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NBS8657: Finance and Accounting for Sustainability

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Vu Trinh, Professor Louise Crawford
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 999 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module is designed to provide students with some fundamental concepts and techniques required for understanding the roles and applications of finance and accounting in creating a more sustainable and resilient global economy.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover the list of topics below, though not necessarily in this order:

1. Finance for sustainability

  • Sustainable finance and the Transition Challenge
  • ESG Ratings and sustainable governance
  • Climate and Biodiversity related risks
  • Sustainable Strategy and Intangibles
  • Sustainable financing sources
  • Financial solutions for sustainability

2. Accounting for sustainability

  • Accounting and concepts of accountability for sustainability
  • Principle of double materiality: opportunities, risks, and outcomes
  • Steering organisations that mobilise accounting for sustainability
  • Assuring sustainability information: audit and ethics
  • Sustainable information usage for capital allocation: the role of investors and bench-markers towards achieving SDGs
  • Sector-specific sustainability challenges
  • Impact reporting in not-for-profit organisations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
CategoryActivityNumberLengthStudent HoursComment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Lecture 14 2:00 28:00

12 lectures x 2 hours.
1 coursework guidance x 2 hours
1 revision lecture x 2 hours

Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Small group teaching 6 1:00 6:00 Seminars x 6 (3 per semester)
Guided Independent Study Directed research and reading 1 66:00 66:00 Estimated based on 2-3 hours per teaching week (12 teaching weeks)
Guided Independent Study Independent Study 1 40:00 40:00 n/a
Guided Independent Study Assessment preparation and completion 1 60:00 60:00 Time for students to complete formative and summative assessments
Total 200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
  • Small group teaching sessions are used to examine, explore and develop topics covered by structured guided learning sessions as well as guided independent study, to develop subject-specific skills.
  • Students are expected to discuss issues related to finance and accounting for sustainability, and to gain experience in sustainability management.
  • Analytical and research skills (see Intended Skill Outcomes) are developed through the module (teaching, learning and assessments).
  • Learning is supported by the use of Canvas (e.g., quizzes, discussion boards).
  • Guest lecturers (academics and/or practitioners) may be invited to share their expertise in researching and teaching particular topics.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

ComponentLength/minsSemesterWhen SetPercentageComment
Written examination 1 120 2 A 50 n/a
Other Assessment
ComponentSemesterWhen SetPercentageComment
Essay 1 1 M 50 1,500-word essay on a finance for sustainability topic or issue
Formative Assessments
ComponentSemesterWhen SetComment
Prob solv exercises 1 1 M Discussions using case study and/or research papers in seminars (formative feedback by seminar leaders to students' answers, also providing suggested solutions).
Prob solv exercises 2 2 M Discussions using case study and/or research papers in seminars (formative feedback by seminar leaders to students' answers, also providing suggested solutions).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
  • Students will undertake formative assessments (Prob solv exercises) mid-semester, to build up their skills and prepare for the summative assessment scheduled to take place later in the semester (the Finance Essay at end of Semester 1 and, respectively, the Accounting Exam at end of Semester 2).
  • The coursework (written essay) will allow students to practise writing about selected topics in finance and accounting for sustainability, focusing on real-world issues. It gives students the opportunity to demonstrate effective in-depth written communication of sustainability theories, thematic issues and real-world applications.
  • The written examination will allow students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and independent critical thinking skills at the completion of the accounting component of the module.