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MSc Social Responsibility & Sustainability Full Time

Course Description

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Business Ethics and Sustainability (including related issues) are of concern for businesses locally, nationally and internationally. Their importance to the global economy has increased significantly in recent years and is likely to increase further in the future. As managers/leaders of the future, all graduates will be required to be socially responsible and sustainability literate. Complex decisions will need to be taken that take into account economic, social and environmental factors.

At Aston Business School, we believe that our own organisational practices should exemplify the values and attitudes we convey to our students. Which is why fully endorse and are actively engaged with the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education.

This programme combines both academic and practical perspectives relating to this area and is suitable for those already working (or aspiring to work) in roles related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability in commercial business, the public sector, social enterprises or the not-for-profit and charitable sectors.

Social responsibility and sustainable practices is something that is taken very seriously at Aston, that is why our campus has been recently awarded:

'First Class Honours' in the UK by the People and Planet Green League 2013, ranking us 12th out of 142 UK universities and scoring maximum points in the 'waste and recycling' and 'environmental policy' categories
Eco Campus Platinum award 2014

The programme aims to:

Adopt a transdisciplinary approach, enabling students to explore social responsibility and sustainability from multiple perspectives in a business context
Engage in intellectual debates that reflect core issues and dilemmas and explore theories and practices relating social responsibility and sustainability
Provide flexible, comprehensive programmes of study that meet the ideas and needs of local, national and international students enabling them to learn by the exchange of experience as well as formal academic study
Provide students with an excellent learning experience that develops intellectual, subject based and transferable skills through drawing on the research and experience of academic staff at Aston and beyond
Ensure relevance by maintaining and enhancing the School’ s links with business, professional, public and third sector organisations
Combine both academic and practical perspectives relating to this area to enable students completing the programme to be prepared for roles related to social responsibility and sustainability in commercial business, the public or third sectors
Enhance life-long learning skills and personal development to enable students to work with self-direction and contribute to business and society at large
Develop and enable students to develop their capacities as an informed and self-aware individual contributing to progressive organisational and social change.

Core Modules

Sustainability Accounting & Accountability
Global Ethics & Human Rights Responsibilities in Business
Strategic Business Sustainability
Strategy Change & Leadership
Communicating Sustainability
Corporate Governance Regulation and Compliance
Green Information and Operations Management
Public Policy For Social Responsibility & Sustainable Development

The programme then concludes with a dissertation project

The taught modules are assessed mainly through coursework with some examinations. The taught element of the programme is complemented by a substantial research project leading to the completion of a dissertation.

Course Director

Carole Parkes, MSc (Psychol), FCIPD
Carole is a Senior Lecturer (Ethics, Responsibility and Human Rights) and Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston University. As part of Aston’s commitment to the United Nations (Global Compact) backed Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRiME), Carole participates in UN forums for PRiME, is a leading member of the PRiME group, ‘Fighting poverty as a challenge for business and management and regularly speaks at events on responsibility and CSR and sustainability. Locally, Carole works with a range of business and community groups.

Career Opportunities

This programme combines both academic and practical perspectives relating to this area and would be suitable for those interested in working in roles related to CSR and Sustainability in commercial business, the public sector, social enterprises or the not for profit and charitable sectors. It also provides the opportunity to study a specialist MSc for those currently working in this area as well as those who aspire to do so.

Recent examples of roles secured by MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability graduates include:

Social and Environmental Consultant- Deloitte, Paris
Product Developer- AZB: Competence Centre for Future-orientated Building, Hamburg
Social Innovation Manager- Mindspace Ltd, Budapest

Visit the MSc Social Responsibility & Sustainability Full Time page on the Aston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nicole Ortler

2521.jpg "I am really happy to be here and enjoy every minute of it. I think I have already learned many things in the short time I've been here. I have learned how to communicate effectively with people from different educational, cultural & professional backgrounds. Furthermore, thanks to the help offered by the careers service I was able to improve my CV, cover letter writing and LinkedIn Profile and now feel prepared to start the job search."


Aston Excellence Scholarships (All MSc Programmes) - No. of awards TBC

Our MSc scholarships are designed to support talented applicants wishing to develop their skills and knowledge with one of our MSc programmes. For 2015/16 we have a variety of scholarship awards available.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000 - £1,500


Applicants wishing to apply for one of the Aston MSc scholarships must meet the following criteria:Have been offered a place on one of our MSc courses
Be a self-funded student

Application Procedure

Applicants must download and complete the scholarship application form which can be found on the website. The completed form must then be emailed to [email protected] Please note that all forms must be completed in full those recived with missing information will not be assessed.Applicants make only one general scholarship application for all of the above scholarships and are not required to specify which scholarship they wish to be considered for. This decision will be made by the scholarship panel.Please note that all scholarships are specific to the degree programme and point of entry indicated in any scholarship offer confirmation and are not transferable.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

One of the following: a good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class), equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University. As well as: two professional references, at least one must be from an academic referee, an official academic transcript of your university grades to date, a completed application form. For International Students: an official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls short of these requirements.

Course Fees

UK/EU: £9,350 (2015 fee) International: £13,800 (2015 fee)

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