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Human Resources and Employment Relations MSc

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  • Objectives
    The aim of this MSc is to provide a critical theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding of human resource management and employment relations. Graduates as prospective entrants to human resources management roles, as 'thinking performers', should be able to address business and professional situations knowledgeably making contributions to improved organisational performance and delivery of sound personnel/human resources practice and services.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements At least a good honours degree (2.1) or equivalent normally in a cognate discipline eg management business studies or other related social science subject.
  • Academic Title
    Human Resources and Employment Relations MSc
  • Course description
    Course Summary

    This course provides the opportunity to evaluate theoretical frameworks relevant to the study and practice of human resource management and employment relations under conditions of change. You will examine a range of human resource/employment relations approaches, techniques and research methodologies, and manage your personal development, in terms of transferable intellectual and employability skills, as appropriate for continuing learning in a professionally related career.

    The course is designed for those who wish to become human resource and employment relation’s practitioners and/or undertake further research in academic, consultancy or commercial settings. Practitioners seeking a more academic Master's qualification in human resource management, rather than an MBA, will find the course of interest.

    Typical Modules:

    Theory and Practice in Management
    Main topics of study include: introduction of management; overview of management thoughts; modern management environment; modern management challenge (1): globalisation, big business and the impact; modern management challenge (2): corporate social responsibility; planning and decision making; strategic management: industrial analysis approach and resource based view; managing organizations; managing human resources; leadership; managing knowledge and innovation.

    Human Resource Management: Contexts, Concepts and Policy
    Main topics of study include: HRM/HRD contexts and imperatives; the changing nature of work and employment; HRM/HRD influence on organisational strategy and change; the claims and substance of HRM theory; the role of the personnel specialist and the CIPD; employee contracts; personnel information systems, recruitment and selection; performance review and staff appraisal; remuneration policy and practice, motivation and satisfaction; grievance and disciplinary handling. HRM and organisation culture/development, training and development strategies. Staffing costs, HRM service delivery (quality evaluation) and outsourcing including use of IT. Overview of HRM and ethics, professionalism, equal opportunities.

    Knowledge, Innovation and Learning
    Main topics of study include: the module will explore learning at the individual, organisational, and societal levels. It will consider issues relating to the management of learning processes, including developments such as the learning organisation, knowledge management, and communities of practice. Following from this, the module will explain some of the basic ideas associated with innovation theory; technological strategy; intra-firm knowledge flows; and the development of networks for the transfer of knowledge. As part of this discussion, the course will reflect upon relatively new developments in the field, including knowledge transfer both in the global and regional economy; disruptive innovation; and the role of epistemic communities.

    Understanding Business and Management Research
    Main topics of study include: the notion of research and the issue of knowledge claims; the role of theory in management and business domain; epistemology and ontology assumptions in positivism and social relativism/constructivism; empiricism; research methods and techniques; research designs (i.e. experimental, longitudinal, case studies, comparative); application of qualitative and quantitative methods to management problems; using extant information and data sets to model complex management problems; the potential and limitations of case study research and survey research methods; planning a research project (writing a research proposal; the role of literature review and secondary research); practical considerations for a research epistemology, method, techniques and execution; criticality and ethical issues, trusting the knowledge claims of others.

    International and Comparative Human Resource Management
    Main topics of study include: international business and management HR issues; the elements of an international human resources strategy and implementation in local contexts and cultures; cross-cultural and multi-cultural issues arising from HRM in the UK; international versus domestic HRM; Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-American approaches, Japanese perspectives and influences; managing HRM in Europe - commonalities and differences, the EU and its influence on HRM; managing people in China/Southern Africa/India; Multi-national projects and teams; managing HRM across borders: recruitment issues and methods, employee development and the 'international manager'; supporting international/ multicultural teams at staff, project and board levels; payment systems, benefits and expatriate rewards; trends and comparisons in employment law systems; employee communications and involvement; information system support for international HRM; managing the pressures of an international job.

    Issues in Employment Relations
    Main topics of study include: foundations of employment relationship; globalisation, multinational corporations and employee relations; trade unions; managerial approaches to managing the employment relationship; collective bargaining; employee involvement and participation; role of the state in employee relations; changing nature of work (flexible labour market).

    Dissertation
    A research-based dissertation is an integral element of the programme to which considerable importance is attached. You are required to base your dissertation on empirical research into a human resources/employment relations problem or issue of your choice (subject to approval).

    Dissertations are supervised by full time members of the academic staff of the School who have a wide range of research interests and expertise in the areas of human resource management, employment relations and organisational behaviour and change. The dissertation must be submitted by the end of the academic year during which you complete all of the taught modules of the course

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