module specification

FS7P44 - CSR and Sustainability Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title CSR and Sustainability Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 400
400 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Report Proposal (1,500 words) and presentation.
Project 90%   CSR and Sustainability Project Report (8-10,000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies City Not applicable Not applicable

Module summary

This module enables the student to bring together different areas of the course, allowing the student to reflect on their learning across the course, to inform a focussed report. The dissertation may be a function of a work experience during the third semester after completion of the taught course work, or the result of independent research. Students will investigate a sector, an organisation, an industry or issue with the aim of making clear recommendations from the research carried out.

The project will be between 8,000-10,000 words in length. Each student will agree a topic for the project with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.

Module aims

The module aims to introduce MSc CSR and Sustainability students to the different skills necessary for effective report writing, including research techniques and requisite standards of data collection and analysis.

The aims of the module are:

  1. To provide students with the research and other practical skills necessary to undertake    successful report writing on the subject of SCR and sustainability.
  2. To formulate a coherent report proposal with appropriate aims and objectives and a  realistic plan of execution.
  3. To develop thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to  the   chosen topic
  4. To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a CSR and Sustainability topic and combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core modules to explore that topic fully
  5. To enable students to produce a professional business report and to provide an opportunity for critical self-reflection, studying and research skills and knowledge


Introduction to the application of research techniques to CSR and Sustainability problems in the context of the global economy. The philosophical basis for the methodological approach: ‘Reflective’ and ‘positivist’ analyses.

Secondary research: Literature searching, framing a literature search, database research and references and citations.
Primary research: the difficulties in distinguishing quantity and quality. Natural and social science methods. Benefits and limitations of the distinctions.
Research design: Quantification and the use of data and analytical methods in research.
Analysis and report writing: Interpreting and presenting statistical data, geographical and other bounded representations of data.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered by a team that represents the range of core subject areas on the course.

By week 4 students will be paired with an appropriate supervisor who possesses expertise in the area of interest to the student and/or the methodological approach to be adopted.

The supervisor will support the student by

  1. Clarifying the terms of the research
  2. Suggesting/guiding areas of reading
  3. Reviewing the proposed methodology
  4. Establishing a timetable for the research, including dates for further meetings with the tutor
  5. Advising the student of appropriate standards and conventions expected in the assessment
  6. Providing means of contact in addition to tutorials.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Work independently to plan and deliver a research project to a professional standard and demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems.
  2. Identify appropriate research methods to conduct a detailed investigation in the subject.
  3. Collect, interpret, evaluate, manipulate, analyse, synthesise and represent information and data pertinent to the investigation.
  4. Demonstrate high order skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis in dealing with a specific topic
  5. Discuss and critically evaluate findings generated by the investigation in the light of the existing literature
  6. Make sound judgements in the absence of complete information, and communicate these findings clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  7. Produce a well-structured, informative and academically relevant report on a CSR  and Sustainability related topic.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed through two pieces of work. The first part of the course work (10%) will consist of an individual report proposal.

The total word count for the proposal will be no more than 1,500 words.

The second and final part of the course work (90%) will be the CSR and Sustainable Business report in full.


Bryman & Bell: Business Research Methods 4e OUP

Taneja, S.S., Taneja, P.K. & Gupta, R.K   Researches in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Shifting Focus, Paradigms, and Methodologies.    Journal of Business Ethics July 2011, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 343–364

Samuel O. Idowu , Maria Aluchna  Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Critical Approach to Theory and Practice: An Introduction  2017 Springer

Research Handbook on Corporate Social Responsibility in Context 2016 (Reference Only)   Edited by  Örtenblad A,

Bouten L., Everaerta P., Van Liedekerke L. De Moord L. and Christiaens J. 2011.
Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Comprehensive Picture? Accounting Forum, 35 (3): 187–204

Carnevale C., Mazzuca M., and Venturini S., 2012. Corporate Social Reporting in European Banks: The Effects on a Firm's Market Value. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 19 (3): 159–177

Sapkauskiene, A., and Sviesa Leitoniene, S. Corporate Social Responsibility Research Methods Analysis :  European Scientific Journal February 2014 /SPECIAL/ edition vol.1 ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print) e - ISSN 1857- 7431

Scholters B., 2008. Corporate Social Responsibility in the International Banking Industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 86: 159-175

Sweeney L., and Coughlan J., 2008. Do Different Industries Report Corporate Social
Responsibility Differently? An Investigation Through the Lens of Stakeholder Theory.
Journal of Marketing Communications, 14(2): 113-124.

Van Staden C.J. and Hooks J., 2007. A Comprehensive Comparison of Corporate
Environmental Reporting and Responsiveness. The British Accounting Review, 39: 197-210.

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