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MSc Social Responsibility & Sustainability

This programme enables students to explore social responsibility and sustainability from multiple perspectives in a business context.
  • Adopts a transdisciplinary approach, enabling students to explore social responsibility and sustainability from multiple perspectives in a business context
  • Aston Business School has a real commitment to ethics and the social and natural environment
  • Endorse and fully engage with the UN Global Compact Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME)
  • Provide you 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
  • Excellent employment opportunities, Aston Business School is ranked in the top 10 in world for careers (FT Masters in Management 2013)

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 o
rganisational practices should exemplify the values and attitudes we convey to our students. We fully endorse and are actively engaged with  the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education.

In
addition, Aston University is now ranked 5th in the UK in The People and Planet Awards 2010 (from a position of 93rd in 2007). See map of local ethical & sustainable suppliers devised by students on the course as part of Aston's Go Green Week.

This programme combines both academic and practical perspectives and is suitable for those people 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 provides the opportunity to study a specialist MSc for those currently working in this area as well as those who aspire to do so.

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:


In addition to your Aston degree, you will have the opportunity to participate in our international study exchange programme. Studying with one of our partner institutions, the programme will further enhance your international experience and communication skills, preparing you for a career in the international business environment.

Part-time / Distance learning available:
There are plans to develop this programme in block format.  Many people working in social responsibility and sustainability have no formal education in these areas, so it is planned to make the programme available at Certificate, Diploma or MSc levels (with stepping off points) to provide underpinning skills/knowledge and a qualification. There may also be the opportunity for individual modules to be available for CPD.

Entry Requirements (one of the following):

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University
  • Consideration will be given to equivalent professional qualifications and in exceptional circumstances those qualified by extensive relevant experience. Candidate interview would be required for those with non- standard qualifications and experience.

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
  • 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 just short of these requirements.

Duration of programme: Full-time - 1 year 
Part-time / distance learning 2-5 years 
Start date: September

Fees:
UK/EU:          £9,250 (2014 fee)
International:  £9,250 (2014 fee)

Scholarships:

If you are among ‘the brightest and the best’, we have a range of generous scholarships which can open the way for you to study with us. Find out more >>

Apply now:
Apply for this programme online

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.


Aston Business School has a network of ‘Career Champions’ - MSc alumni who are working in a range of sectors globally or running their own business. To find out more about Career Champions click here.

Course Directors

Carole Parkes
MSc (Psychol), FCIPD
Carole Parkes is Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston Business School. As part of Aston's commitment to the United Nations (Global Compact) Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRiME), Carole participates in Forums at the UN and regularly speaks at events on Responsibility and Sustainability including the Association of American Business Schools, the UN PRiME event on Climate Change in Copenhagen and in June 2009 hosted a UK Universities event at Aston for the UN PRiME supported by the British Academy of Management, the Association of Business Schools and the Association of MBA's.

Locally, Carole also works with the Birmingham Centre for Business Ethics and Business in the Community.

In June 2012, Carole was a Discussion Leader at the PRME Global Forum at Rio+20 Earth Summit, contributed a case study on Aston for the ‘Inspirational Guide for Integrating Sustainability’ and co authored the Report on Fighting Poverty as a Challenge for Management Education.

In July 2012, Carole had an article published in the New Statesman, titled 'to change the banks, we must first change the business schools.'

Recent book: Strategic HRM: Building Research Based Practice: (2008) Chapter  ‘Corporate Responsibility, Ethics and Strategic HRM’ Aston Centre for Human Resources, CIPD publishing.


Dr John Blewitt
BScEcon, MA, MEd, PhD, FRSA
John Blewitt is Director of Lifelong Learning at Aston University, UK.  Formerly Director of the MSc Sustainable Development at University of Exeter, he is author of The Ecology of Learning (Earthscan, 2006) and Understanding Sustainable Development (Earthscan, 2008) and editor of Community, Empowerment and Sustainable Development (Green Books, 2008).

He has experience of community activism, local government, consultancy and has a strong interest in professional education.  His most recent project involves working with Wildscreen on the use of film, television and new media in conservation education and lifelong learning.  His latest book Putting Animals in the Frame is due out in the autumn of 2010.

He is a member of the Commission for Education and Communication of the IUCN, the UK Sustainable Development Panel and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Teaching staff

Teaching staff are drawn from a range of different disciplines within and beyond the Business School.

External speakers also provide insights that add to the applied nature of the programme.

Teaching staff include:


Contact us

Contact details: 

Ms Katie Mallon
Aston Business School postgraduate admissions office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3125
Email: k.l.mallon@aston.ac.uk

Contact details:
Aston Business School Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3200
Email: abspgenquiry@aston.ac.uk
Green Gown Awards

Career and personal development

Career and personal development

Career champions

Career champions

Funding your study

Funding your study

Accommodation

Accommodation

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research