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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OSEE5102M Sustainability and Business

15 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Laura Smith

Taught: 1 May to 30 Jun (2mth)(adv yr), 1 May to 30 June, 1 Nov to 31 Dec, 1 Nov to 31 Dec (2mth)(adv yr) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to meet the programme entry requirements prior to studying the module.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module provides a foundation for exploring the relationship between organisations (public and private) and sustainability. Key issues are covered including: - the origins and evolution of sustainability at a societal and organisational level - the factors prompting sustainable practices and the business case for sustainability- key theories, frameworks and models related to sustainability - case studies outlining differing approaches/issues related to sustainability and the adoption of sustainable business practices.Through studying the module, students will appreciate the complexities associated with sustainability and be able to discuss and debate these complexities in an informed and critical manner.


This module provides a foundation for exploring the relationship between organisations (public and private) and sustainability. Through studying the module students will have the opportunity to examine the origins, evolution and contemporary issues related to sustainability. Students will also gain skills and knowledge enabling them to:

- critically analyse the internal and external factors contributing to the
adoption of sustainable practices
- evaluate the business case for sustainability.

Throughout the module students will be introduced to the key theoretical perspectives, frameworks and models relating to sustainability. To bridge the gap between theory and practice the module will feature several case studies requiring the students to assess the application of sustainability theories and frameworks by practitioners.

Whilst the module will be delivered online to students in a variety of geographic locations student-student learning will form an integral part of the module. This will be facilitated through a series of investigative and formative tasks with the outcomes discussed/debated both synchronously (webinars) and asynchronously (discussion forums).

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Summarise and discuss key issues related to the historical and intellectual
origins, evolution and contemporary approaches to sustainability within
society and organisations.
2. Analyse and critically assess key internal and external factors stimulating
organisations and society toward sustainable practices.
3. Evaluate sustainability issues as they affect organisations activities from a
theoretically informed perspective.
4. Critically analyse case studies of responsible business practice at the
micro and macro level.
5. Reflect, debate and communicate the complex relationship between
sustainability and business.


1. Defining sustainability: the history of ideas re: sustainability, and different ways of understanding it.
2. Internal and external drivers for responsible business.
3. Critical analysis of the business case for sustainability.
4. Theories of responsible business and sustainable business models.
5. Case studies of responsible business practice and a critical analysis of contemporary business practice.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent online learning refers to non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.

Private study refers to directed reading and self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- The module’s digital learning materials provide regular opportunities for participants to check their
understanding and gain feedback (e.g., case studies with short answer questions and automated
feedback, MCQs with detailed feedback on correct/incorrect answers).
- The individual unit webinars and discussion forums provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.
- The module assessments (2500 word project, 500 word reflective log – and forum postings associated with the log) will enable student progress to be monitored.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report2,500 word assignment85.00
Reflective log500 words drawing on forum discussions15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If a student is required to re-sit the reflective log assessment they will be asked to produce a new reflective piece, drawing on a new set of resources and commentary selected by the module leader.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/05/2022


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