Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Corporate Governance, Risk and Ethics
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written essay or case study  (2,000 words)  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Exam  60%
Supplementary Assessment Written essay or case study  Students must take elements of the assessment that led to the failure of the module.  40%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Supplementary Exam  Students must take elements of the assessment that led to the failure of the module.  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. List, describe, explain, illustrate, compare and contrast alternative: definitions of and approaches to governance; corporate governance and control mechanisms; risks and approaches to risk management; ethical theories and frameworks; and motivations and mechanisms for earnings and image manipulation.

2. Explain and assess the role of governance in the effective management and control of organisations and of the resources for which they are accountable.

3. Explain and evaluate the governance role of internal control, review and compliance mechanisms.

4. Explain and discuss the importance of the proper identification and management of risk.

5. Explain and discuss the need in business for an ethical framework and values which subsume consideration of the interests the organisation, its stakeholders and society.

6. Analyse and discuss accounting/business scandals in terms of governance and ethical failure.

Brief description

This module provides a thorough treatment of: (i) the governance of organizations in the broad context of agency and stakeholder relationships, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of corporate officers, and the processes of accounting and auditing as support and control mechanisms; (ii) the identification, assessment and mitigation/control of risk as a key aspect of responsible management; (iii) ethical frameworks and professional values; and (iv) earnings and image manipulation. There is coverage of recent/topical accounting and business scandals, and developments in corporate governance and responsibility.


Governance and responsibility
• The meaning and scope of governance
• Agency relationships and theories
• Different approaches to corporate governance
• Corporate governance regulation
• The board of directors – responsibilities, committees, remuneration
• Corporate social and environmental responsibility
• Reporting and disclosure

Internal control and review
• The role of management information and control systems
• Nature of internal controls, compliance
• Auditing and reporting matters

Identifying, assessing and controlling risk
• Risk and the risk management process
• Identifying, categorising, assessing and measuring risk
• Targeting, monitoring, controlling and reducing risk

Professional values and ethics
• Alternative theories on ethics
• Social and environmental issues in the conduct of business
• Different framework approaches to ethics and social responsibility
• Professions and the public interest
• Professional practice and codes of ethics
• Ethical characteristics of professionalism

Earnings and image management
• Accounting policy choice, earnings management or fraud?
• Earnings and image management: motivations, mechanisms and detection
• Recent accounting and business scandals

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Evaluation of numerical problems in lecture examples and appropriate examination questions.
Communication Develop confidence in and clarity of oral communication via example class/tutorial participation. Develop clarity and focus of written communication via development of answers to self-study questions/ assignment production. Develop and use appropriate subject-specific vocabulary in oral and written communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance Identify and distil the key issues covered by lectures, tutorials and self-study. Identify and use a range of learning resources. Investigate benefits of small group working on self-study. Structure study to accommodate intensive learning.
Information Technology Use a variety of electronic web- and library-based resources to review available information and retrieve pertinent information. Use of word-processing skills in assignment.
Personal Development and Career planning Preparation for seminar tasks will encourage initiative, independence and self-awareness. Identify a variety of potential career opportunities within the financial and professional services sector.
Problem solving Scenario-based problems treated in lectures and applied in seminars, assignment and examination.
Research skills Identify which information sources are available to: - facilitate module study (understanding, wider reading) - provide information which allow application of module learning in a real world context Properly reference/attribute information sources.
Subject Specific Skills This module develops students’ understanding and appreciation of corporate governance, risk management and ethical frameworks.
Team work Develop experience of team work and develop team working skills via small group working on self-study. Group work during seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5