA Benchmark Statements:

The QAA Statement for Master’s Degree Characteristics (2020)

The QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Master's degrees in Business and Management (2015).

The University learning outcome that cuts across the entirety of the London Metropolitan University provision is:

On completion of this course, students will be able to: demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline (ULO)

Thus, upon graduating with an ADPD in CSR and Sustainability, students will typically:

  1. Have the confidence needed to take leadership decisions in challenging situations
  2. Possess extensive communication skills that will help them adopt a global and multicultural perspective in their professional context.
  3. Be critically cognisant of the effects of the social and environmental impact of their decisions and will remain active citizens of the places they live and work.
  4. Demonstrate application and ability to reflect on creative thinking to practical problems, and possess the analytical and organisational skills to translate creative ideas to operational solutions
  5. Have extensive knowledge and understanding of the broad range of areas of CSR and sustainability.
  6. Demonstrate conceptual understanding that enables the critical evaluation of key theories, current research and methodologies in the area of CSR and sustainability.
  7. Have sufficient theoretical, quantitative and statistical knowledge and understanding to be able to augment this knowledge with new developments in the field and be able to independently improve their analytical skills to a high level to be able to contribute to progress in CSR and sustainability practice.
  8. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, use IT to access sources of relevant CSR and sustainability-related information, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The MSc in International Trade and Finance degree programme conforms to the Master’s Degree Characteristics Statement set out by the QAA (2020) in their descriptors for a higher education qualification at level 7, and to the Subject Benchmark Statement for Master's degrees in Business and Management (QAA, 2015). Since this is a specialist programme concentrating on the trade and finance sectors, the benchmark statement and subsequent documents must be interpreted in the context of the trade and finance industries.

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy


The course adopts the four assessment strategy principles of the School that are developed in the spirit of ESJ. These are:

i) The School is committed to ensuring that each student should have no more than 2 assessment points per 20 credit module.

ii) We provide balanced forms of assessment, both in terms of its overall volume and the types used.

iii) At PGT level group activities are part of the learning and teaching strategies but assessment should be at the level of the individual. Thus, assessment should focus on individual reflections and learning from participating in a group activity.

iv) Flexibility/choice in assessment methods will be introduced wherever possible (subject to PSRB requirements and QAA subject benchmarks) in order to facilitate different learning studies and support personalisation

Course Strategy

The Course applies a combination of the above assessment strategies as appropriate for each module. Varied assessment methods are used across the course, reflecting the range of learning outcomes of the modules within the course and the diversity of learning styles amongst students. The volume, timing and nature of assessment enables students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.

In each module the assessments methods chosen are those best suited to measuring the achievement of that particular module’s learning outcomes. For instance, the Fundamentals of CSR and Sustainability module is assessed by coursework consisting of an extended essay, while the Environmental Economics and Investment module is assessed by coursework as well as by a written exam.

Feedback on formative assessment will be provided on an ongoing basis throughout the course.

The University Regulations and policies will be followed in marking and moderating summative assessments.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course draws on external links with CSR and sustainability practitioners in the City and elsewhere in the UK. These links give rise to University and GSBL guest lectures, external speaker seminars and other meetings of interest to students. These events provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge and experience from outside the University.

The University has dedicated careers teams who will assist learners with all aspects of their job search and application.

Course specific regulations

Modules are required to be taken as indicated in section 22 above.

Students on the Part-time mode of attendance are able to take one module in the autumn semester of one year, and the second module in the autumn semester of the following year.

Modules required for interim awards


Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Students are introduced to reflective learning in an induction programme which is designed to promote active learning and development from the outset. This will include the principles of individual and team learning and development and preparation for academic study at master’s level. This, it is believed, will lead to an understanding of the students learning to work independently and in collaboration with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Students are encouraged to reflect on their personal development throughout the course. All core and option modules require students to reflect and formative feedback on this activity is provided by the course team

Students will be encouraged to read articles in trade magazines and financial newspapers in the UK and overseas to ensure they fully understand and reflect upon how globalisation is impacting on our business environment.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) (2014)

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Students will be encouraged to attend meetings with the University’s Careers Service.

Additional activities including networking events, master classes, workshops, guest lectures and other events will also support career development and employability.

By the end of the course students will have developed knowledge and transferable skills that will enhance their employability internationally. Engagement with the alumni network and events that enable students to meet with employers will support their capacity to progress their careers.

The Careers and Employability Service is a university-wide resource made available to students which provides information about labour market opportunities and career development. The University’s Careers and Employability Service disseminates information on Employer Panel events, Recruitment events, Internships, Employability events organised by professional bodies and Career fairs; see for example

Students are also reminded that they have access to our Careers and Employability service for careers and employability related advice guidance for three years after graduation.

Career opportunities

By the end of the degree, you'll have an understanding of the complex area of CSR, allowing you to become a fully-informed sustainability professional and keep abreast of current developments to critically analyse and evaluate the issues surrounding the implications of CSR.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

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

Students may be considered with HND/HNC providing they have work experience in the CSR and sustainability or a related field equivalent to experienced middle management. Exceptionally, candidates with significant CSR experience at a senior level may be considered. Interviews are generally required for non-standard entry.

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 100089 (management studies): 100%
Route code CORSOC

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 NORTH AUT WED PM
FE7060 Environmental Economics and Investment Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE EV

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AC7070 Fundamentals of CSR and Sustainability Core 20        
FE7060 Environmental Economics and Investment Core 20