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Module Title
Ethics and the Consumer
Reference BS3136 Version 6
Created March 2017 SCQF Level SCQF 9
Approved June 2018 SCQF Points 15
Amended July 2017 ECTS Points 7.5

Aims of Module
To provide the student with the ability to explain the concept of ethics and their relevance to consumers in the service sector, and to evaluate policies adopted by government and the service sector with regard to the education of, information for, and protection of consumers.

Learning Outcomes for Module
On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:
1 Define ethics and consumer policy in the context of the contemporary service sector.
2 Analyse the role of ethics in consumer culture and provide examples of how the service sector reacts to it.
3 Evaluate the role of national and European governments in protecting consumers and providing consumer education.
4 Identify and evalute the implications of consumer group activities for consumers and the service sector.
5 Investigate in depth as a group, an area of ethical concern and demonstrate both primary and secondary research skills and the ability to work successfully in a team.

Indicative Module Content
A clear identification of ethics and the role they play in the modern service sector, an evaluation of the high consumption society, consumer policy actors, definitions and economic characteristics; arguments for and against economic growth and the role of consumer sovereignty; consumer policy, government; the European Union legislative process, protection and representation provision; consumer dissatisfaction and complaint handling by the service sector; the effect of pressure groups and consumer boycotts on business; and the effects of environmentalism.

Module Delivery
Key issues will be introduced and illustrated through lectures. These will be supported and reinforced by tutorials aimed at allowing students to apply theory to practical and current situations. Key concepts are also reinforced through directed reading, by student centred learning and by independent and group research.

Indicative Student Workload Full Time Part Time
Contact Hours 52 52
Non-Contact Hours 98 98
Placement/Work-Based Learning Experience [Notional] Hours N/A N/A
TOTAL 150 150
Actual Placement hours for professional, statutory or regulatory body    

If a major/minor model is used and box is ticked, % weightings below are indicative only.
Component 1
Type: Coursework Weighting: 60% Outcomes Assessed: 1, 2, 3
Description: Coursework identifying the scope and underpinning rationale of governmental involvement on ethical grounds in modern markets.
Component 2
Type: Coursework Weighting: 40% Outcomes Assessed: 4, 5
Description: Team Project and Presentation looking at a particular example of an ethical issue and the reactions of governing bodies to it

Explanatory Text
C1 - Coursework - 60% weighting. C2 - Team project and Presentation - 40% weighting. Module Pass Mark = Grade D (40%)
Module Grade Minimum Requirements to achieve Module Grade:
A At least 70% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
B At least 60% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
C At least 50% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
D At least 40% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
E At least 35% on weighted aggregate
F Less than 35% on weighted aggregate
NS Non-submission of work by published deadline or non-attendance for examination

Module Requirements
Prerequisites for Module None.
Corequisites for module None.
Precluded Modules None.

1 BARRY, J. BAXTER, B. and DUNPHY, R., 2004. Europe, globalization and sustainable development. London: Routledge. ebook
2 CRANE, A. and MATTEN, D., 2016. Business ethics. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3 HARRISON, R., NEWHOLM, T. and SHAW, D., 2005. The ethical consumer. London: Sage. 2005.ebook
4 LURY, C., 2011. Consumer culture. 2nd ed. London: Policy Press.
5 SMITH, N.C., 1991. Morality and the market. London: Routledge.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781