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ESB120 Ethics, social responsibility and sustainability

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

This course offers advanced knowledge in ethics, corporate social repsonsibility and sustainable development. The course builds on the introductory course given in the first year of the bachelor degree. Themes from the introductory course are explored more in depth and some new themes are offered as well. This may include themes such as theories of social justice, human rights theories, sustainable business models as well as alternative economic theories, such as circular economy and/or degrowth.

Learning Outcome

On completing the course, the students has acquired the following knowledge, skills and comptence:


On completion of the course, the student has knowledge of

  • central concepts and theories of ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development in different sectors of society
  • central concepts, regulations and norms pertaining to human rights in business
  • alternative economic systems and sustainable business-models in general
  • responsibility, governance and the institutionalization of ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability in society


On the completion of the course, the student can

  • use concepts and relevant results from research on both theoretical and pratical problems, as well as making informed choices
  • find, evaluate and refer to information relevant for analysing problems and dilemmas
  • analyse and evaluate problems relating to business and social responsibility
  • contribute to the development of Code of Condutc and compliance in different sectors
  • reflect on and evaluate the relevance of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for business and different projects


On completion of the course, the student can

  • contribute to the development of sustainable business models
  • argue for the relevance of alternative economic models
  • plan and develop different tasks and projects, both individually and in groups
  • communicate concepts and theories both in oral and written presentations
  • participate in discussions and reflect on experience within the field for the beterment of existing pracices
  • communicate the relevance of ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability for responsible innovation

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

BØA202 or similar course

Teaching methods

Lectures and groupwork under supervision and in seminars

Compulsory learning activities

Written assignment and presentation of groupwork.


4 hour written exam

Grades between A and F will be given, where F corresponds to fail.

Examination support material


More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • ØAA116 - Etikk, samfunnsansvar og bærekraft for økonomifag - Reduction: 5 studypoints