Surrey University Stag

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN SUSTAINABILITY - 2022/3

Module code: MANM513

Module Overview

Sustainability has become a major issue in contemporary service operations, including in the hospitality, tourism, transport, events, and related sectors. However, managers do not necessarily understand the specific aspects of sustainability which their business has an impact upon or is impacted by. Further, managers are not always familiar with the tools of sustainability assessment and have limited comprehension of how a robust sustainability audit can aid in reducing operational costs, improving corporate image, and increasing customer patronage. This module will introduce students into the array of sustainability-related issues that a business in hospitality, tourism, transport, or events may face and explain how these issues can be identified and assessed. The module will provide students with an opportunity to undertake a sustainability audit of a business and reflect upon the challenges of such audit¿s undertaking.

Module provider

Hospitality, Tourism & Events Management

Module Leader

FILIMONAU Viachaslau (Hosp & Tour)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 11

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 22

Practical/Performance Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Definitions of sustainability and a comprehensive review of the main sustainability pillars (social, economic, environment)

The advantages of engaging with sustainability in service operations alongside the related challenges

The role of stakeholders (shareholders, politicians, management, employees, suppliers, consumers)

A review of the methods of assessing the progress of service enterprises towards sustainability goals

Sustainability auditing and the challenges of its implementation

Real-life case studies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Sustainability audit (group work assignment) (report) 85
Coursework Individual reflective piece (essay) 15

Alternative Assessment

Group work assignment will be replaced with an individual report

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to build up their knowledge and understanding of various sustainability-related issues faced by the contemporary hospitality, tourism, transport, and events industry alongside evaluating potential solutions to minimize these issues¿ occurrence. This will enable students to engage with the subject literature but will also involve broader reading to look for solutions that are unconventional and out-of-the-box. The assessment comprises a group report and an individual reflective piece. For the group report, students will be asked to undertake sustainability assessment of a case studied service business. To this end, students will undertake a sustainability audit supervised by the module's teaching staff. Students will be required to make an inventory of sustainability issues, prioritize the need to solve these issues, develop potential solutions and outline strategies for the implementation of these solutions. For the individual reflective piece, students will be required to elaborate on the challenges of identifying sustainability issues in contemporary service businesses and designing potential solutions. This will require an elaboration on the need to engage various stakeholders, but also to secure relevant resources. Students will also be required to self-reflect on the challenges of group work and how they sought to overcome these challenges.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 


  • A 3000-word group report

  • A 500-word individual reflective essay



Formative assessment

Students will receive feedback throughout the semester via face-to-face teaching which will support them to complete the assessments. Timetabled and on request tutorials will enable students to obtain interim feedback on the work or any draft work completed by then. Feedback from the client i.e. the business to be assessed, on the progress made in assessing their business will guide students through their work. Feedback Face-to-face and electronic

Module aims

  • Demonstrate the importance of integrating sustainability into the management of contemporary service operations in hospitality, tourism, transport, and events
  • Critically evaluate the (dis)benefits of (not) acting upon sustainability challenges faced by contemporary service businesses
  • Understand the logistics and comprehend the challenges of undertaking a sustainability audit of contemporary service businesses
  • Gain first-hand experience of conducting a sustainability audit of a service enterprise

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply theoretical knowledge on sustainability to real-life service business settings CKP
002 Compare and contrast between theory and practice by identifying and solving the challenges of integrating sustainability into service operations CKP
003 Identify key stakeholders in shaping the sustainability agenda in contemporary service businesses CKP
004 Understand the practicalities of assessing the sustainability of service operations CKP
005 Develop practical skills in gathering and analyzing primary and secondary data and formally presenting their findings PT
006 Propose novel solutions to solving the sustainability challenges of contemporary service businesses CKP
007 Develop resourcefulness and resilience through working with unstructured business problems and data PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy will enable problem-based and research-focused learning. Problem-based learning is defined as the ability of students to identify real world business problems and outline prospective solutions to these problems grounding on knowledge of academic theories and business practice. Research-focused learning is defined as the ability of students to undertake relevant academic research and utilize appropriate research skills in order to solve real world business problems.
The module is based on the application of knowledge and skills acquired from existing compulsory hospitality modules.
The delivery includes:
Lectures and in-class activities to establish the theoretical foundation of sustainability alongside its application to hospitality operations.
Group case study analyses to allow students to draw upon diverse academic and business perspectives to critically evaluate specific sustainability issues in service operations.
A group report to allow students to apply theory into practice while researching the sustainability challenges of a specific service enterprise within hospitality, tourism, transport, and events. Group working will equip students with relevant skills (e.g., negotiation, time management, cross-cultural awareness) to be used in employment. Peer feedback during group working will enable co-learning and knowledge co-creation. It will build resilience to critical feedback, thus aiding in being more tolerable to critiques during employment.
An individual reflection piece to allow students to elaborate on the challenges of conducting a sustainability audit of a service enterprise alongside the challenges of group work

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM513

Other information

This module adopts the University curriculum framework, which aims to develop learners with strong capabilities in Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the development of the following capabilities:

Digital Capabilities: This module will enhance and develop students’ capabilities in digital data collection and analysis, using various tools to capture digital data, interpret these data and present these data to various audiences. Content analysis of business websites and online corporate reports will be an integral element of this module’s teaching curriculum and assessments. Students will use the virtual learning environment (VLE),¿SurreyLearn, video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and data presentation software, such as Prezi, to facilitate learning.

Employability: The module will provide students with first-hand knowledge and experience of integrating sustainability in business strategies and day-to-day business operations. This knowledge and experience are expected to enhance students’ employability by making them better prepared to design effective solutions to various sustainability-related challenges facing contemporary businesses today.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The module will use examples of real-life businesses from all over the world to demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of sustainable business operations. Among others, these examples will showcase the importance of cultural factors in strategic and tactical business decision-making. Further, one of the module’s assessments is group-based. By working in groups, students from different cultural backgrounds will be able to learn from each other, thus building such competencies as cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.

Sustainability: Sustainability is a cornerstone of this module as it deals with the opportunities and challenges of integrating sustainability in contemporary business operations. Students will thus learn the multifaceted nature of sustainability and understand how the different dimensions of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) can be meaningfully integrated into business strategies and operational tactics.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Students will use a range of sources to identify research problems, analyse these problems and present the results of their analysis to various audiences. Working in groups as part of one of this module’s assessments will build and enhance such skills as teamwork and stress resilience. Working to deadlines will make students more resourceful in terms of more effective allocation of time and effort. Finding solutions by looking at unstructured problems faced by businesses is the key learning aspect of this module that will require students to excel in resourcefulness and resilience.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Tourism Management MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate of 50% overall and a pass on the pass/fail unit of assessment is required to pass the module
Strategic Hotel Management MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
International Hotel Management MSc 2 Optional A pass as determined by the relevant criteria is required to pass the module
International Events Management MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.