AC310-Responsible Investment and Sustainability Reporting

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Chris Biehl


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide third year undergraduate students with an understanding of the concepts, theory and practice of responsible investment and sustainability reporting in order to broaden their knowledge of accounting and financial management to incorporate issues of social and environmental accountability.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

1.explain the historic development of responsible investment and sustainability reporting
2.assess the need for institutional investors to adopt the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) at a global level
3.evaluate the need for companies to disclose social, ethical and environmental information for their investors
4.comment on current debates on responsible investment, sustainability reporting and integrated reporting
5.discuss the materiality of social, ethical and environmental issues to the institutional investment community
6.evaluate the competing theoretical frameworks which seek to explain why companies report sustainability information voluntarily as well as theories underlying the growth of ethical and responsible investment
7.appreciate the growing importance of integrating social, ethical and environmental issues into accounting and institutional investment

Additional outcomes:
Structured activities are designed to develop transferrable skills such as written, presentation and communication skills necessary for working in a business environment.

Outline content:
1. theories of voluntary social, ethical and environmental reporting
2. theories underlying ethical and responsible investment
3.materiality of social, ethical and environmental information to institutional investment
4. strategies of ethical and responsible investment
5. quality and quantity of sustainability reporting
6. assurance of sustainability reports
7. biodiversity accounting in a global context
8. climate change reporting and climate change funds

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures of two hours per week will be used for the exposition of the major concepts, principles and techniques under consideration. Tutorials of two hour’s duration will be used for problem solving, group discussions and presentation based on case study materials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 155 15
Total hours by term 183.00 17.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessments are available in the class for most weeks of the module to enable students to gain the necessary practice.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One 3-hour unseen written paper

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination only (one 3-hour unseen written paper) in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 30 January 2017

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