Ethics & Sustainability Reporting


Part B




Module:                                                   Ethics & Sustainability Reporting

Assessment:                                           Open

Word count:  1500 words

Release:                                                  TBC

Submission:                                           TBC

Weighting                                                50%


Important information


A penalty of five marks will be deducted for late submissions that are made within the first hour after the deadline. Submissions that are more than one hour late but within the first 24 hours of the deadline will incur a penalty of ten marks. After the first 24 hours have passed, ten marks will be deducted for every 24 hours (or part thereof) that the submission is late for a total of 5 days. After 5 days it is treated as a non-submission and given a mark of zero. The consequences of non-submission are serious and can include de-registration from the University.


If you are unable to complete your open assessment by the submission date indicated above because of Exceptional Circumstances you can apply for an extension. If unforeseeable and exceptional circumstances do occur, you must seek support and provide evidence as soon as possible at the time of the occurrence. Applications must be made before the deadline to be considered.


Full details of the Exceptional Circumstances Policy and claim form can be found here:


If you submit your open assessment on time but feel that your performance has been affected by Exceptional Circumstances you may submit an Exceptional Circumstances Affecting Assessment claim form by 7 days from the published assessment submission deadline. If you do not submit by the deadline indicated without good reason your claim will not be considered.


Please take proper precautions to safeguard your work and remember to make backup copies of your data. The University provides all its students with storage space on the University server and you should save and back up any work in progress on this server on a regular basis. Computer failure and theft of your equipment or storage media are not considered exceptional circumstances and extensions cannot be granted for work lost for these reasons.






  • The word count for this assignment is 1500.
  • You must state on the front of your assignment the number of words used and this will be checked.
  • The main text for this assignment must be word-processed in Arial, Font 12, double spacing, minimum 2cm margins all around.
  • You must observe the word count specified in this assignment brief. The School has a policy of accepting variations to the recommended word count of plus or minus 10%.


What does this mean for you?


Markers will mark your work up to the word count maximum plus 10% and then will stop marking; therefore all words which are in excess of the word count plus 10% will not be marked.


Where your word count is more than 10% below that specified, it is likely that this will result in a lack of analytical depth or relevant content which will be reflected in the mark assigned.


What is in the word count?

The word count includes:

  • the main text, including in-text reference citations and quotations.

The word count does not include:

– Appendices. These may be used to include supporting data which may be too detailed or complex to include as a Table. They are not a device to incorporate material which would otherwise cause you to exceed the word limit.

– Title page

– Contents page

– Abstract/executive summary

– Tables, figures, legends

– Reference lists

– Acknowledgements

Resit Question Part B

Critically evaluate the usefulness of Social Return on Investment (SROI) as a methodology for measuring social impact.

End of Assessment question



In considering this question, you should think about the following issues. They don’t all need to be explored in depth in the essay, but you need to consider the interconnectedness of these issues:


  • What is the purpose of SROI?
  • What is social impact?
  • What challenges arise when applying the SROI methodology to measure social impact?
  • What arguments might be raised against SROI?
  • What are the benefits of SROI?
  • Does the calculation of SROI by an organisation potentially lead to unintended consequences?
  • ▪In your essay you must use a selection of the references below. These need to be supplemented by references from the module reading list or references that you researched yourself.


Indicative references (not exhaustive):

Arvidson, M., Fergus, L., McKay, S and Domenico, M. Valuing the social? The nature and controversies of measuring social return on investment (SROI), Voluntary Sector Review, 4(1), 3-18 (2013).


Banke-Thomas, A.O., Madaj, B., Charles, A. et al. Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology to account for value for money of public health interventions: a systematic review. BMC Public Health 15, 582 (2015).


Bellucci, M.Nitti, C.Franchi, S.Testi, E. and Bagnoli, L. (2019), “Accounting for social return on investment (SROI): The costs and benefits of family-centred care by the Ronald McDonald House Charities”, Social Enterprise Journal, 15 (1), 46-75.

Cooney, K. and Lynch-Cerullo, K. Measuring the Social Returns of Nonprofits and Social Enterprises: The Promise and Perils of the SROI, Non-profit Policy Forum 5(2), (2014).


Maier, F., Schober, C., Simsa, R. et al. SROI as a Method for Evaluation Research: Understanding Merits and Limitations. Voluntas 26, 1805–1830 (2015).


