Student Essay Competition

2020 IBE Student Essay Competition

The competition has now been launched and will be open for submissions from 01 March - 30 April 2020. Entries must be submitted via the IBE website.

About the Competition

The IBE Student Essay Competition celebrates the best student writing and thinking on business ethics. All the information you need to know about the competition can be found below and in the downloads box on the right hand side of this page.
  • Prizes are awarded in two categories – Undergraduate and Postgraduate
  • Submissions should be 2,500 words (±10%) excluding all supplementary materials (appendices and bibliographies)
  • You choose the topic that you want to write about
  • A focus on current topics in business ethics is encouraged, and rewarded through the judging process.
For inspiration on what to write about, take a look at the Resources section of the website or our YouTube channel.
For more information on 'What makes a winning essay?' listen to this Podcast - a 10 minute conversation between Dan Johnson at the IBE, and Professor Alan Murray, the lead judge for the competition.
For more information download the Competition Leaflet from the downloads bar on the right hand side.

Why enter?

For students
The competition is great for your professional development. Winning an essay competition looks good on your CV. Winning essays are published on the IBE website. You will be given the opportunity to present your essay to industry experts (both academic and practitioner) at the awards ceremony.
Finally, the winning prize of £1,000 (generously funded by the Gordon Cook foundation) is great for the bank balance!
For tutors / universities
To celebrate their contributions, winning tutors are invited to the awards ceremony where you will be presented with a certificate on behalf of your institution as an acknowledgement of the quality of the teaching and student engagement promoted.
You will join the prestigious club of previous winning institutions which in the last couple of years includes: the University of St Andrews; UCL Faculty of Laws; London School of Economics; and Birbeck College, University of London.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 IBE Student Essay Competition in Business Ethics

The two winning essays of this year’s IBE Student Essay Competition in Business Ethics, supported by the Gordon Cook Foundation, both focus on the ethical challenges of technology in the workplace, examining the use of microchip technology with employees and workplace automation.

The Postgraduate category was won by Ysabel Dela Rosa from the University of Bath for her essay ‘The introduction of ‘voluntary’ microchip technology in the workplace: An innovative solution or invasion of privacy?’

The Undergraduate category was won by Joel Christoph from UCL for his essay 'Ethics and Workplace Automation'.


2018 Postgraduate winner Firoza Dodhi:
"As a Future Trainee Solicitor at Simmonds & Simmonds, I am aware of the importance of managing innovative practices in accordance with ethical standards, to ensure the successful delivery of client-focused legal services. I am grateful to have been selected for this award; the integral nature of ethics in the legal industry requires consistent reflection and critical discourse. Being recognised by the IBE is a privilege; the award complements my scholarly pursuits and reaffirms my dedication to promote and practice business ethics in my professional career."
2018 Undergraduate winner Nathalie Becker:
"Interdisciplinary is increasingly being recognised for its potential to unpack complex issues. In response, my essay draws on elements of History and International Relations theory to analyse corporate responsibility in a global context. I am very grateful to the Institute of Business Ethics for this award and for encouraging me to continue to foster these connections in the future."
Professor Andrew Crane, following the 2018 Competition Awards Ceremony

Previous Winning Essays

Undergraduate category

Year Student University Essay
2018 NathalieBecker St Andrews Corporations in the 'Postnational Constellation': applying a post-colonial lens to Corporate Social Responsibility practices in a global order
2017 David Kerr Birbeck College, University of London Tax Avoidance: the ethical question for business
2016 Eleanor Weston University of Brighton Should the NHS be Free to Every Citizen Regardless of Health Choices?
2015 Harrison Hancock Durham University Business School Strategic CSR: corporate challenges and practical means to address them
2014 Babatunde Valentine Onabajo Cardiff University The Moral Case for Ban the Airbrush

Postgraduate category

Year Student University Essay
2018 Firoza Dodhi UCL Faculty of Laws Exploring the Ethical Issues of Innovation in Legal Services
2017 Charles Sherwood London School of Economics Doing the Right Thing: business ethics, moral indeterminacy and existentialism
2016 Jonathan Webb Queen Mary, University of London Supply Chain Corruption: a business ethics blind spot
2015 James Peacock Bradford University School of Management Water Poverty: a real threat in the UK?
2014 Gary D. Rubin University of Leeds Does the Fact the Financial Sector is Heavily Regulated Leave any Place for Ethics?

 Essay Competition Downloads 2020

Further information

Download the competition leaflet


Download the poster to promote the competition

Small print

Download the small print for the terms and conditions

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