Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI42P15: The Labour Market (Full-Time)

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI42P15: The Labour Market (Full-Time)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1K017
Tied to N1KC17


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with a detailed understanding of how the labour market operates in relation to individuals and organisations, and its outcomes in terms of employment.


  • Main concepts of labour economics including: what determines the demand for and supply of labour, how the market works in theory, under what circumstances it ‘fails’ (and what this means), and the nature of government policy interventions;
  • Changing patterns of employment and skills at a national/European and global scale, the factors driving these developments, and the way in which different groups (e.g. defined by gender, age, level of education etc) are affected;
  • The role of firms/organisations in relation to the labour market, including how firm strategies with respect to the human resource management and work organisation influence the demand for labour and skill formation processes;
  • The justification for and outcomes of public intervention in the labour market.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of the main concepts of labour economics;
  • Critical knowledge and understanding of changing patterns of employment and skills at a national/European and global scale;
  • Critical awareness of the role of firms/organisations in relation to the labour market;
  • Critical understanding of how policy interventions affect labour market outcomes.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to apply the knowledge gained in order to analyse labour market characteristics and change in terms of key measures and indicators.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; interpretation of data; using initiative; computer literacy including internet search.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. Modules are generally taught in 3 or 4 hour blocks each of which will typically be a mix of 'lecture-type' contact, small group work and discussions/feedback sessions.
  • The summative assessment will be a case study based essay to test students’ understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply, analyse and interpret what they have learned to a particular situation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) Since the MBA is timetabled by the Business School the frequency may vary - this will be notified to students in advance of the module. 28
Preparation and Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Case-study based essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Case-study based essay 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:

Short presentations. Feedback will also be provided on contributions to class discussions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University