Popular course expanded for increasing CSR demand

Dr. Sarah Buckler from RGU.
Dr. Sarah Buckler from RGU.

A popular postgraduate course at Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been expanded to provide a range of learning options for those who wish to study Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The university’s MSc in Corporate Social Responsibility and Energy is the only course of its kind in the world and has proved popular with those working in the energy industry since it was launched four years ago.

Initially the course was targeted at employees in the oil and gas industry but as the nature of the relationship between the corporate world and the wider community has evolved, the demand for a wider-reaching CSR programme has steadily risen.

As a result lecturers have developed two different routes for the course; social responsibility with energy for those in the oil and gas industry and social responsibility with sustainable development for other sectors.

Delivered by RGU’s School of Applied Social Studies, the course now enables students to apply ways of thinking about CSR to a broad range of local and global industries such as telecoms, finance, commodities trading and the extractive industries.

The course is available on a full-time and part-time basis as well as distance learning, making it even more widely available to the professional market.

Dr Sarah Buckler, RGU’s CSR course leader, said: “The course is very popular and we are pleased to expand our offering so that the course is also attractive to those outside the energy industry.

“The nature of the relationship between corporates, governments and communities has become increasingly significant as all parties become aware of the potential positive, or negative, impacts of businesses on the world beyond their immediate activities.

“We hope that the part-time and online learning modules will prove just as popular as the full-time option as CSR becomes more of a priority across a number of key industries.”

Core modules on the course will cover a variety of issues connected to corporate social responsibility, including international standards and regulations, managing local content, the Global Compact, stakeholder engagement strategies and corporate sustainability.

Other issues also covered include supply chain management, building value through value chain analysis and effective monitoring and evaluation approaches.

RGU’s location within Aberdeen, the energy capital of Europe, provides the opportunity to involve specialists in the oil and gas and renewable industries in the course which in turn creates a setting where the role of other sectors such as mining, finance and telecoms is greatly appreciated.

Through online discussions and lectures, representatives within local, national and international companies, can also provide insights that will help prepare students for how best to approach CSR in their own careers.

More information about RGU’s Corporate Social Responsibility course is available online at: www.rgu.ac.uk/csr-programme