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Analyse and critically evaluate theories pertinent to responsibility, ethics and sustainability in diverse global-local contexts


This module provides learners with the opportunity to conceptualise ethics, responsibility and sustainability in diverse global settings. It allows students to develop an insight into the expanding role of sustainable development, corporate governance, responsible business practice and the ethical dimensions of organisational policies and practices.

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse and critically evaluate theories pertinent to responsibility, ethics and sustainability in diverse global-local contexts
  2. Assess the potential for leading and implementing sustainability and governance policies in selected sectors and organisations
  3. Identify appropriate stakeholders and strategic collaboration opportunities for organisations and communities locally, nationally and globally
  4. Critically assess the impact of current organisational practices on sustainable development for future generations

Students should only register for the module when they can dedicate sufficient time for the required study. The study includes up to ten hours for the pre-module assessment plus six weeks of module study, with a final seventh week for finalizing the end point assessment. Each week of the module you will have a 60-90 minute recorded lecture, a 90-minute online tutorial, assessment exercises, forum activities and a study resource pack. The study resource pack contains all of the readings, links, case studies and teaching slides you will need for your study; there is no requirement to research beyond the module. In total, you should allow 24 hours for teaching plus up to a further 176 hours for study, assessment preparation and readings across the module. See the Module Descriptor Form on page 15 for further information.

Apart from the live online tutorials, all study can be completed during your own time. However, you are encouraged to complete each unit over a one week period to enable the class to work synchronously with the module programme.

One of the strengths of the module is the opportunity to share ideas and best practice with students from elsewhere around the world. Remember the module is about global-local challenges! The module draws students from across the suite of RKC specialist Masters programme allowing you to share experiences with your class colleagues who are from all around the world. We will facilitate sharing online through Forum discussions and online tutorial sessions via zoom. While not everyone will be able to attend, or attend each week, in order to maximize the benefit of this to yourself and to the rest of your class, you are encouraged to be open to sharing ideas in a confidential, supportive, non-judgmental and encouraging way.

The tutorials run on Thursday from 14.00-15.30 Zurich time of weeks 1 through to 6


There is mandatory pre-course work to complete prior to beginning the module. The pre-course work is broken down into two areas: pre-course teaching/reading, and a related pre-course exercise with a written output. You should be able to complete the pre-course work in approximately five to ten hours. You have four weeks to complete the work. If you do not have time to do this, please contact StudentCare to discuss rearranging your module for when you are able to more fully engage. The deadline for the work is the Friday before the module begins. You should upload your formative assignment to the link provided on your RKC portal.

Please review the section in this handbook on Pre Course Work for instructions. See page 8 for details.


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) act as a framework for this module. As you will see in the OneList reading by Scheyvens et al (2016), the SDGs have been designed with business at the heart of the goals, both in terms of their development and delivery. The SDGs provide a sustainability and governance framework that is common to businesses, and other forms of organisation, anywhere in the world. While other frameworks you may be familiar with are related to delivering aspects of ethical behaviour, business responsibility and / or sustainability can be useful - for example Elkington’s Triple Bottom Line, People, Planet, Profit or ‘CSR’ - these models can also be of limited use within different forms of organisation as well as contested academically. You can explore their limitations within the OneList readings. Recent research finds


that business and community organizations’ are moving to engage with the SDGs as these provide a common language, specific measurable targets, and the opportunity to contribute locally to global issues in a way that captures qualitative as well as quantitative reporting. This makes the SDGs useful for engaging all stakeholders, at all levels with dialog towards sustainable development. Each week we will be exploring areas of ethics, responsibility and sustainability that are related to the different SDGs. We will not be able to explore all 17 of the goals in our six-week module but we will do our best to offer goals that are likely to be most relevant.

If you would like to use the time before the module starts to familiarize yourself with the SDGs, you will find the link here useful. Please note: the assessment will be anchored into the module teaching for each week. You should not attempt to answer the assessment brief based on the SDGs alone.


