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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Ethics and Sustainable Governance (CMSE11593)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course provides a strategic and technical understanding of the debates about the social, environmental and governance (ESG) related decision making, ESG reporting standards, ESG responsibilities of investors, and the current trends in the integration of environmental and social criteria in the investment process. This course is suitable for students seeking careers in investment management who want to achieve a better understanding of the environmental and social portfolio risks and opportunities. It can be equally of interest to all students working for organization (permanent or temporary) subject to investment pressures with regards to their ESG footprint.

The course will provide a common lecture series and will focus on four key areas:
- Decision making under competing economic, environmental, social priorities/pressures
- Trends and standards in ESG measurement and reporting
- The history of ESG integration in investments.
- Current practices in ESG integration in investments
- New forms of sustainable finance such as impact investment, social impact bonds, peer to peer financing and diverse crowd-based approaches to investments.

This course can contribute to the reflections central to programme management with regards to environmental and social impact of business operations, how reporting on them is conducted and how investors consider these factors in investment processes and engagements with their portfolio companies.
Course description The course starts off by a reflection on ethical decision making when dealing with competing economic, social, environmental and governance priorities/pressures. It will then shift its focus to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis, the challenges of converting complex social and environmental issues into numbers and of comparing such numbers across different entities. We will then delve into the politics of ESG reporting standards and the current trends in their uptake.

In the second part of the course, we will discuss the institutional structure of the investments field, identifying different types of actors including both asset owners and asset managers and how they engage with ESG matters. We will then detail how investors use their capital to pressure their investees for adjustments in their ESG behaviour through diverse practices framed as shareholder engagement. We will wrap up the course with discussions about new forms of finance and their potentials for positive ESG impact ranging from blockchain to peer to peer / decentralized modes of financing and social impact bonds.

The lecture series will focus on the following areas:
1. Ethical decision making when facing competing Economic, Environmental, Social and Governance priorities.
2. Introduction to Environmental and Social Reporting
3 Overview of portfolio environmental and social risks
4. Engagements aimed at improving environmental and social risk management
5. New forms of Finance between democratization of finance and financialization of public goods
6. Synthesis group project presentations

Student Learning Experience:
Use of practical, hands on cases, audio-visual material, but also class interactions and discussions are central elements in the pedagogical approach for this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% Coursework (Individual) - assesses course Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4
70% Presentation (Group) - assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: TBC
Summative: TBC
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse ethics decision making when dealing with competing pressures/values.
  2. Leverage knowledge of ESG reporting, and responsible investments to analyze the implications of different environmental and social risks for different investor categories.
  3. Assess the types and strategic implications of different RI techniques for the investors and also the corporations in their investment portfolio and also the environment and society.
  4. Integrate environmental and social risks and opportunities into different investment products.
  5. Display a critical understanding of the expanding role of new, decentralized modes of financing such as impact investment, blockchain etc, within the broader field of responsible investments.
Reading List
Core reading:
- Louche C. and Lydenberg S. Responsible Investment Dilemmas. Greenleaf Publishing. London. 2011.

Recommended reading:
- Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped; Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Philip Grant, Iain Hardie, Donald Mackenzie, Ekaterina Svetlova; Oxford University Press, London, UK.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
- Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore
and solve them responsibly.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Apply creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, sustainable and responsible business solutions to address social, economic and environmental global challenges.
- Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve - learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Cognitive Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to
- Understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Afshin Mehrpouya
Course secretaryMr Ross Muir
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