MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
All taught course units are 15 credits.
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• Career expectations of white collar
• The information and consultation directive
• and union membership and influence
• Employee involvement and participation in
• the retail sector
• Employers’ policies and HIV positive
• Union membership turnover in UNISON
• Organisational change in a building society
• Pay and high commitment HRM
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.