Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability - MSc

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Why study this course?

London Met has won several prestigious awards for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental sustainability, and with this course, we aim to train sustainability managers of the future with a focus on employee engagement, environmental law, supply chain and environmental economics.

More about this course

CSR is an umbrella term that many companies use to describe a variety of activities and can permeate through many roles in an organisation. This course is aimed at middle management professionals and technical specialists who are already working in CSR and sustainability who have an interest in expanding their knowledge.

This course includes a consultancy project where you'll be able to do site visits, giving you hands on experience in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 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.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through a mixture of coursework, practical projects, presentations, and seen and unseen exams. The dissertation is a 60 credit research project based on an area of your own interest.

Fees and key information

Course type
Postgraduate
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • 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.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester
    • summer studies

    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.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module aims to enable the student to understand the processes of contracting, working with and addressing the recommendations of consultants, within the sustainable business framework. The module, by introducing the methods of consultancy, will help prepare the student themselves for eventual career development in this area.

    The module aims to introduce students to the different skills necessary for the management of the contribution to an organisation of external advisors in the field of sustainable business development.

    The aims of the module are:
    1 To provide students with an understanding of the role of the consultant in developing sustainable businesses.
    2 To be able to define when the need for consultancy arises
    3 To manage the appointment of consultants
    4 To work with, guide and learn from the contributions of consultants
    5 To be able to manage the process of incorporating the advice of consultants within the company

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday evening

    The module allies economic principles in an investigation of the causes, consequences and possible solutions to problems of environmental degradation and climate change. The three major themes in the module are (i) the determination of the optimum levels of environmental resource usage (ii) the analyses of alternative ways of attaining those targets and (iii) the impact of these actions on business decision making. The crucial notion of 'sustainability' is a key investigation. So are the proximate and underlying causes of environmental problems. The main aim of the module is to introduce students to the economists’ way of analysing environmental problems.

    The module aims to provide students with:
    1. a systematic knowledge and understanding of the principles of environmental economics;
    2. a critical awareness of sustainability debates both within economics and between economics and other disciplines with respects to environmental degradation brought about by economic activity across the globe;
    3. an ability to participate in policy debates;
    4. an awareness of the impact on businesses of the changing nature of the natural and regulatory environment;
    5. a range of transferable skills and subject-specific knowledge that will be of value to employers.

    The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: self-assessment and reflection; academic study skills; subject research; quantitative analysis; data analysis; problem solving; applied analysis; literacy; academic study skills; critical thinking; self-assessment and reflection.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday evening

    The field of corporate social responsibility has practically transformed our world and reoriented the way organisations conduct and perceive their operational activities. Corporate managers and those who represent organisations are expected to behave ethically at all times. Modern societies now expect that solutions to our social and environmental problems cannot only be the prerogative of nation governments, businesses of the 21st century have a lot to contribute when finding solutions to these problems. The demands modern stakeholders put before organisations have continued to increase; tomorrow’s managers need to know how to meet these demands. Some scholars have in fact argued that corporate social responsibility has drawn our attention to some of the excesses which globalisation has brought unto the corporate scene in the 21st century. We have seen some unacceptable practices which have accompanied globalisation and consequently made the job of CSR and what it advocates much more difficult. Many things have been made a lot more challenging for everyone as a result of this. We cannot ignore the adverse impacts of these excesses. There are a number of unacceptable practices in the form of injustices and human rights abuses, extreme poverty in several nation states both - emerging and even some advanced nations, environmental degradation, some irresponsible and reckless practices by some corporate leaders and terrorism on a very large scale. In recent years, a number of social, economic and environmental problems have continued to cause concern to us all, for example; climate change, waste management and irresponsible use of our depletable resources just to mention a few. Sustainable Development is a buzzword in CSR, both corporate and individual citizens still need to demonstrate that they are serious in executing what sustainable development means to us, what it requires from us all and how the needs of future generations of all inhabitants of this planet would be met sustainably, these are issues tomorrow’s managers would need to know how to embed in corporate strategies. This module hopes to lay the foundation on how modern managers should address these and other CSR related issues.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module focuses on the external and internal environmental factors that affect business

    It enables the student to take up the opportunity to become familiar with the award winning practical achievements of the University in the area of environmental protection.

    This will incorporate an introduction to the practices and achievements of the University’s Sustainability Department. It will lead to a one-day practical training to undertake an environmental audit, organised by the University Estate’s Department, followed by a Practical Audit exercise conducted on site among University employees. This will lead to the award of the Certificate in Environmental Auditing.

    During the semester the students will be addressed by professional environmentalists and managers fully involved in changing their industries to meet and raise environmental standards.

    Students will also have the opportunity to work with staff organising the ‘Green Week’ held in the spring at LMU, and are invited to listen to the attendant outside speakers.

    Subsequently the students will be required to prepare a three thousand five hundred word proposal for a sustainability report.

    The proposal 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. Each student will agree a topic for the report with the module leader. This proposal cannot be the same as that which you intend to submit towards the Project Module.