The social value network. A guide to social return on investment (2012). Available at:


Yates, B. T. and Marra, M. Social Return On Investment (SROI): Problems, solutions … and is SROI a good investment? Evaluation and Program Planning, 64, 136-144 ( 2017),


Assessment Formatting Guidance:


  • Follow Harvard referencing system.
  • Include section headings and page numbers.
  • Follow formatting guidelines set out on Page 2.
  • Do not use lecture slides, Wikipedia or Investopedia (or similar) as sources.
  • Use simple, neutral language to express yourself. No need to use sophisticated words.
  • Paragraphs should never be longer than 1 page (and even that is long). Guide on paragraphing can be found here.
  • Do not use the Synonyms feature of MS Word. It is usually not providing good suggestions.
  • Carefully proofread your assignment before submitting to avoid obvious mistakes. Please use spell check.
  • Familiarise yourself with the assessment criteria attached below.
  • You are advised to include academic references in your assignment to support your arguments and analysis.





Student number: Module title: Ethics & Sustainability Reporting RESIT Part B
Generic criteria Module specific learning outcomes


Presentation S1 Explain, with reference to business and society relations, how sustainable development, CSR and stakeholder theory, set the framework for SER in practical and theoretical terms.
G2 Theory and literature review S2 Critically evaluate the historical development of the different techniques developed and used to measure and audit social and environmental performance.
G3 Analysis and problem solving S3 Explain the origins and development of SER in theory and in practice, in particular in the context of globalisation.
G4 Structure and argument S4 Evaluate the market-related and socially-related arguments in favour of SER, and the impact of SER on corporate performance, with interpretation from practical cases.
G5 Conclusions S5 Evaluate the relationship between SER and financial reporting, and investigate investors’ and other stakeholders’ responses to SER.
G6 Correctness of referencing S6 Evaluate the role of regulation in SER.

Comments on assessment criteria







Suggestions for improvement





Date: Marker:



Generic Assessment Marking Criteria

You will be marked according to five criteria:

  • Quality of Presentation
  • Understanding and use of Theory
  • Quality of Analysis
  • Structure and Argument
  • Conclusions


The examiners will be looking for the following elements for each of these criteria.




  • All material is thoroughly and correctly referenced.
  • Citations are given in the Harvard format, unless specifically specified otherwise in the assignment brief.
  • Direct quotations from sources are referenced with page numbers.
  • Appropriate use has been made of tables, diagrams, graphs and pictures.
  • The use of formatting (line spacing, font, justified margins etc.) is consistent throughout.
  • The text is clear and readable, without typographic errors and spelling mistakes.
  • The assignment is within the maximum word length suggested.
  • The bibliography contains only the works cited in the assignment, is presented in author alphabetical order and is complete, accurate, and consistently formatted.




  • Evidence of wider reading i.e. not relying on a textbook or single text source, but engaging with specialist texts, journal articles and reports.
  • A demonstration of an understanding and awareness of a range of theoretical positions or technical options.
  • The ability to place a particular text’s argument within a range of positions evident in the literature and to recognise its strengths and limitations as an explanatory framework.
  • Direct quotes, paraphrasing or other evidence of active engagement with theory and/or technique is apparent throughout the assignment.




  • The assignment demonstrates an ability to understand different perspectives i.e. the student can evaluate different options, engage critically with theory and practice and can justify their analysis above other available solutions or viewpoints.
  • The analysis results from the use of judgement and discernment in selecting theory and applying it to the situation or problem.
  • The selection of techniques and viewpoints are justified by the problem or issue outlined.
  • Reflection and observation are integrated in the analysis in an appropriate way i.e. a supported argument illustrated with observation rather than a statement of opinion.





Structure and Argument


  • An essay assignment will normally include an introduction, several sub-titled sections in the main body, a conclusion and a bibliography. Alternative formats may be specified by the assignment brief and, if so, have been used.
  • A coherent argument is evident, which clearly links the different elements of the assignment together and leads the reader through to a justifiable conclusion.
  • The argument is logically constructed with each section building on the insights of preceding sections i.e. different perspectives are not simply thrown together without an understanding of how they contribute to the overall argument presented.
  • Theory is integrated into the analytical and/or practical elements of the assignment where appropriate
  • Meaning is not obscured by poor grammar, paragraph or sentence construction.




  • The conclusion summarises the whole of the assignment and not just the analysis i.e. conclusions relate questions posed, adequacy of the theory, empirical issues explored and reflect on the student’s approach to the work.
  • The conclusions refer to the argument presented to that point and do not introduce new ideas or arguments “at the last moment”.
  • The conclusion demonstrates the ability of the student to justify their theoretical and analytical approach.
  • Conclusions have been drawn and follow, and are justified by, the analysis in the main body of the assignment. Where required, practical recommendations are feasible and follow on from the conclusions, addressing the issues identified.