Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 08/04/2022 09:46:20

Title of Module: Introduction to Business Ethics

Code: ACCT08015 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Kieran  James

Summary of Module

This module begins with an examination of the fundamental ethical theories and moral reasoning principles including utilitarianism, rights and duties, justice and fairness, and the ethics of care.  The follow-up lectures, supplemented with small-group discussions, cover a wide range of ethical issues concerning market systems and practices, environmental issues, consumer protection, job discrimination, conflicts between the individual and the organization and the ethical requirements of a selection of professions.  The module offers you a great opportunity to discuss and debate on the recent high-profile ethical scandals.

You will benefit greatly from the professional background, scholarship and research activities of your lecturers on this module.

This module is suitable for delivery overseas.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark



check mark




Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Explain key theories of business ethics.

L2. Apply appropriate concepts and ethical principles to a range of situations.

L3. Develop an ethical awareness of everyday life and work situations.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Understanding the basic ethical theories and moral reasoning principles.
Understanding of the ways in which the ethical theories are developed.
Knowledge of recent high-profile ethical scandals.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Using a range of ethical theories and moral reasoning principles to identify and respond to ethical issues in a business context.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Offering professional level insights and interpretations to ethical dilemmas in a business context.
Identifying, conceptualizing and analyzing the ethical rights and duties of participants in economic systems.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Communicating effectively and appropriately in speech and writing.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Working effectively with others in pairs or groups and taking a leadership role where appropriate.
Systematically identifying and addressing their own learning needs both in current and in new areas.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
This module seeks to introduce you to some fundamental moral principles including utilitarianism, rights and duties, justice and fairness, and ethics of care, but also covers a variety of ethical issues concerning economic systems, the environment, consumer protection, job discrimination, and conflicts between the individual and the organization. You are expected to identify ethical implications of different business situations and apply appropriate moral principles to the analysis of such situations.

Assessment of the module is based on a group essay and a group presentation. The group essay requires you to choose one of the ethical scandals that happened during the ten years and critically discuss what lessons could be learnt from it. The essay is then presented by the group.

Support for this module is provided via MOODLE, UWS’s virtual learning environment, which holds lecture slides, tutorial discussion questions, and suggested answers.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery20
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Independent Study174
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Velasquez, M. G. (current edition). Business ethics: concepts and cases, Pearson New International Edition, Prentice Hall. (Core textbook)

Fisher, C. and Lovell, A. (current edition). Business Ethics and Values, Prentice Hall.

Harvey, B. (current edition). Business Ethics: A European approach, Prentice Hall.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardAccounting, Finance and Law
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelAccounting, Finance and Law
ModeratorJames Johnston
External ExaminerH Chaudhri
Accreditation Details
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Essay worth 80% of the final mark
Presentation worth 20% of the final mark
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark800

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck mark200.5
Combined Total For All Components100% 0.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for any student. The learning activities include a spoken presentation for which appropriate support can be provided where required.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.