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Corporate Governance and Business Ethics (MSc/PGCert)

Course Description

The main aim of this Master's degree is to provide a postgraduate-level education for those interested in studying the complex and changing relationships between business corporations, their stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, etc.) and the societies in which they operate.

The economic and financial aspects of corporate governance relationships have long been of concern to those in the business and investment communities, and in recent years the social, political and moral aspects of these relationships have also become a major public concern. This programme aims to address both these sets of issues and to meet the needs of people wishing to engage critically with the policy aspects of corporate governance as well as those wishing to be involved professionally in the direction and regulation of companies and the management or trusteeship of pension funds and other investments.

The programme is available for full-time study over 1 year or part-time study over 2 years and combines coursework with independent research, leading to a dissertation. You can also choose a specialist pathway through the programme, depending on your interests and career objectives, selecting 1 from: corporate governance and ethics; environmental issues; finance and accounting; or public sector governance. These are run in collaboration with other departments at Birkbeck, giving you access to a wide range of option modules and a truly interdisciplinary approach to corporate governance and business ethics.

Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, theDepartment of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management. Our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge articles in the world's leading journals.

We have particular research strengths in international business and strategy, the management of innovation and entrepreneurship, human resource management, corporate governance, sport management and marketing, as well as financial management and accounting.

We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to study either part-time or full-time in our department and to gain an internationally recognised University of London qualification.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

The programme is international in scope, recognising both the wide variety of cultures and corporate governance systems within which businesses operate worldwide and the increasing globalisation of business and finance.
The programme builds on the Department of Management’s research strength in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics. This is supported by the London Centre for Corporate Governance and Ethicsresearch centre.
The programme combines an interdisciplinary approach with in-depth research training in management. It provides a strong foundation for PhD research in the area and has achieved ESRC Research Training recognition.
The programme benefits from the involvement of a number of leading figures in the field including members of national and international committees on corporate governance, shareholder activists and NGO representatives.
The programme has a number of streams, enabling you to concentrate on particular areas within the broader field of corporate governance and ethics, including public sector governance (in collaboration with our Department of Politics); environmental issues in corporate governance (in collaboration with our Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies); and finance and accounting.
Students who complete the MSc with a focus on finance and accounting will be exempted from 4 of the taught modules required for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) Professional Qualification, Grad ICSA.
Designed for those wishing to engage critically with the issues of business and society and those wishing to be involved professionally in corporate governance or corporate social responsibility.
We engage in significant collaborative research and have excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.
You will have access to Moodle, our online learning resource where all information and materials relating to your programme of study and modules are available. You will also have access to the Birkbeck Library and e-Library where you can obtain books and journal articles that are required for your studies.

Visit the Corporate Governance and Business Ethics (MSc/PGCert) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Gulnaz Khamidullina

4079.jpg Gulnaz Khamidullina found Birkbeck, University of London, when she was searching online in Moscow for courses on corporate governance, and she has never looked back since. Aged 33, Gulnaz moved from her native Russia and her life as a senior consultant at accountancy firm Ernst & Young to study full-time for an MSc in Corporate Governance and Ethics at Birkbeck. The course was a 'perfect match' and has helped her achieve her ambition of pursuing her academic career. Gulnaz is now studying for a PhD in Management at Cranfield University.

Gulnaz found her year at Birkbeck stimulating and enjoyable for many different reasons, including the content of her course, the networking opportunities with other students, and living in London. She said: “One of Birkbeck’s unique features is the student body. Most other students are already working and they bring their own professional experience and practical knowledge to the classroom. You can really benefit from networking with senior staff working for major companies. The discussions were really insightful and interesting.”

Living and studying in central London was also a positive experience for Gulnaz. Gulnaz said: 'I am a big city person, and I love mixing with people and finding new friends. Birkbeck is based in Bloomsbury, which is a beautiful part of central London. There is always so much to do and many tourist attractions, including the British Museum just around the corner. It was also very interesting to hear speakers from major businesses and corporations at events in London and at university seminars.'

Gulnaz’s dissertation focused on the effectiveness of audit committees, and helped prepare her for further study. She said: 'I learned to work independently as an independent researcher. The course exceeded my expectations. At the beginning I never expected that the MSc programme would be such a rewarding and life-changing experience for me. My research was an excellent training ground for my PhD. I was converted by Birkbeck from a business background to a career in academia. I enjoy research, asking questions and trying to find the answers.'


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally at least a second-class honours degree in any subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College. Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications. Our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Last Updated

07 August 2017

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 10450 pa

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