AF5032 - Corporate Governance and Responsibility

What will I learn on this module?

This module will develop your knowledge of corporate governance and corporate responsibility. You will learn how these two concepts have evolved over the last two decades, highlighting the dynamic relationship between companies and their stakeholders. The module enables you to develop an in-depth understanding of practices and failures of corporate governance and responsibility. Your learning is driven by your engagement with business cases and the theoretical frameworks that underpin our understanding of corporate governance and responsibility.

Throughout the degree you will become knowledgeable about the theory and practice of responsible business and its management, focused on accounting, in an international context. Essentially, you will learn about the role of accountants in ensuring effective corporate governance, including understanding key corporate governance mechanisms such as the board of directors, executives’ remuneration, corporate takeovers, shareholder activism as well as development of corporate governance codes in the UK and internationally. You will also learn about small (SME) and family business corporate governance.

Moreover, within the corporate responsibility part of this module, you examine business’ responsibility towards non-financial stakeholders, by studying approaches to measuring and reporting firms’ corporate social responsibility and performance. In doing so, the background and origins of social and environmental accounting are explored.

At the end of the module, you will become knowledgeable and be able to critically discuss the concepts and topics of corporate responsibility, social and environmental accounting and regulation, as well as business’ responsibility towards sustainability and ethics.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning on this module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. You will be taught through a combination of interactive lectures, seminars based around case studies and independent learning to deepen your understanding of corporate governance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and sustainability issues in a real-world context. Particularly, you will be able to engage in-depth with a variety of ideas and views on these areas.

An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. In particular, you will learn about the main corporate governance and corporate responsibility concepts, mechanisms, practices and theories. Whilst in seminars you will have a chance to work individually and in groups with fellow students on a variety of tasks, all aimed at consolidating your understanding of the key concepts covered in the module. You will receive formative feedback during these sessions.Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, both individually and within small groups or teams, enabling you to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analyse and make recommendations for appropriate ways forward for organisations and individuals.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion boards on the e-learning platform. You are also expected to broaden your understanding and knowledge through independent learning activities which will include but not limited to answering discussion questions, consulting corporate governance/ CSR codes and documents published by influential entities as well as reading relevant research papers, cases and reports.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University has in place systems to ensure you have an exceptional and enjoyable learning experience. The following are the different ways that you will be supported on, during your learning journey for this module:

1- Module site on the electronic learning portal (ELP): The module tutor will be the lead academic who has direct oversight on the design, delivery of teaching and learning on the module and will support you on achieving the relevant learning outcomes of this module. They will ensure that all relevant materials and instructions are readily accessible to you through our (ELP) Blackboard Ultra. The module site will include a teaching and learning plan, lecture materials, seminar tasks and indicative answers, as well as guidance on the assessment. We also utilise the lecture recording software (Panopto) to support you in recapping the knowledge given on the module. Furthermore, the module site will include a link to all essential and recommended readings.

2-Lectures and seminars are designed to be interactive and will utilise the latest educational technology to ensure your learning experience is useful and enjoyable. For example, lectures will include game-based learning tools. Seminars are also designed to provide you with continuous relevant and timely feedback to support your learning.

3- We provide support outside lectures and seminars, through dedicated teaching team’s office hours, when you can drop in to ask questions about the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• To understand the concept of corporate governance, responsibility, sustainability, and their increasing impact on stakeholders. (MLO1)
• To critically assess and apply key concepts, theories and frameworks related to corporate governance and responsibility in different contexts. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• To develop creative and critical thinking skills that involve independence, understanding, justification and the ability to challenge the thinking of self and others. (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• To critique personal skills and attitudes for progression to post-graduate contexts including professional accounting, entrepreneurship and higher level study’ (MLO4)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided to you through a range of seminar activities which will enable you to prepare for the summative assessment during, and at the end of the module. Hence you will have the opportunity to develop essay writing skills through activities integrated into seminars as well as independent learning activities (MLO3, 4). Students should, however, be aware that formative feedback can, and will, occur in any communication with an academic tutor (MLO4).

Summative Assessment:
• Two Multiple choice question exams (1 hour x 2) which will be delivered through the ELP – 30% (MLO1).
• You will further be assessed through the completion of an individual essay of 2000 words that requires research and discussion of the topics covered throughout the semester and, will be worth 70% of the module. It will be based on business scenarios, including questions which test your knowledge and ability to apply this knowledge in a business environment (MLO1, 2). Feedback will be provided on the essay, with annotated comments directly related to the assessment task. This will include a written comment on actions to be taken to improve performance in assessment overall.





Module abstract

When you step into the world of work – as an employee or future manager – being able to recognise and make sound judgements on complex corporate governance and responsibility issues will be vital. In recent years in particular, ethical scandals in the news have shown us just how important it is for companies to be more socially responsible and sustainable, as well as to act in a transparent manner. This module will give you a greater insight into the role corporate governance and responsibility plays in business. You’ll be encouraged to consider the challenges you may face in future business roles, and the module will give you the opportunity to develop your awareness of CSR on society and how you could contribute to value creation to make the business world more sustainable.

Course info

UCAS Code N405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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