Skip to main content

Unit information: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in 2021/22

Unit name Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Unit code EFIMM0154
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2D (weeks 19 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Edwina Zhu
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Pathway unit for MSc Management (Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability)

The role of business in modern society is rapidly changing, with a need to be accountable beyond economic gains and growth. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability are thus vital issues for society, nature, organisations, employees, managers and consumers. In this unit, students will explore the origins of CSR and sustainability and consider how businesses can respond to social and environmental breakdown to promote more sustainable futures. Students will be introduced to the latest thinking on Business Ethics, CSR and sustainability, including insights from core disciplines such as Critical Management Studies, Supply Chain Management, Organisation Theory, Ethical Theory and International Business. Topics covered include: sustainable production and consumption, globalisation and global value chains, ethics, regulation and governance, stakeholder management and engagement, and a critique of CSR and sustainability. In addition to theoretical engagement with these topics, students will explore practical and problem-focused case studies of sustainability management as well the social and environmental challenges that contemporary organisations and managers face.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

ILO1: Understand the key concepts and principles that constitute contemporary perspectives on and approaches to CSR and sustainability

ILO2: Examine the regulatory dynamics of CSR and demonstrate awareness of how sustainability agendas are shaping firm strategy

ILO3: Critically evaluate and engage with existing CSR and sustainability initiatives

ILO4: Apply theoretical and practical knowledge by proposing new solutions to the social and environmental challenges firms and organisations face in the current and future business environment.

Teaching Information

This unit will be delivered over the course of 6 weeks.

Teaching will comprise of lectures and small group teaching totalling an approximate 8 hours a week. A variety of teaching techniques will be used, including role play, debates, informal quizzes, individual reflections, and group presentations.

Students will be directed, and expected, to read from a range of sources including academic journals. Students will be encouraged and enabled to pursue their own interests (both intellectual and practical) within the broad fields of CSR and sustainability.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment on this unit will take many forms, including feedback from peers and course lecturers on individual and group contributions to ‘lectorial’ sessions and seminar activities (see below)

Summative assessment is comprised of two components:

  • An essay (1500 – 2000 words) that is worth 40% of the overall grade. This will test students’ understanding of key concepts (ILO1) and the role of CSR and sustainability in the modern business environment (ILO2).
  • A CSR or sustainability case study (2500 – 3500 words) of a given product, company or sector (to be identified by students in consultation with course lecturers). The case study will map relevant social and environmental challenges, critically evaluate existing CSR responses, analyse the consequences across the ‘triple bottom line’, and propose new solutions (ILO3, ILO4). The case study is worth 60% of the overall grade.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0154).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.