Details for Durham Business School

Participant Status


Type of Organization


Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive

Institution is part of

Durham University


Durham , United Kingdom


Sign Up Date to PRME

30 Apr 2012

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

26 Apr 2018

Sharing Information on Progress (2018)

Durham University Business School PRME SIP report - View Report

Period Covered: Sep 2015 to Aug 2017

This report covers the academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17. It covers all six PRME Principles together with our a description of our own activities in relation to the PRME agenda, and links these to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

In relation to the three Principles which are to do with educational provision, the Education Strategy which was developed in 2016/17 as a result of the School’s new Strategic Framework has as its aim:
“To enrich students’ engagement with a more equitable and sustainable world by embedding ethics, responsibility and sustainability (ERS) in a deep and relevant manner into all programmes.”
The outcome of this aim is to produce “graduates who are equipped to become architects of a more equitable and sustainable world”. Thus, at a strategic level, the PRME principles are embedded in the Education Strategy of the School. In taking this forward, the School has now implemented a rolling curriculum review of programmes in which the ERS content will be a formal consideration.
Prior to this, the PRME Steering Committee undertook in 2014/15 a comprehensive audit of all of our programmes. This resulted in two significant developments which have been pursued in the period under consideration in this report. First, it was noted that a number of programmes already integrated ERS concerns or offered specific modules related to this agenda:
• the two MSc degrees in Islamic Finance;
• the Full-time MBA programme which has included a core module on ‘Sustainability, Ethics and Change’ since 2013/14;
• the BA Marketing, BSc Accounting, BA Business & Management, and BA Accounting & Finance programmes which offer a specific final year elective module entitled ‘Corporate Responsibility’.
• The MSc Management degree which offers three optional modules taught by the Philosophy Department: Ethical Leadership; Society and Sustainability; Moral and Corporate Trust. The Supply Chain Logistics route on this programme also includes a core module on Green Supply Chain and Logistics Systems, with this module also being an option on other routes.
• Other modules also provide opportunities for the integration of ERS, as demonstrated by the following example of student work from the Analysis, Research and Business Skills 1 module – a first year core module on the BA Business & Management programme: The externalities and unintended consequences of organisational processes.
Aside from this, feedback from the survey indicated that the majority of programmes contained some relevance and integration of ESD material but recognised that more needed to be done. This has now been incorporated into the rolling curriculum review, as noted above.
The second major development was the introduction in 2016/17 of a bespoke Open Course in Sustainability, designed in-house, as an extra-curricular activity which is promoted to all students at induction. This seeks to ensure that all students are aware of the parameters of global ecological sustainability, and of what actions organisations can take to seek to avoid dangerous levels of climate change occurring. The course takes about 5 hours to complete and, subject to passing the assessment associated with each session, students are awarded a certificate of completion. In 2016/17 200 students successfully completed the course, and a further 268 had enrolled, with a roughly equal split between undergraduates and postgraduates. Further development and promotion of this course is a future objective.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Members of faculty are active in research in the area broadly related to ethics, sustainability and responsibility. In the period under consideration in our 2018 SIP report 325 research outputs were produced across the School, of which 64 (19.7%) were ERS-related. It is encouraging to note that this activity is widely spread across the School. A sample of research papers and other relevant outputs published in 2015/16 and 2016/17 is shown in the Appendix of our report.
There were also 57 PhD / DBA students out of the total registration of 277 students at the end of 2016/17 (20.6%) researching in the area of ethics, sustainability and responsibility and, as with members of faculty, these were widely spread across the School’s subject areas including a number studying Islamic Finance. This is an increase from the 17% that was reported in our 2016 SIP report
In our 2016 report, we gave details of an ‘Ethics, Organisations and Society’ research cluster which had been formed to focus research in the area of ERS. Since then, a review of research centres and research activity more generally has taken place as a result of which there are now three centres which work broadly in this area: The Centre for Organisations and Society; The Centre for Environmental and Energy Economics; and The El Shaarani Centre for Ethical Finance, Governance and Accountability. In addition, the Institute for Local Governance has conducted a number of research projects related to the ERS agenda, further details of which are given below. Overall, the expansion of our commitment to ERS-related research is a notable development in the period under consideration.

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