Ethics and Sustainability

Unit code: BSK1001 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
Footscray Park
VU Brisbane


Explore the importance of integrity and environmental responsibility in business, with the Ethics and Sustainability unit.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, we will delve into environmental and social issues as they relate to business, via:

  • practical case studies
  • interactive explorations
  • engagement with Indigenous leaders
  • collaboration with industry professionals and community.

You will analyse and investigate the UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discuss the real-life opportunities and risks these pose for business.

By the end of the unit, you will understand how these concepts relate to your own life as an emerging business professional.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Review, adapt and apply business ethics, via knowledge of the philosophical underpinnings of ethical theories and frameworks to address contemporary ethical and sustainability problems arising in business situations;
  2. Articulate the consequences of unethical conduct and discuss its impact on local and global communities;
  3. Discuss and question the influence of social movements, politics, and peer and competitor pressure, among other factors, on ethical and sustainable decision making in businesses;
  4. Propose creative resolutions, both collaboratively and individually using business ethics theories and concepts to current issues with responsible and professional judgment; and
  5. Propose ethical and sustainable, environmentally, socially and culturally sensitive solutions to contemporary multi-stakeholder problems utilising effective and relevant communications and technologies.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Journal
Grade: 15%
Ethical reflection meeting the SDGs
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 10%
Critical Analysis of a recent article of a known Business Dilemma
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 30%
A themed essay to reflect opportunities to achieve SDGs
Assessment type: Creative Works
Grade: 45%
Animated Video creation on communicating ethical action (Group)

Other locations

For students studying at Henan University, National School of Business Management, Colombo, Sunway College Johor Bahru, Sunway College Kuala Lumpur
Assessment type: Essay
Grade: 30%
Critical essay
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 10%
In-class test
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 30%
Report and presentation (Group)
Assessment type: Journal
Grade: 30%
Reflective journal

Required reading

Moral issues in business
Shaw, W.H., & Barry, V. (2016)| South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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