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Corporate governance, ethics and sustainability

Module information>

Academic Direction
Royal Holloway, University of London
Modes of Study

This module will examine the ethical issues of corporate governance and social responsibility in modern organisations.

In the 21st century, the business world has been forced to face up to its responsibilities. With growing demand from consumers, as well as governmental regulations, it’s more important than ever for organisations to be transparent about their ethics. 

This module will examine the issues of corporate social responsibility, and how these interact with ethical issues such as sustainability and sustainable development. 

You’ll develop an understanding of the nature and application of corporate governance, examining the core differences between leading developing countries, and how ethical issues and sustainable development are applied to corporate strategies.

Main topics of the module include:

  • An introduction to corporate governance and theories 
  • Corporate governance in leading countries 
  • Audit committees and risk management 
  • Corporate social responsibility in modern business organisations 
  • The diffusion of responsible business practices 
  • Mitigation and adaptation strategies

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be expected to be able to:  

  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the core debates on corporate governance and the differences between leading developing countries. 
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the concept of corporate social responsibility, its application in different contexts and its management. 
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the concept of sustainability and sustainable development and its application to corporate strategies. 
  • apply relevant theories in the critical analysis of specific business and corporate cases.


  • Coursework (100%): A written essay of a maximum of 3,000 words. The coursework is designed to check student progress, extend and reinforce concepts covered and also test individual performance.