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NBS8527 : Marketing Ethics, Critical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Cezara Nicoara
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1.       Develop an understanding of ethical, social and sustainability concerns in relation to marketing and consumption.
2.       Evaluate the role of ethics in consumer culture, considering issues associated with consumer empowerment, vulnerabilities and well-being, through the use of selected cases and problems.
3.       Enhance students’ transferable skills of problem solving and commercial acumen.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is structured to introduce and discuss the following topics:
Introduction to Marketing Ethics
Criticisms of Marketing
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Ethical Consumption& Responding to Ethical Consumers
Consumer Vulnerability and Well-being
Social and Cause-related Marketing
Social Media Marketing Ethics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Time for students to complete formative and summative coursework & assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00PIP lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Online synchronous lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading134:0034:00Equivalent to 3 hours per teaching week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00PIP seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study119:0019:00independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities include a combination of in-person and online lectures aimed at outlining ethics-related theories and models and are supported by a wide range of examples and illustrations from marketing practice.

Lectures will be supplemented by in-person small group teaching sessions, focused on applying the theory to practice and clarifying students’ queries. Additionally, students will gain a more in-depth understanding of theory and examples through the guided independent study materials provided.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Individual assignment 2000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MEssay plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment is a 2000 words individual essay worth 100% of the overall module marks as this is a 10-credit module.

Writing a marketing ethics essay provides students with the opportunity to:
1. Develop their critical writing and information analysis skills through engaging with extant marketing ethics research.
2. Apply theories and conceptual frameworks in order to reflect on current marketing ethics case studies and ethical dilemmas.

The formative assessment is a practice essay plan (150 words). Students will receive formative feedback on their practice essay plans to inform their assignment preparation.

Reading Lists