Sustainable Business

The details
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
11 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module provides a comprehensive exploration of sustainability within the realms of business, marketing, and entrepreneurship in today’s global economy and knowledge society. As the global landscape continues to evolve, organisations are increasingly recognising the need for sustainable practices. Drawing from the established ethics, governance and sustainability theories from within the literature, this first aim of the module is to equip students with a robust theoretical foundation encompassing diverse perspectives on ethics and sustainability. The module then further explores at the organisational level how sustainability can be integrated into business practices, ranging from sustainable marketing to how sustainable entrepreneurial behaviour can be induced. This module then considers the relations between sustainability and current regulatory environments, the law, and technological change. This includes the exploration of the perception and understanding of sustainability in different cultures, examples and case illustrations of sustainability dilemma in business activities, and latest development in sustainability including the sharing and circular economies.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • For students to develop a critical understanding of the underlying theories and business ethics, sustainability and good governance.

  • For students to understand how sustainability relates to organisational life with a view to developing a sound understanding of sustainability in business, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of principal theoretical approaches to and concepts of ethics and sustainability.

  2. Evaluate critically possible interventions in the presence of sustainability dilemmas faced by managers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in business organisations.

  3. Have developed a critical understanding of the sustainability challenges for managing and developing human resources effectively in different organisational contexts.

Transferable skills:

  • Communicate concepts and research to different communities and stakeholder groups.

  • Cultivate the ability to introspect and contemplate their personal responsibility when navigating the dynamic intersection of sustainability and the business world.

Module information

Indicative content:

  • Introduction to sustainability in business, marketing and entrepreneurship

    • Definition and principles of sustainability

    • Historical evolution of sustainable business marketing and entrepreneurship, practices

    • Global sustainability challenges and opportunities

    • UN Sustainable Development Goals and other policy initiatives

  • Theoretical perspectives on ethics and sustainability, including (but not limited to):

    • Triple bottom lines (3Ps)

    • Stakeholder theory, ethical egoism and ethical considerations in business decision-making

    • Ethical consumerism

  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship

    • Characteristics of sustainable entrepreneurs

    • Social and environmental impact assessment in entrepreneurship

    • Funding and support mechanisms for sustainable startups

  • Sustainable Marketing Strategies

    • Understanding consumer attitudes towards sustainability

    • Principles of green marketing and consumer-centric sustainability

    • Sustainable branding and communication

    • Consumer perception and behaviour in green marketing

    • Designing products and services for conscious consumers

  • Circular Economy and Sustainable Supply Chains

    • Concepts and principles of the circular economy

    • Integration of circular practices in business operations

    • Sustainable sourcing and supply chain management

    • Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in the circular economy

    • Marketing circular economy products and services

  • Social Entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives towards sustainability

    • Definition and characteristics of social entrepreneurship

    • Case studies of successful social enterprises

    • Scaling social impact through entrepreneurship

    • Impact of social marketing

  • Future Trends and Emerging Issues

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  1. One 1-hour lecture per week
  2. One 1-hour seminar per week

The lectures will be developed around the key concepts of ethics, governance and sustainability as mentioned in the indicative course content and will use a range of examples and cases from business practice and society to demonstrate the application of concepts.

The Seminars will concentrate particularly on the elaboration of specific theoretical approaches with reference to their possible application through the selection of business problems or ethical dilemmas which were either already experienced by students, that arose or are likely to arise in organisational, management, and business situations. Seminars will include the discussion of case studies/ethical dilemmas and journal articles/presentations.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Individual Report    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

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