Foundation degrees

Course Information

Corporate Social Responsibility and Natural Resources Management

Module summary

Module code: BUSI1434
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Hilary Claire Coote



The purpose of the course is to provide students with an insight into economic, political, cultural and social aspects of natural resources management from a business and corporate responsibility (CSR) perspective, particularly in the context of improving environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in companies operating in developing countries, including such practices as mining, oil drilling, commercial agriculture etc.

The course aims to:
• Provide students with the means to analyse the evolution, objectives and driving forces of different approaches to corporate social responsibility and their impact.
• Equip students with an understanding of the tools used in corporate social responsibility such as codes of conduct; standards, and the process of certification monitoring, verification and reporting.
• Demonstrate how to promote southern partnership and dialogue along the supply chain and participation of southern stakeholders, and to raise questions about the future of CSR and its impact on commercial and developmental relationships.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

1 Compare, contrast and critically analyse different CSR approaches, perspectives, initiatives and drivers in the natural resources sector.
2 Think critically about the way in which corporate social responsibility initiatives are implemented and reported and the assumptions behind them.
3 Consider the implications of the corporate responsibility agenda for development and developing country stakeholders, including governments.
4 Demonstrate verbal and written skills appropriate to the subject.

Indicative content

The course explores the concept of corporate responsibility, its scope and how it is defined and implemented by different actors. We consider the range of stakeholders involved, especially in a development context. We also look at the drivers for corporate responsibility, including consumers, civil society, as well as the role of government. We look at what tools companies use to implement CSR and to demonstrate and report their activities and impact. We then examine CSR in practice in four natural resource and food production spheres – agriculture and food, mineral and oil extraction and in forestry and logging.

Teaching and learning activity

Material will be delivered in interactive small group sessions. Students will be expected to give a short presentation, on their coursework, during the course.


Method of summative assessment: Presentation
Outcomes assessed:1,2
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :25%
Passmark: 50%
Word Length: 15 minute presentation (10 minute presentation and 5 minutes of questioning)
Outline Details:Presentation of outline approach for the critical evaluation.

Method of summative assessment: Review
Outcomes assessed:1,2,3,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :75%
Passmark: 50%
Word Length: 3,000
Outline Details:Critical evaluation of the CSR strategy of a multinational company (MNC), based on its latest CSR report, especially with regard to its operation in the natural resources sector in a developing country including in-depth examination of a particular issue. Students to select the MNC and confirm suitability for assessment with course leader.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Outline of CSR strategy with key aspects to be covered plus reflection on 3 MNCs considered and reason for selection of 1 company.