    The module aims to introduce students to the different challenges the dramatically worsening environmental conditions within which both business and social life is conducted and contemporary responses to them.

    The aims of the module are:
    1) To provide students with the practical skills necessary to undertake successful auditing of the working environment.

    2) To develop environmental analysis techniques in relation to theory.

    3) To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in Practical Sustainability and combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core modules to develop sustainability management skills.

    4) To enable students to produce a professional business report proposal and to provide an opportunity for critical self-reflection, studying and research skills and knowledge.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday evening

    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 research project.

    The student research project shall be based on global business issues. The research project will reflect the analytical and technical depth of the taught modules in the course.

    Students will submit a research proposal (3000 words) that will focus on global business issues emerging from the MSc International Trade & Finance or MSc CSR & Sustainability course. Each student will agree a topic for the project/ dissertation with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.

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

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

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Wednesday evening

    Many argue that the crisis of environmental and sustainability is a crisis of governance and law and the challenges of economic growth and development.
    Stemming the tide of natural resource depletion, environmental degradation, and loss of biodiversity requires an urgent revision of global, national, and local decision-making mechanisms. The challenges of reaching consensus and the limitations of international law enforcement when addressing on global environmental issues is clear.
    In more recent times, the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is seen as a possible gap between the enforcement or imposition of hard law and the need to implement environmental strategies and issues including climate change. The application of environmental law and policy through contractual agreements that embody CSR norms has become an effective way to imbed CSR within a legal framework.
    This module aims to critically evaluate the relationship between environmental law and CSR norms and the prospects for effective global environmental governance. The module explores and evaluates this relationship within the context of the legal (governance), corporate, ethical, and financial aspects.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday evening

    This module will enable the students to understand the relation between trade, growth and economic and social development. The focus will be on the continued evolution of the international division of labour, its causes and the consequences for economic development, overall economic growth and social change.

    The module aims to introduce students to the different theories, methodologies and data sources which will allow them to monitor and understand the relation between trade, investment and economic growth, with the consequences for economic and social development.

    The aims of the module are:
    1 To provide students with an understanding of the distinction between economic growth and economic and social development.
    2 To be able to explain the different theories of the relations between trade and economic growth
    3 To be able to explain the contending explanations of the relation between economic growth and development.

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  • This module addresses the important role that effective and ethical people management practices can have in supporting and sustaining successful CSR strategies. Indeed the thematic argument of this module is that successful CSR needs and requires an approach to human resource management that places the individual person at the heart of the employment relationship. The module argues that CSR strategy cannot be divorced from our internal people management strategies.

    The module discusses issues which are highly pertinent and timely. In recent times, there have been a number of high profile cases presented in the media which have highlighted unethical and exploitative practices. Furthermore there is empirical evidence demonstrating an increasing tendency towards job insecurity, precarious work, stagnating wages, controversial employment contracts such as the growth of part-time and zero hours contracts (which are often not in the interest of employees). Even those in full-time and secure employment are often experiencing work intensification, declining terms and conditions and greater levels of stress.

    The module challenges learning partners to reflect on how our organisations can embrace and adopt people management practices which encourage and engage our employees within the framework of responsible and ethical management.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday evening

    The module explores the theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence concerning the activities of corporate finance from an international perspective. The module offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge in a range of areas related to the international financial system, theories explaining foreign exchange rate behaviour, hedging currency risks, sources of finance for international trade and investment projects for both large and SMEs, the effect on international capital structure of investment decisions, risk exposure and management of risk, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and multinational working capital management. These will be dealt with within the overall framework of their relation to international corporate activity. The module stresses the application of relevant theories, models and the current underlying empirical evidence for the analysis and evaluation of major corporate activities and decisions.

    The aims of the module are:
    • To provide a framework for students to explore corporate strategies and decisions in an international perspective.

    • To offer thorough coverage of the international monetary climate, including theories that describe the determinants of foreign exchange rates, Financing international trade, Raising capital from global capital markets, foreign exchange risk management and international capital budgeting and investments.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module provides an insight into the development of Islamic Finance, one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial system. It will explore the key concepts, financial products and practical operations of the sector. It will also look at the underlying principles of sharia-compliant finance and highlight key differences to conventional finance practices.
    Delivery will be a combination of lectures, seminars and small group discussions with learning supported by web based learning resources, self-directed reading and industry expert external speakers.
    Students will be issued with a module handbook, and guidance on reading, most of which will be available through the Learning Centre, others through Weblearn.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday evening

    This is an elective module, which focuses on translating texts induced in institutional contexts. Based on two main international institutions, UN and EU, the module consists of both theoretical part, delivered in a classroom-based mode and practical part, which consists of students working and liaising with their language-specific tutors remotely. The module looks at specificity of texts authored by the institutions in question and provides students with an opportunity to utilise institutional resources (available online) to create target texts complying with institutional standards.

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After the course

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.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things such as equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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