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Sustainable Society Focus Area

Valuable addition to your FEB MSc diploma!

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Are you curious what the Sustainable Society Focus Area entails and what it means for you?

Questions related to the necessity and usefulness of Corporate Social Responsibility have been debated for decades, both within companies as well as in academia. At the core of the discussion lies the question of what companies are responsible for, which negative externalities are acceptable, and who is paying the price for these consequences.

Recently, the discussion has changed and become more intense. For instance, climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity and social responsibilities in low wage countries are not only core to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. They are moving up quickly on the agendas of top managers and policy makers as well. Within boardrooms, more and more companies are taking these issues seriously. Many companies struggle to redefine themselves, and are looking for ways to contribute.

Simultaneously, the external pressures are slowly mounting. Investors start to look at Environmental, Social and Governance indicators when investing in companies. Governments introduce stricter regulations (such as recent EU directives or the Paris Agreements about greenhouse gas emissions). NGOs are confronting companies publicly with their externalities around the globe. And customers show a (slowly) growing awareness of the undesirable consequences of their consumer behaviour.

Companies are pressured to integrate these emerging themes in to their strategic developments and are an important trend for the years to come. More sustainable business models are necessary and will be an important pillar to realise a sustainable economy for a sustainable society. With this in mind, FEB has created a new Focus Area on Sustainable Society.


What is in it for you?

The Focus Area offers you the opportunity to deepen your personal knowledge in this relevant and exciting field in a more systematic way. Additionally, it creates new opportunities to position yourself better in a quickly developing part of the labour market. Companies, financial institutions, accountancy firms, (transnational) governmental bodies and NGOs are increasingly looking for people with a clear profile in this area. Combining your master diploma with this Focus Area is an opportunity to profile yourself to future employers.

Completing the Sustainable Society Focus Area

The sustainable society theme is broad and has a different approach and terminology in different sub disciplines within management, business and economics. As a result, Sustainable Society is essentially an umbrella under which different disciplines integrate the themes in different ways. To start with, the Focus Area will be offered in three different master programmes.

FEB students can compete the Focus Area if they:

1. Choose and successfully complete two electives from a predetermined list (information below):

2. Successfully write and round off a master thesis on a Sustainable Society related topic.

MSc International Business & Management

Within the MSc International Business & Management (IB&M), you can choose two electives of the following list. At least one of the chosen electives needs to be an A elective.

Programme Elective Course Code Course Title Language


Corporate Social Responsibility & Global Value Chain English


Multinationals and CSR English
Electives B


Business Ethics English
Electives B


Responsible Finance and Investing English

MSc Finance

Within the MSc Finance you can choose the following two electives.

Programme Elective Course Code Course Title Language
MSc Finance EBM071A05 Responsible Finance and Investing English
MSc Finance EBM069A05 Inclusive Finance English

MSc International Financial Management

Within the MSc International Financial Management (IFM) you can choose the following two electives.

Programme Elective Course Code Course Title Language
MSc IFM EBM071A05 Responsible Finance and Investing English
MSc IFM EBM069A05 Inclusive Finance English

More information

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the coordinators of this Focus Area. We also urge you to register yourself when you are planning to do the Focus Area (see below). It gives us the possibility to keep you updated on new developments, for instance if we have internships, need research assistants, or have extra-curricular meetings (such as guest speakers in other courses) which might interest you.

Focus Area coordinator MSc IB&M: Dr. Rieneke Slager

Focus Area coodinator MSc Finance & MSc IFM: Prof. Bert Scholtens

If you want to know more about what staff members within FEB are presently contributing to this field, taking a look at the website of the Institute for Governance and Organisational Responsibility is a good starting point.

Register now!

Last modified:11 April 2019 11.10 a.m.