Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Ethics and Corporate Governance

Course summary

Course code: ACCO1127
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Business Faculty
Department: Accounting and Finance
Course Coordinator(s): Olufemi Decker


Pre and co requisites



The aim of this course is to develop the students' critical understanding of aspects of good and ethical corporate governance and of corporate social responsibility. Students should be able to review and evaluate governance structures and responsibilities; and to exercise judgement in utilising and reviewing ethical rules and concepts for business and the accountant in society. In addition, they will be able to critically evaluate the role of internal auditors in assuring that organisations comply with corporate governance and ethical policies.

Learning outcomes

1. Explain and evaluate the importance of corporate and professional responsibility and ethical behaviour.
2 Apply diagnostic skills when examining and assessing CSR and environmental and social reporting.
3 Research and evaluate responsibilities of governance and how they are operating in complex environments.
4 Critically evaluate the concepts and mechanics of internal auditing that are applied to determine and ensure compliance with corporate governance and ethical policies.
5 Consolidate and extend your ability in researching and information gathering, including the library and electronic search material.
6 Demonstrate an ability to write and debate about aspects of business ethics and corporate governance in a manner that is analytical, logical and critical.

Indicative content

• Introduction to the course: - An Inter-related topic -Business Ethics/Corporate Social Responsibility/Corporate governance/Auditing.
• Framing business ethics & corporate social responsibility CSR: theories & models
• The Modern Corporation, morals and corruption
• Scandals and the Corporation
• Agent-principal problems & Solutions
• Environmental & Social Accounting - issues of sustainability.
• Ethics and International Business - A global perspective
• The history and nature of corporate governance in the UK
• Corporate Governance - 'The Code'.
• Non-executive directors and the audit committee
• Institutional investors and corporate governance
• International corporate governance
• Current issues in corporate governance
• Audit and the Corporate Governance Codes
• Internal Audit Standards
• Auditing standards
• Risk: the Audit Committee
• Auditing & Ethical Codes

Teaching and learning activity

The course will use formal lectures to enable students to obtain the necessary knowledge required. In addition to the formal lectures, learning will take place through interactive seminars, using case studies, Internet material, DVD's and radio broadcasts. Seminars will be used for students to develop and demonstrate their evaluation and critical understanding of Business Ethics and Corporate Governance in modern corporations. Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours). Scheduled contact hours: Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work , fieldwork, external visits, work-based learning where integrated into a structured academic programme.

Lectures 36; seminars 36; supervised practical sessions 0; Tutorials 0; Private Study - 150; Assignments: course work and other forms of assessment - coursework - 100.


Individual Report - 80% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 1-6. Outline Details - A research based report on a topical ethical or corporate governance issue. 3000-3500 words.

Portfolio - 20% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 1-6. Outline Details - A portfolio based on a set of tutorial type exercises . 2000-2500 words.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.