module specification

AC6053 - Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 30%   Group case study report, 1500 words
Coursework 70%   Individual essay, 3000 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module will explore the development of corporate social responsibility in response to corporate misuse of assets and anti-social behaviour. The extent to which financial information and media interest can affect the outcome of companies is of global interest. The world may wish for an egalitarian society in which all information is freely available, but in reality company directors have to balance the information given with the impact it may have on the company’s future. Are the ethics of the boardroom or the trading floor so dissimilar from those of the high street? What difference has the dissemination of social and environmental reports had on the performance of companies and/or their ability to raise finance?

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to:
- provide students with a broad understanding of the roles of company directors, investors, the media and consumers to allow socially responsible companies to flourish.

- provide students with an understanding of the issues surrounding corporate social responsibility and ethics from national and international perspectives.

The module also aims to develop students’ skills, in particular:
- academic writing skills, including research and analytical skills;
- interpersonal skills, including working with others;
- communication skills, including presentation of data;
- commercial awareness.



The relationship between corporate social responsibility, ethics and corporate governance.
The extent to which the expectations of society are met by company reports, in terms of content and assurance.
An examination of the geographical, cultural and historical factors that influence corporate social responsibility.
The differences and similarities between multi-national companies and small and medium sized enterprises for corporate social responsibility issues.
An examination of corporate social responsibility and ethics in practice via case studies.

Learning and teaching

Teaching will consist of a one and half hour lecture to introduce the topic and a one and half hour workshop where students can examine and discuss issues relating to real life examples of company reports showing the extent of corporate social responsibility and ethics. Students will also work in groups to prepare for the assessed group report (case study).
Weblearn will be used to enable student discussion and to provide additional module materials.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Understand the importance of sustainable responsible business to the well being of society
2. Understand the roles of directors, investors and other stakeholders to the transparency and growth of company reporting practices.
3. Understand the issues which inform company reporting and their impact on society.



Guler, A and Crowther, D (editors); A Handbook of Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, Gower
Crane, A, Matten, D and Spence, L  (editors); Corporate Social Responsibility – Readings and Cases in a Global Context; Routledge
Financial newspapers and journals
Internet sources for Social Responsibility and Business Ethics journals