• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    1-2 evenings a week part-time; 2-3 evenings a week full-time.

    October to June (3 terms)

  • Location:

      Central London

    Programme overview

    The main aim of this Master's degree is to provide a postgraduate-level education for those interested in studying the complex and changing relationships between business corporations, their stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, etc.) and the societies in which they operate.

    The economic and financial aspects of corporate governance relationships have long been of concern to those in the business and investment communities, and in recent years the social, political and moral aspects of these relationships have also become a major public concern. This programme aims to address both these sets of issues and to meet the needs of people wishing to engage critically with the policy aspects of corporate governance as well as those wishing to be involved professionally in the direction and regulation of companies and the management or trusteeship of pension funds and other investments.

    The programme is available 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time and combines coursework and independent research leading to a dissertation.

    Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, the Department of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management. Our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge articles in the world's leading journals.

    We have particular research strengths in international business and strategy, the management of innovation and entrepreneurship, human resource management, corporate governance, sport management and marketing, as well as financial management and accounting.

    We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to study either part time or full time in our department and to gain an internationally recognised University of London qualification.

    How to apply

    Application deadlines and interviews

      Applications accepted from November until early September; early application is recommended.

      Online application

      Corporate Governance and Business Ethics (MSc) (Part-time)

      Corporate Governance and Business Ethics (MSc) (Full-time)

      Why study this course at Birkbeck?

      • The programme is international in scope, recognising both the wide variety of cultures and corporate governance systems within which businesses operate worldwide and the increasing globalisation of business and finance.
      • The programme combines an interdisciplinary approach with an in-depth research training in management. It provides a strong foundation for PhD research in the area and has achieved ESRC Research Training recognition.
      • The programme benefits from the involvement of a number of leading figures in the field including members of national and international committees on corporate governance, shareholder activists and NGO representatives.
      • The programme has a number of streams, enabling students to concentrate on particular areas within the broader field of corporate governance and ethics, including: Public Sector Governance (in collaboration with the Department of Politics); Environmental Issues in Corporate Governance (in collaboration with the Department of Geography); and Finance, Accounting and Strategy. Students completing the MSc, with the focus on Finance, Accounting and Strategy, will be exempted from 4 of the taught modules required for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) Professional Qualification, Grad ICSA.
      • Designed for those wishing to engage critically with the issues of business and society and those wishing to be involved professionally in corporate governance or corporate social responsibility.
      • We engage in significant collaborative research and have excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.

      Course structure

      You complete 8 taught modules: 5 compulsory modules, 1 option from specified modules and 2 modules from around 40 management modules. You then complete a 12,000-word dissertation.

      You take either Theoretical Perspectives and Research in Corporate Responsibility or Corporate Responsibility.


      Full-time modules

      Part-time modules - Year 1

      Part-time modules - Year 2

      Option modules


      With a concentration on Environmental Issues in Corporate Governance and Ethics (in collaboration with the Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies) you choose 2 modules from the following:



      With a concentration on Public Sector Governance (in collaboration with the Department of Politics):


      With a concentration on Finance and Accounting (students pursuing this stream are eligible for exemptions towards the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)’s professional qualification, GradICSA):

      Entry requirements

      Normally at least a second-class honours degree in any subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College.

      Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications.

      International entry requirements

      If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

      Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


      Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa
      Full-time home/EU students: £ 10450 pa
      Part-time overseas students: £ 7975 pa
      Full-time overseas students: £ 15950 pa

      Payment and Fees Discounts

      Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

      Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

      Funding and Financial Support

      Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

      Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

      Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue careers in local and national government, business, and industry. Possible professions include management consultant, human resources officer, or marketing executive. This degree can also be useful in becoming a Civil Service fast streamer, retail manager, or sales executive.

      Find out more about these professions.

      Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

      We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

      Teaching and assessment


      Theoretical components are taught mainly via evening sessions supported through online materials and attendance at evening classes.


      A combination of examinations, coursework and a 12,000-word dissertation.

      Our research

      Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

      Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

      Read about Birkbeck research offering insights and expertise to inform business, contribute to economic success and develop ground-breaking technologies.

      Further study opportunities

      If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in Management.

      Progress to a PhD will normally be dependent on gaining at least a merit grade in the Master's programme. It will also be dependent on a member of the teaching staff agreeing to act as principal supervisor for your PhD research.