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Study information

Sustainable and Responsible Finance

Module titleSustainable and Responsible Finance
Module codeBEAM104
Academic year2024/5
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices, and frameworks related to sustainable and responsible finance. The module aims to explore the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into financial decision-making processes, with a focus on sustainability and responsible investing. You will examine the role of financial institutions, investors, and regulators in promoting sustainable and responsible practices in the global financial system. The module will also address the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable finance and the transition towards a more sustainable economy. You will understand the ways in which the finance sector can support the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • To introduce cutting edge sustainable and responsible finance theories and practices through research-led teaching.
  • To boost student employability by engaging students with the latest developments in sustainable and responsible finance along with their implications for business and investment practices.
  • To apply ESG considerations to financial analysis and decision-making effectively. To critically analyse the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable finance.
  • To present the potential impact of sustainable finance on corporate performance and investment returns.
  • To outline the methods for enhancing sustainable and responsible practices in the finance industry.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. discuss the fundamental concepts and key theories underpinning sustainable and responsible finance, with an emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
  • 2. evaluate the relevance of ESG factors in investment decision-making and assess the performance of sustainable investment strategies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. analyse how sustainable practices can be incorporated into corporate finance and investment strategies.
  • 4. critically assess the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating sustainability into financial markets and institutions.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. work independently and demonstrate self-directed inquiry within the subject area
  • 6. work collaboratively in a group on a relevant subject topic, by liaising with other class members, allocating tasks, and co-ordinating group meetings.
  • 7. communicate effectively on sustainable and responsible finance topics, both orally and/or in written form.

Syllabus plan

The syllabus list is indicative.

  • Introduction to Sustainable and Responsible Finance
  • ESG Investing and Environmental & Social Evidence
  • Governance in ESG Investing
  • Practical Applications of ESG Investing
  • Corporate Sustainability Practices
  • Company Purpose and Investor Stewardship
  • Shareholder Influence for Sustainable Change

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities20Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities5Seminars
Guided Independent Study125Reading, research, reflection; preparation for lectures, workshops and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion of real-life casesDiscussion contributions in the workshop1-7Oral feedback from the module lead
Participation in online discussion forumOnline discussion contribution1-7Online discussion feedback from peers and the module lead
Mock exam2 hoursSolutions to the mock exam

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation3010 minute presentation and accompanying slides1-7Oral feedback from the class and written feedback from the module lead
Examination702 hours1-5, 7General feedback provided on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentation (30%)Individual written report (30%, max 1200 words)1-7Referral/deferral period
Exam (70%)Exam (70%) (2 hours)1-5, 7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to sit the written examination and/or practical examination as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core readings:

  • Edmans, A. (2020). Grow the pie: How great companies deliver both purpose and profit. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Finance, Swiss Sustainable (2017). Handbook on sustainable investments: Background information and practical examples for institutional asset owners. Zurich: Swiss Sustainable Finance & CFA Society Switzerland. (Note: Selected chapters.)

Additional readings:

  • La Torre, M. and Chiappini. H. (Eds.) (2021). Contemporary issues in sustainable finance: Financial products and financial institutions. Cham: Springer International Publishing: Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Scott, M. C. (2022). Sustainable finance: Using the power of money to change the world. Cham: Springer International Publishing: Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.
  • Serafeim, G. (2022). Purpose and profit: How business can lift up the orld. New York: HarperCollins Leadership.
  • Sherwood, M. W., & Pollard, J. (2023). Responsible investing: An introduction to environmental, social, and governance investments. Second edition. London: Routledge.
  • Thompson, S. (2023). Green and sustainable finance: principles and practice in banking, investment and insurance. Second edition. London: KoganPage.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • All lecture and tutorial materials will be posted on the intranet.  

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Supplementary reading materials to accompany each lecture will be posted online. 

Key words search

Finance, Sustainability, Governance, ESG, CSR

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

BEAM047 Fundamentals of Financial Management

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date