Investigating Fairtrade in Coursework and Dissertations


Are you looking for ideas for coursework or dissertations? Find out how you can investigate sustainability and Fairtrade in your subject, and how we can support you.

A great way to make any coursework or dissertation question unique, up to date and relevant is to base it around current affairs and future topics which affects and will affect all industries, careers, and personal lives worldwide. One of the most relevant topics is Sustainability.

In line with our Sustainability Policy as a university, we are committed to being a Fairtrade University and work with the Fairtrade Foundation to ensure that status is maintained. The Fairtrade Foundation is an international charity dedicated to increasing impact and that licenses the use of the Fairtrade mark.

Selling and buying Fairtrade products helps to ensure workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay for farmers and high quality, ethically produced products for shoppers. Many farmers do not receive a fair price for what they produce, and what we ultimately eat.  Workers are exploited, do not receive a fair wage and are being denied freedoms such as collective bargaining and health & safety standards. Therefore, working with the Fairtrade Foundation is so important.

How you can investigate this in your coursework ideas or dissertation questions

Are you a student or lecturer in business, psychology, environmental science, human resource management, law, marketing, advertising, mental health nursing, design, or something else? Fairtrade can be investigated and relatable in your subject. If you are teaching staff already doing this then please let us know.

You can find case studies on Fairtrade here: Fairtrade Case Studies - Fairtrade Foundation

Example coursework/project ideas:

  • Ask students to create an advertising/marketing campaign on; Fairtrade’s impact on climate change, student engagement in Fairtrade issues, how lives of Fairtrade famers have improved, or the impact Fairtrade has had on women farmers.
  • Set up a debate, assigning groups of students to represent different members involved in Fairtrade. Help encourage research around the subject, improve communication and debating skills and learn the roles and impacts of Fairtrade.
  • Look into the law around Fairtrade, compare different countries requirements and ask the question; is there enough law supporting Fairtrade?

Developing dissertation question ideas:

There are many ways to undertake research and analysis from a range of disciplines into Fairtrade.  We suggest you look at what the Fairtrade Foundation is doing and how Fairtrade helps address key social, environmental, and economic issues.  You can undertake a literature review of the subject to help develop your dissertation question.  Remember research can also be applied to how the university, our caterers and our outlet customers consider sustainability within business or in their lives as consumers.

How can we support you

If investigating Fairtrade in your coursework or dissertation has sparked an interest, please email to get support if needed. Also, please let us know if you have or are planning to investigate Fairtrade in your studies.

Note: We have also published information for students on Student News:  Investigating Fairtrade in your Dissertation