Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Human Rights in the Professional Context

Degree programme Business Administration: International Marketing & Sales
Subject area Business and Management
Type of degree Master
Summer Semester 2024
Course unit title Human Rights in the Professional Context
Course unit code 800101010701
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Teaching hours per week 2
Year of study 2024
Level of the course / module according to the curriculum
Number of ECTS credits allocated 3
Name of lecturer(s) Smera REHMAN
Requirements and Prerequisites

English Level B2 (CEFR)

Course content
  • History and development of human rights
  • Human rights documents and instruments in order to protect and promote human rights in the professional setting
  • Selected case studies and case work in relation to human rights and professional ethics
  • Discussion of controversies and dilemmas including ethical issues
  • Sustainable Development Goals and relevance in the work environment
  • Basic human needs and the development of role morality in comparison to personal morality
  • Scientific action and possible solutions for a non-discriminatory professional setting
Learning outcomes


  • Reflect on human rights documents and instruments
  • Identify how human rights principles can be applied to add value in the workplace
  • Apply ethical approaches and human rights principles in the workplace
  • Analyse relevant SDGs
  • Connect practice and theory
  • Think critically about ethical issues encountered in the professional setting
  • Recognise challenges (personal morality vs. role morality) and develop problem-solving strategies
  • Assess anti-discrimination elements and understand substantive equality issues.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  • Self-organised learning
  • Dialogue in small groups
  • Reflection
  • Exercises based on the learning resources
Assessment methods and criteria

Final examination (group presentation during the course)


Field trip to a sustainably managed business: Students explore how human rights are realised and how sustainable business practices promote cooperation and participation of different social groups.

Cost per person: 10 €

Recommended or required reading

Brenkert G. George (2015) Business Ethics and Human Rights: (online article) 

Cramton C. Roger, Knowles P. Lori (1998) Professional Secrecy and Its Exceptions: Spaulding v. Zimmerman Revisited (online article)

Gil, D. G. (1998). Confronting Social Injustice: Concepts and Strategies for Social Workers. New York: Columbia University Press.

Heiderich, J. (2010). Gerechtigkeit in Organisationen. Im Spannungsfeld von Bedürfnissen, Macht und Arbeitszufriedenheit. Berlin: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin. 

Illinois Institute of Technology, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (2008). Professional ethics. "Basic definitions of professional ethics" Online available

Leideritz, M. /Vlecken, S. (Hrsg.) (2016) Professionelles Handeln in der Sozialen Arbeit – Schwerpunkt Menschenrechte, Ein Lese- und Lehrbuch, 1. Auflage. Leverkusen: Budrich, Barbara.

Luban, David (2007). Professional ethics. A Companion to Applied Ethics. R.G. Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman, eds. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Prasad, N.  (2011). Mit Recht gegen Gewalt. Die UN-Menschenrechte und ihre Bedeutung für die Soziale Arbeit, Budrich, Opladen, Farmington Hills

Staub-Bernasconi, S.(2007/2010). Soziale Arbeit als Handlungswissenschaft. Systemtheoretische Grundlagen und professionelle Praxis − Ein Lehrbuch. 2. Aufl. Bern.

Vereinte Nationen. Zentrum für Menschenrechte, Genf/ Internationale Vereinigung der Sozialarbeiterinnen und Sozialarbeiter/ Internationaler Verband der Ausbildungsstätten für Sozialarbeit (Hrsg.):  Menschenrechte und Soziale Arbeit. Ein Handbuch für Ausbildungsstätten der Sozialen Arbeit und für den Sozialarbeitsberuf. Übersetzung: Michael Moravek. FH Ravensburg-Weingarten (5.) 2002. Bezugsadresse: Fachhochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten. Postfach 1241,D-88241 Weingarten.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)
  • Interdisciplinary and interactive workshop on human rights in the professional context.
  • Student-led working groups; analyse real life cases and case-studies with a focus on professional ethics, in order to find similarities and differences between disciplines
  • Video material (e.g. films, reports, interviews) to promote human rights principles and professional ethics
  • Digital questioning/quiz and voting sessions through tools such as Mentimeter.