You, as a student, should be aware of the following penalties:

Assessment Word Limit – the upper limit specified may be exceeded by up to 10% without penalty. Penalties apply to work which exceeds the word limit beyond 10%, including citations within the main body of your assignment, and you will lose marks. Please refer to the academic regulations here so that you are aware of these penalties. If you falsify the word count you will be subject to Minor Malpractice procedures and will receive a penalty in accordance with those procedures. Please familiarise yourself with these procedures. Further details about assessment word limits can be found here


Assessment Method


Hand in date

Feedback Method

Feedback date

Diagnostic and formative:


Various opportunities throughout the module

Verbal and written

Ongoing throughout

the module, including




via one to one zoom




support and written





Formative: Portfolio of evidence consisting of Pre-Course Work, individually produced


Uploaded to site latest 23:59hrs Zurich time

Friday 11th September


(before the start of the module)

Formative feedback by tutor online

By the end of module week 2

Summative: Portfolio of evidence consisting of six set exercises, individually produced

100% (Core - you must pass this element)

Uploaded to site latest 23:59hrs Zurich time


Friday 27th November

Written feedback

Forum, 20 working days after submission of final piece of work for the portfolio

Friday 8th January (including Christmas University closure)

To pass the module you must achieve an overall mark for your final assessment of at least 50%. If you should fail to do this and are granted a reassessment opportunity by the relevant Module Assessment Board then the work you are required to do and the date by which you must submit it will be communicated to you by University of Cumbria.

Internally agreed feedback and provisional marks will be disclosed to students within 20 working days. [This is before moderation by the External Examiner and confirmation of marks by the Module Assessment Board and hence marks will only be provisional at this point in time].

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is the process of evaluating (and grading) the learning of students at a point in time.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is designed to help learners learn more effectively by giving them feedback on their performance and how it can be improved and sustained.

Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic assessment is the process of evaluating the ability and preparedness for a programme or module of study, identifying possible learning problems.

Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Pre-Course Formative Assessment Brief


Module Title


Tackling Global-Local Challenges

in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Assessment Title

Portfolio Part 1: Pre course work





Latest hand in date

Submission date:

(23:59hrs GMT) Please upload your document to the  site using the correct assessment upload link

Learning Outcomes assessed


Indicative word count


Important note:

This is a mandatory pre-course assessment. You have four weeks to complete the work and submit it to the RKC link provided.

If you are unable to submit the work, you should contact StudentCare to discuss re-arrangement of your course.

The pre-course work reflects the skills required for the marked submission and is a formal opportunity for your tutor to guide and support you. You will not receive a grade but you will receive written feedback and guidance. The pre-course work also acts as a foundation to the approach of the courses

You should watch the teaching session (60-75 minutes video) and then use the session resource pack to carry out independent study of the topic.

From the resource pack, you will be linked to all the case studies, readings and further videos you need. You are not required to carry out any additional research and should use the linked resources from the resource pack as the basis of your study. You do not need to try to read everything but, as usual, the more you are able to put in the more you are likely to get out of your study. You should allow 5-10 hours for the work.

You should also use the pre-course work as an opportunity to ensure you can access the library OneList. There is a PDF included in this pre-course unit to help you with this. You will need to access the library OneList to successfully complete the course so please contact the librarian (details in the guidance) if you have difficulty.

The assessment details are as follows. You should answer all three parts of the question (1,000 words + /- 10% plus appendices where appropriate). Please see marking matrix below.

  1. Critically analyse specific ideas from the session that you personally see as relevant to you and the way you make sense of, and engage with, ethics, business responsibility and / or sustainability (E R S). You should think of this as a literature review and anchor your discussion in the linked session resources (not slides) and OneList readings. (400 words)
  2. Complete the Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) included with the teaching. Use this as a tool to help you critically reflect on your personal values; the values you prioritise, how those values are shaped by your ethical journey and how your current actions and behaviour reflect your values. Use this reflection to help you complete the template table provided on page 5 of the assessment brief (see copy below) and include the table as your answer. (200 words)
  3. Finally, choose a photograph of a place that is personally special to you. Reflect on why it is special to you and try to make explicit links to your values in explaining this. Try to outline how this reflects your ideas of E R S. (100 words)

Please note:

(i)  there are examples within the teaching resource pack of completed exercises

(ii) If you chose to include your answers to the SVS as an appendix, please only includethe circumplex map completed with your answers (not the full questionnaire)

General guidance:

  • You should include the usual cover page, authorship and plagiarism statement. Include a brief abstract (up to 250 words) summarising the whole paper (excluded from word count)
  • Include a table of contents
  • Use the introduction (200 words) to give brief background about yourself that you are willingto share with your tutor. This might include background on your ethical journey, influences that are particularly significant for you and where you are now on your journey through life. Then indicate what is to follow in the paper.
  • You must base your answer on the teaching and resources provided. A minimum of 90% of references should come from the linked session resources / library OneList. Any additional references you choose to include should be particularly relevant to the assessment brief.
  • You must provide a full reference list in Harvard style at the end of your paper and include the url address for all references (including the unique url link to library OneList readings)

Make sure you include a brief conclusion (100 words) summarising the key points of your paper.

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