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Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations MSc

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  • Objectives
    Develop a critical appreciation of the theoretical foundations and empirical practice of HRM and IR Expose you to a wide variety of organisational practices by use of teaching materials based on high quality contemporary research conducted by lecturers and their own research for an independent individual dissertation Enable you to develop practical skills in the subject area to equip you for a career in or further study of the HR/IR field and gives you a grounding in research methods which you can apply appropriately either in the business world or in academic research Provide you with the opportunity to gain graduate membership of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) which is extremely advantageous in securing a career in HRM.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements: Normally a UK bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours (overall average 65%), or the overseas equivalent in any discipline is required. When assessing your academic record we take into account your grade average, position in class, references, and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification. We particularly welcome applicants from institutions of high ranking and repute.
  • Academic Title
    Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations MSc
  • Course description
    MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations

    Course structure

    All taught course units are 15 credits.

    Semester one

    • Employment policy and practice 1
    This course unit focuses on organisational responses to economics, social and
    institutional change and the implications for the management of people.

    Human Resource Management 1
    The course unit focuses on links between HRM strategies and
    individual/organisational performance in a variety of organisational contexts and
    industrial sectors.

    Human Resource Management 2
    The course unit enables you to appraise core HRM processes critically including
    recruitment pay, training, performance management, employee involvement.

    • Generic research methods
    This course unit introduces you to the philosophical aspects and general approaches
    of research methodology. It provides you with a theoretical framework for subsequent
    study of particular research methods and tools. It will also provide particular guidance
    for the dissertation element of the course.

    • Research Methods for Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
    This course unit shows you how to conduct research that is valid, reliable and ethically
    sensitive. The distinction is made between qualitative and quantitative methods, and
    practical skills in project management, data collection and analysis, including computer
    analysis packages, are also developed.

    Semester two

    • Industrial relations
    The course unit provides sound understanding of theory concerning collective
    relationships between employees and employers and the role of union and non-union
    representation of employees through the examination of practical issues such as
    negotiations, collective action, disputes and grievances.

    • Employment law
    This course unit enables you to gain a sound understanding of the principles and
    application of the fundamentals of employment law. Includes exposure to
    employment tribunal procedures.

    • Employment Policy and Practice 2
    The course unit enables you to appreciate the role of national and international contexts,
    economic regimes and legislation in influencing the diffusion and implementation of HRM
    practices. Attention is given particularly but not exclusively to Europe, the USA and

    Please note: there may be minor changes to the allocation of modules to each semester.
    There may also be an opportunity to study for one semester in an Exchange Institution
    (details can be found under the MSc International Business and Management course). This
    will need to be discussed on an individual basis with the course director.

    Summer research period

    Research dissertation (60 credits)

    This is conducted on an HR/IR related topic with expert support from a personal supervisor,
    and usually involves research within one or more organisations. Your supervisor will help you
    to define the scope of the research and advise, guide and support you through the process.

    Dissertations have been conducted on topics such as:
    • Disability discrimination
    • HRM and line management at Tesco
    • Organisational boundaries and temporary
    • agency staff
    • Public private partnerships in local
    • authorities
    • Career expectations of white collar
    • managers
    • The information and consultation directive
    • and union membership and influence
    • Employee involvement and participation in
    • the retail sector
    • Employers’ policies and HIV positive
    • employees
    • Union membership turnover in UNISON
    • Organisational change in a building society
    • Pay and high commitment HRM

    Course recognition

    Successful completion of the course entitles students to Graduate Membership of the
    Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Close links are maintained with
    local branches of the CIPD. The CIPD awards an annual course prize for the best
    performance on the course. Students wishing to gain CIPD membership attend a series of
    skills workshops with guests invited from a wide range of companies, to enable them to
    develop practical HR skills.

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