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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1043 Ethics for Business and Society

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Stacey Mottershaw

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Have you ever wondered about the true purpose of business? Is it purely to maximise profit, or are there other reasons we may want businesses to succeed? Do businesses have a duty to benefit society, or is their only purpose to benefit shareholders? How does this impact on real life business decisions? How does this impact on you, the consumer? You will consider real world case studies outlining some of the ethical challenges faced by businesses and society. Ethical theory will include consequentialist theories such as utilitarianism and deontological theories such as Kantian ethics. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing business in modern society, from managing a complex supply chain, to considerations of sustainability.


Through participation in this module, students will develop a broad understanding of the range of issues that businesses and society face in the 21st century, alongside practical skills in decision-making and the application of ethical theories to real-world problems.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will be able to:

1. Identify ethical issues across a range of business sectors.

2. Analyse and critically evaluate key ethical issues using a range of relevant ethical theories, synthesising information gathered from a variety of sources.

3. Reflect upon and articulate their own ethical position.


Indicative list of topics:

- The purpose of business
- An overview of key ethical issues in business
- Ethical theories, e.g. Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics

Case studies will cover a range of issues and sectors, which may include engineering, healthcare, charity and sustainability, amongst others.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours15.00
Private study hours43.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

15 hours preparatory work before the course starts (materials available on Minerva). This includes:
• Reading one introductory text and making notes in response to set study questions.
• Watching an introductory video for the course and making notes in response to set study questions.
43 hours of private study during the module. This will include:
 Reviewing and consolidating notes made during seminars (8 hours).
 Reading and preparation for seminars (10 hours).
 Research and completion of the portfolio (25 hours).

The module will also include a field trip to support module content.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

 Observation of student participation in seminar discussions and in-class group tasks.
 Formative feedback on portfolio entries at the end of week 1, enabling the module leader, as well as the students themselves, to become aware of strengths or weaknesses in students’ learning.
 One-to-one discussion with the tutor during the tutor’s office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Portfolio2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/12/2021 14:36:21


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