HR9412 - Business, Economy and Society

What will I learn on this module?

Governments and society are increasingly expecting business organisations to step up and assist in building cohesive societies through the application of more sustainable forms of capitalism. This module introduces you to the global economic, societal, technological and environmental challenges of the 21st century, and identifies how, through greater alignment of business interest with that of society and the economy, business can be a “force for good” as well as best prepared to ‘Take on Tomorrow’. You will focus on how contemporary businesses, broadly defined to include public, voluntary, not-for-profit and social enterprise, interact the economy and society though examination of topical news stories and events. In doing so, you will develop a deep understanding of the relationships between business, the economy and society and the global challenges we all face. You will explore a range of cultural, governmental and ethical issues that arise from current and developing global and national contexts through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key issues include business ethics, the role of business in society, green issues, stakeholder theory, capitalist variants, the nature of globalisation at firm, economic and societal level and the interrelationship between business and government. By the end of the module you will be able to evidence critical thinking and analysis skills while bringing your own experiences as a citizen into your discussion and inquiry.

How will I learn on this module?

Lectures, seminars and online webinars will introduce and evaluate contemporary social, environmental and economic issues that affect business organisations. Students will critically examine how a range of organisations respond to these challenges using real word data. Students will work in asynchronous groups utilising online technologies to work together replicating modern business practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

‘The learner-led, tutor-guided activities are organised in groups of around 20-30 learners working in smaller teams. This approach provides a closer, more personal academic support.
Academics will support you through the led sessions and in planning the types of activities you should be engaging in during your independent study time. They are also available upon request to support you outside of formal session time by responding to questions or concerns that you might have either via email or via individually pre-arranged appointments and/or drop-in sessions.
Academic support is also provided through the provision of a range of University learning support services. A wide range of online support materials is also available thought the virtual learning environment. These materials include recordings, webcasts, pre-recorded sessions, key academic skills, also an electronic reading list including RSS feeds that showcase the application of various practices presented in the module.

To support you in your academic progress, you will receive both formative and summative feedback on your work through the course of each academic year. Regular formative feedback on class activities provides you with the necessary guidance to scaffold your knowledge and understanding of the key concept and principles of the subject to enable your success in the final summative assessment. Summative feedback/feed-forward will be provided on your work after it has been assessed and graded. You should use all feedback that you receive to identify areas of strength and areas for future study and improvement’

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Develop Knowledge and understanding of a broad range of global social, environmental and economic issues which affect business organisations [MLO1]

• Gain a deeper understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals [ML02]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Develop research and analytical skills through primary research of organisational documentation [MLO3]
• Develop inter-personal, team-working and culturally aware skills within a diverse team in a face to face and/or online environment [MLO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

The module is summatively assessed by a short (10 mins) group presentation submitted as a recorded audio-visual artefact, and an individually produced, 3000-word critical report on the performance of a chosen organisation against social, environmental, ethical and economic criteria.

Presentation = 20% Marks [MLO1] [MLO2] [ML04]
Report = 70% Marks [MLO1] [MLO2] [ML03]
Peer assessment = 10% Marks [MLO4]

Feedback strategy

Feedback on your summative performance on this module will be provided in the form of written or oral feedback on both the group work artefact the submitted assignment. A peer assessment strategy will determine your performance working as part of a group.

Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relating to webinar and seminar tasks. Students should, however, be aware that formative feedback can, and will, occur in any communication with an academic tutor.





Module abstract

This module explores how business interacts with society and the economy, as well as the driving forces that are changing these relationships. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills to help you understand the broad context in which business managers and leaders operate and prepare you for future study, employment or even to become an entrepreneur. You’ll gain a theoretical and practical understanding of a broad range of global business issues through informative lectures and practical tutor-led workshops. Your tutors will introduce their own research and create a research-rich learning experience. You’ll be assessed on your understanding of the subject and ability to critically analyse and reflect on some of the most pressing issues in business and society. Wherever possible, this will simulate ‘real-world’ scenarios and you’ll work on a series of tasks during the semester to prepare for the final assessment.

Course info

UCAS Code N650

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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