MN0490 - Sustainable Strategic Decisions

What will I learn on this module?

The module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills pertinent to responsible financial decision making practices. In doing so, this module will equip you with both theoretical and practical knowledge regarding corporate governance, social responsibility and sustainable strategic decision making in finance.

Within the module, you will cover the following five main topics:

• The role of finance, operations and marketing functions in strategic decision making
• Financial evaluation of sustainable investment projects
• Corporate governance, accountability and disclosure
• Socially responsible investment
• Corporate social and environmental reporting

The module will lead you to the development of critical evaluation of strategic decisions in finance and how they are affected by the governance, sustainability and ethical aspects of the business within an international context. You will become aware of how responsible decision-making can contribute towards meeting sustainable strategic objectives for companies operating in competitive global business environment.

On completing the module you will be able to apply knowledge of responsible and ethical behaviour to corporate financial decision making and critically appreciate the relevant factors influencing sustainable strategic decisions whilst being able to analyse corporate performance using corporate governance and ethical screening techniques.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is designed in an innovative way, where weekly lectures will provide you with the theoretical underpinning of the module content along with key concepts and techniques. While weekly seminars cover the key financial decision making, business simulation exercises and critical evaluation of journal articles. This will allow you to develop your skills of strategic decision making in finance underscored by critical appreciation of ethical, governance and social responsibility aspects of the business that are key to survival and success in a competitive global business environment. Moreover, you will be presenting research paper evaluation during seminars which will further develop the your analytical, evaluative and presentational skills.

There will be a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect a reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all seminar sessions which facilitate application of theory to 'real-life' situations, critical analysis and drawing of recommendations for appropriate ways forward for organizations/individuals.

Your directed learning will be based upon a range of activities including pre-reading of academic research articles in journals, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.

Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities self-identified by you, to gain deeper and broader knowledge and understanding of the subject. You may engage in relevant extended reading, reflection and research activities.

Given the interactive nature of the module, you will continuously receive tutor and peer (formative) feedback during seminars on paper presentations, exercises and business simulation activities.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. A team of academic staff are allocated to seminar groups of about 20 students each, which provides a closer, more personal academic support.

• Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses lecture materials, assessment details and various support facilities such as recordings of certain lectures and IT applications alongside other electronic support facilities such as indicated above.

• You will be provided with a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of various academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that covers various concepts and approaches relevant to sustainable strategic decision making.

• The module assessment consists of two components: the first component is an in individual assignment on business simulation, while the second component is an individual presentation that you will be asked to prepare. Thus throughout the teaching semester all the seminar tasks that you will be asked to do are mapped and linked to the assessment. This will encourage your active participation in the learning process throughout the semester. The e-Learning portal will be used to permanently host seminar resources released to ensure that you can access the information required at all times.

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:
• Acquire, interpret and critically apply knowledge relating to strategic decision making. [MLO1]
• Understand the relevant factors influencing sustainable strategic decisions, whilst being able to analyse corporate performance using corporate governance and ethical screening techniques. [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Understand responsible and ethical behaviour to corporate financial decision making. [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed by two summative assessments that will be made available at the beginning of your teaching semester - Assignment (25%) and Individual Presentation (75%)

- Component A: Assignment (25%):

Individual assignment on business simulation (2,000 words, 25% weighting) includes : a critical evaluation of the performance of the company including the extent to which the company achieved the strategic objectives set out in the business plan, together with an evaluation of the effectiveness of decision-making in the team from the perspective of finance degree specialism.
This will assess MLO1 and MLO2.

- Component B: Individual Presentation (75%)

You will be allowed to select real world company and will be asked to reflect their understanding of the taught components through in depth research, financial calculation and critical assessment of areas including current debate in corporate governance, sustainable and ethical business and investment practice.
This will assess ML01, ML02 and ML03.





Module abstract

Ethics, corporate governance and social responsibility has attracted much attention over the last decade and are now key aspects that businesses strive to enhance in order to achieve sustainable financial growth and international competiveness. This module provides you with knowledge and skills that will help you to effectively contribute to sustainable strategic decision making process in an international context. The module is designed in an innovative way that will help you transfer academic knowledge and analytical concepts and techniques to real life business situations through the business simulation element of the module. This is also underpinned by a research-rich learning philosophy, which will help you develop your knowledge and critical evaluation skills, yet with the high level of students’ participation through presentations and extensive tutor formative feedback, you will also further develop your presentational skills, and indeed all these skills are transferable to working life. Technology enhanced learning underpins this module as well, including using the electronic learning portal to host all teaching materials, lectures recordings, teaching and learning plan as well as assessment information. Moreover, the business game is also supported by the state of the art specialised software package ‘Executive Business Simulation software provided by April’ and supported by electronic reading list which can help you manage your readings and notes taking.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 16 months Full Time
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 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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