Skip to main content


MKT1010 : Ethics in Marketing, Critical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Cezara Nicoara
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims to:
(a)       To generate an understanding of ethical concerns in relation to marketing and consumption.
(b)       To provide insight into the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and an understanding of their implementation.
(c)       To analyse the role of ethics in consumer culture, considering issues associated with consumer empowerment, vulnerabilities and well-being.
(d)       To assess an organisation's marketing activities, and to address issues at the interface between ethical marketing, CSR and practical marketing situations.

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 and Critical Consumption
Responding to Ethical Consumers
Consumer Vulnerability and Marketing of Harmful Products
Social and Cause-related Marketing
Social Media Marketing Ethics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00Online synchronous lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00PIP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Time for students to complete formative and summative coursework & assessments
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 study118:0018:00Independent related study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time31:003:00Online synchronous sessions, whole cohort, introduction to the module, pre-assessment clinic, Q&A
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.

Two follow-up scheduled teaching sessions are reserved for the pre-assessment clinic and the end of module Q&A, for the instructor to provide formative assessment to students, summarise the module learning outcomes and answer student questions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination992A10024-hour take-home exam. Unseen exam – 1 mandatory question (50%) and one optional (50%) from a choice of 3.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MEssay plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment is one unseen exam (24-hour take-home exam) at the end of Semester 2, worth 100% of the overall module mark. Students need to answer one mandatory question and one optional question from a choice of three. The exam is in essay format.

The examination will test students’ knowledge of the theory and conceptual frameworks for understanding ethics of marketing, corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethical and critical consumption, social and cause-related marketing, consumer vulnerabilities, problematic consumption and ethics of social media marketing.

In the case of an alternative assessment for semester 2 (100% of the module mark) being necessary due to circumstances, the Module Leader will in discussion with the DPD and the University, discuss possible acceptable online alternatives, such as a take home exam delivered online with a set time limit to complete (24 hours or less as deemed appropriate).

The formative assessment is an answer plan to a mock exam question (150 words). Students will receive formative feedback on their answer plans to inform their exam preparation.

Reading Lists