Human Resource Management BA (Hons) module details

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

Block 1: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management (HRM) is a management function which is crucial to the success of organisations nowadays. Human Resources are considered to be a firm's sustainable competitive advantage and thus good HRM management leads to positive outcomes for a firm and to enhanced performance.  However, HRM is not isolated. It is embedded in a wider organisational and societal context. Therefore, it is liable to constant changes, through which HRM should maintain its role and its contribution to organisational success. This module stands as an introduction to HRM. It is designed to introduce learners to the basic HRM concepts and functional components of HRM. It also explores how HRM practice is affected by the external environment and the changes in it. As such learners will be provided with the building blocks for further study of HRM. The aim of the module is also to encourage learners to think critically, to critically analyse and evaluate information and develop skills in problem-solving.

Block 2: Professional Development for Human Resource Management

HR Practice is an immersive journey exploring the employee development and learning experience. As an HR professional the module aids the identification of individual, team and organisational learning needs and how they can be most effectively met.  It facilitates the development of aptitudes and skills through an interactive approach. It helps students to identify problems and classify them in priority areas by creating solutions. The module develops an understanding of the HR profession through the use of the CIPD professional map, articulating the HR specialist knowledge, critical core behaviours and core knowledge.

Block 3: Organisational Behaviour

Organisational Behaviour (OB) is an interdisciplinary field of study, which explores individual, group and organisational behaviour and the impact of individuals, groups, organisations and society in creating, shaping and controlling behaviours. This module facilitates an understanding of OB from a managerial and critical viewpoint, drawing on international research including the department and teaching team’s research. The managerial viewpoint seeks to understand behaviour in order to manage more effectively and, hopefully, more ethically - understanding the fundamentals of behaviour in organisations enables better practices to be developed and implemented. The critical viewpoint seeks to view the organisation from the perspective of employees and asks questions about the impact of managerial practice. The module applies concepts from psychology, occupational psychology, social psychology, sociology, political science, economics and organisation theory, in an attempt to understand the behaviour of people in organisations. 

Block 4: Human Resource Management in a Global Business Context

HRM in a Global Business Context provides students with an in-depth and critical understanding of the major internal and external environmental contexts within which human resource managers operate in public, private and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) sectors. It provides insights in terms of customising and delivering effective HR strategies consistent with the cultural or organisational contexts. The awareness of markets, products and services is now a key attribute for HR practitioners. Prospective practitioners need to be aware of the wide range of contexts in which HR work takes place, and the influence of external bodies of various kinds, and this applies to all types of practitioners, including the personnel and development generalist or specialist, line manager or consultant. The manager of people also needs to develop an analytical and critical reflective approach to the subject, to enable them to distinguish between the conflicting solutions put forward to human resource problems.

Year two

Block 1 Human Resource Management in the Workplace

The module focuses on the analysis of the application of HRM practices within contemporary organisations. The module enables students to start to look critically at Human Resource Management as a body of theory and practice. Drawing on theoretical, empirical and case study material, students are able to explore key areas of HRM including how it is applied in the workplace and how workers, line managers and, indeed, HR professionals themselves are affected by and respond to HRM initiatives. The module considers how a range of issues impact upon HRM including organisational change, the legal framework and ethical issues, including sustainability. It explores how HRM is applied in different contexts including multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Block 2 Learning and Organisational Development

The purpose and aim of this module is to provide an understanding of key developments in the theory and practice of Learning and Development (L&D), both within and beyond the immediate organisational context. This module allows learners to build on their knowledge and develop new understanding required to make informed and effective judgements about existing and emerging models, processes and practices in L&D. The module is designed to encourage learners to compare, contrast and evaluate developments in theory and practice that influence the design, delivery and management of L&D to drive sustained business performance and anticipate future organisational needs.

Block 3: Managing Employee Relations

The aim of the module is to provide an accessible and critical introduction to the employment relationship and how to manage individual conflicts that occur in the workplace. The module is concerned with the changing nature of the employment relationship and how this is regulated, experienced and contested.  It seeks to offer both a theoretical understanding and equip students with the relevant practitioner skills to manage the myriad of workplace tensions that occur. In addition, this module examines the nature of conflict on an individual level within the workplace. It explores the philosophies, rationale and approaches that underpin workplace conflict in the UK. This aspect of the module has an emphasis on applied learning, as the module requires an element of engagement with the resolution of workplace conflict and the development of an appropriate set of skills.

Block 4: Reward and Performance Management

This module explores theoretical paradigms, legal and regulatory data that aid managerial decisions on reward and pay.  It presents innovative approaches to formulating a dynamic reward strategy premised on effective communication, employee engagement and performance management. Market-based strategies are analysed in line with other factors such as base pay system and levels, job role evaluation, performance related pay and other variable pay mechanisms. Thus, this module critically explores the complex relationship and tensions between reward and performance in contemporary organisations where management's and workers' interest my not fall into a simple or easy alignment.

Year three

Block 1: Managing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This module is designed to explore and debate the concept of equality and inclusion in the workplace against a backdrop of growing diversity within the labour force. The module begins with a theoretically informed examination of the nature and causes of discrimination and disadvantage in employment. This theoretical base is used to underpin the reminder of the module and provide a framework within which prevailing patterns of segregation and disadvantage in the labour market can be understood and debated. In the course of the module students are alerted to both visible and non-visible dimensions of diversity including race, ethnicity, religion and belief, gender and gender identity, age, disability and sexual orientation. The module encourages students to critically assess the measures instituted by organisations to manage equality and diversity and to consider the relative merits of the moral and business arguments for introducing an equal opportunities policy and/or policies and practices aimed at managing diversity.

Block 2: Employment Law

The module analyses the role played by legal regulation in the management of Human Resources. It explores the purpose of regulation and how it is applied in practice. Analysis will include consideration of how UK employment law has developed and the principles that underpin legal regulation of the employment relationship. The module explores the role of employment law in achieving social justice and tackling issues such as discrimination, slavery and child labour.

Block 3: Critical Issues in Human Resource Management

The aim of this module is to develop a critical, creative and applied understanding of HRM's place in organisations to appreciate HRM's capacity to improve organisational performance and effectiveness including strategic HRM, HR analytics,  organisational development and leadership. Students are encouraged to read and discuss theory, critically reflect on their own experience of work and apply this to organisational cases and examples of their choosing. Students are provided with an opportunity to explore and develop their own interests in a supportive yet rigorous theoretically applied HRM module. The module encourages the challenging of mainstream thinking and traditional theoretical models.

The module supports involvement in overseas learning experiences and feeds into the general aims of an integrated programme offering and decolonisation of the curriculum. The module is linked to professional membership of the CIPD and as such meets the learning and skills outcomes required by the professional body. 

Block 4: Choose one option from the below:

Organisational Development and Consulting

This module explores, through a review of theories and models, the elements that contribute to organisation design and the development of organisation insight crucial to building agile and adaptable organisations, with healthy cultures that are essential to meet current and future challenges. It provides a good foundation of underpinning organisational development theory and knowledge, including its relationship to organisation design and change management, and how effective organisational development interventions can increase business performance and productivity. This module introduces consulting principles and structures, both as potential future consultants and/or as purchasers of consulting services. 


Business Management Project

The Business Management Project is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to research philosophy, methodology and design and their particular application in researching employment and people management issues in domestic and international contexts. The module is intended to prepare students to critically read and evaluate research within their chosen field of study as well as undertaking independent research that is required for the dissertation. The module seeks to develop the practice of critical and analytical reflection on personal skill, knowledge, assumptions and values.