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The University of Southampton

ARTD6151 Sustainability in Business and Design

Module Overview

This module addresses critical perspectives in relation to sustainability and its impact in art, design and the creative industries. The module seeks to inform your thinking in relation to sustainability issues, be they environmental, social or economic, in local and global contexts. By enhancing the opportunity for cross-disciplinary debate among postgraduate disciplines, the module aims to advance your ability to recognise and address ethical dilemmas, corporate social responsibility strategies and the values that underpin sustainable choices and debates. You will be involved in discussing the broader sustainability debates amongst your peer group, with the opportunity to research a personal subject of interest to submit as the module assignment.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the overarching principles and theories around current thinking on sustainability;
  • a selected range of case studies demonstrating the social, environmental and economic contexts around sustainability and ethical practices.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the competing challenges and debates relating to provenance, Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and sustainability;
  • analyse theoretical perspectives on topics such as, consumption, sustainable practices and globalisation;
  • interpret outcomes of personal research and propose solutions that attempt to address their impact and influence.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • articulate complex ideas at an advanced level in a variety of oral, written and presentation formats;
  • research and appropriately reference texts and images in a variety of formats relevant to your study.


This module offers students the opportunities to critically analyse at an advanced level, debate and address key issues and principles associated with ethics and responsible design as they relate to your discipline-specific practice. The concept and meaning of sustainability The Impact of Consumption • Seminar discussion • Heading: CSR • Seminar Discussion Ethical Challenges • Seminar Discussion Innovation practices • Seminar Discussion • Heading: Case Studies and Initiatives • Seminar Discussion You will be encouraged to independently access and select material from different research sources to assist in developing appropriate peer group seminar discussions within creative arts and design contexts.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will learn through a range of learning activities such as: Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Seminars • Tutorials Learning activities include: • Seminars • Tutorials • Independent study: reflect on in class feedback • Contribute to group discussions • Online research and reading • Peer group learning Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes This module’s learning and teaching methods are designed to extend the students’ critical understanding of a range of key issues associated with responsible design. The module will encourage students to explore them further as part of their subject-specific practice. In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping students to investigate, question and analyse responsible design and associated creative practices, in order to be able to consider how varied responsible approaches influence their own work and the study or professional discipline in which they operate. Feedback on their progress and development will be delivered in group discussions in seminars, as well as during tutorials. Informal feedback by fellow students delivered in seminar will provide opportunities for peer group learning and self-evaluation. The formal assessment will be conducted by a written essay that locates the students own ideas in the varied theoretical, research-led and practice-led contexts associated with responsible design. Student-led sessions are intended to extend debates around material examined in lectures and seminars. These sessions, in combination with tutorials, allow students to develop their understanding of the knowledge and methods they have explored in this module. They also help them to evaluate their critical thinking, as well as other transferable skills.

Independent Study174
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list




Essay proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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