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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Business Ethics (BUST10004)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course provides a general grounding in both theoretical and applied ethics in a business context.
Course description The course content is designed around the following components: (i) a perspective on the moral content of managerial agency and corporate impact; (ii) a review and analysis of the range of theories within the field of moral philosophy; (iii) a critical analysis of the economic (markets) and organisational (commercial entities) contexts within which ethical or unethical decision making and practice operates; and (iv) an insight into applied ethics through the analysis of case studies and insights into codes of practice.

Outline Content

- Introduction: What is the role of Business in Society
- Models of Ethical Decision-making (1): Classic normative theories
- Models of Ethical Decision-making (2): A rights-based approach - Business and Human Rights
- Business ethics under pressure: Bureaucratic Rationality and the Limits of the Markets
- Review, Coursework & Academic skills: How to read an academic article & How write an academic essay
- Business Ethics and Professional ethics
- Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
- Sustainable value creation
- Circular Economy
- Tensions in Sustainability
- Review, Coursework, Feedback & Feed-forward

Student Learning Experience

Each lecture recording is to be combined with videos to watch & each live session aims to stimulate discussion and answer questions on class material
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Business Studies Honours Entry
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 168 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 60% Coursework (Individual)
40% Coursework (Individual)
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessments within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and discuss critically the scope and content of ethical theory (including its limitations) and its relevance for diverse institutional and operational business contexts, and individual choice and agency.
  2. Articulate and discuss critically various philosophical principles and theories which underpin conceptions of 'ethical' or 'unethical' behaviour in different contexts.
  3. Apply the theoretical precepts of ethical theory in order to evaluate real-life situations, clarify ethical alternatives, articulate associated moral values and be able to explain techniques of moral reasoning.
  4. Understand and discuss critically the content, objectives and limitations of corporate social responsibility policies.
Reading List
The course is built upon periodical material. Journals most cited are: Business Ethics Quarterly (BEQ), Business Ethics: A European Review (BEER), Journal of Business Ethics (JBE). These can all be accessed via the on-line, electronic journal collection at EUML. Other readings will either be provided as sources to be accessed via the EUML electronic journal collection or be distributed in hard copy during appropriate lectures. Where appropriate additional readings may be posted on Learn.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Act with integrity, honesty and trust in all business stakeholder relationships, and apply ethical reasoning to effective decision making, problem solving and change management.

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.

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.
Course organiserDr Lila Skountridaki
Tel: (0131 6)50 4307
Course secretaryMr Scott Fitzsimmons
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