MQM2RC04-Governance, Ethics, Culture and Accountability in Financial Services

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Chardin Wese-Simen

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is for students studying MSc in Regulation and Compliance (Degree Apprenticeship) only.


This module seeks to examine the specific nuances to the theory and practice of corporate governance, ethics and culture as applicable to the financial sector. The course aims to equip students with a sound understanding of the rationale and need for accountability. It critically analyses various theories and mechanisms of governance. The students will apply their knowledge by critically evaluating a number of examples from the business and academic worlds. Specifically, they will be able to robustly and effectively challenge and understand governance, culture and ethics within financial services firms and allied entities. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate the factors that affect decision making processes within firms under pressure and faced with incomplete, complex and conflicting information 

  • Apply a set of corporate values and governance principles to guide decisions and behaviours in complex situations 

  • Analyse the importance of various stakeholders and how they can promote good governance 

  • Discuss the importance of internal control, accountability and risk management systems and the appropriate basis for setting remuneration and guiding career pathing. 

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

In this module, students will examine key challenges in ethics, culture, governance and accountability. The module begins by drawing on the field of psychology to develop a deep understanding of behavioural biases and their implications for decision-making in finance. The course will then examine the concept of culture, its measurement and ESG ratings. The module then develops an appreciation of the rationales for different corp orate governance approaches and their underpinnings. It discusses various ways of ensuring good governance. Next, the module analyses the concept of corporate social irresponsibility. Special emphasis will be placed on why firms behave irresponsibly and the potential implications. The course also studies the role that institutional investors and key third parties, such as ratings agencies can play to promote good governance. Case studies from the busi ness world will be used to illustrate the key concepts. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Taught content for this module will primarily be delivered through lectures and syndicated learning, which will take place at a designated location. Where appropriate materials and learning will also be shared through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that is intended to facilitate and aid your learning journey within the MSc Programme. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 72
    Wider reading (directed) 16
    Exam revision/preparation 24
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Essay preparation 24
    Reflection 16
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2 hours closed book written examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

2,000 word coursework essay due in or after week 10 of the autumn term

Formative assessment methods:

There is an exam preparation and revision session (usually held in week 10).

Penalties for late submission:

Submission of coursework by your original deadline date or formally agreed extension to deadline date will not incur penalties. 

Submission of coursework within 30 calendar days of your original deadline date (or formally agreed extension to deadline date) will incur a 10 marks reduction. 

Submission of coursework more than 30 calendar days of your original deadline date (or formally agreed extension to deadline date) will incur a zero mark. 

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by 100% exam (capped at 50%); to be submitted within 6 weeks of notification of module failure, date dependent on cohort entry and to be advised by the Programme Administrator.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 14 June 2021


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