Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1K017


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students’ understanding of financial reporting in the context of the developing corporate responsibility agenda and interntional developments.
  • To provide students with the ability to critically evaluate the information provided by companies in the context of corporate governance and responsibility.
  • To provide students with a critical understanding of the context of wider corporate reporting and an appreciation of the limitations of the information.


  • wider context of corporate reporting: corporate responsibility and governance
  • critical analysis of narrative reporting in annual financial reports
  • current reporting of responsibility and implications for management practice
  • ethical issues inherent in corporate reporting and their management
  • international context of corporate reporting
  • developments and initiatives in corporate reporting: academic and professional perspectives

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will:
  • have explored and evaluated the wider context of corporate reporting, including corporate responsibility and governance developments relevant to managers.
  • have an overview of current practice in reporting corporate responsibility and the implications for management practice
  • have a critical appreciation of developments and initiatives in corporate reporting;
  • have explored and appreciated recent academic literature and professional and its implications for current management practice;
  • have an understanding of the international context of corporate reporting both in relation to financial reporting and the wider context of the reports
  • have explored the ethical issues inherent in the provision of financial reporting information and the ways in which these can be managed
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will:
  • be able to critically evaluate current examples of corporate reporting in the context of international accounting harmonisation, the developing responsibility agenda and corporate governance developments.
  • be able to identify weaknesses and subjectivity in financial information provided to management and investors
  • appreciate the ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest facing accounting professionals and management in the provision and use of financial information
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 28
Preparation and Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignments Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One or Two Written Assignments equivalent of 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive feedback on their contributions to class and group discussions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University