Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI44O15: Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues (Block Taught)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI44O15: Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues (Block Taught)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N6K107


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Human Resource Management: Special Topics (Distance Learning); Human Resource Management (Distance Learning)


  • To develop students’ ability to master the knowledge and understanding at an advanced level of key contemporary issues in the processes and practices of human resource management;
  • To provide students with the opportunity to critically understand research in the field of human resource management.


  • (Note: the following list is indicative and not all topics may be covered each year, to enable teaching to reflect current relevant issues and debates.)
  • The nature of human resource management.
  • HRM, performance and commitment.
  • Recruitment and selection.
  • Performance appraisal.
  • Diversity and equal opportunities.
  • Downsizing and HRM.
  • HRD.
  • International HRM.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should:-
  • Have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature and role of HRM in contemporary organisations;
  • Have an advanced understanding of the debates which relate to the links between HRM and organisational performance;
  • Have an advanced understanding of critical perspectives on HRM.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should able to critically evaluate the processes, procedures and practices of contemporary HRM.
Key Skills:
  • effective written communication skills
  • planning, organising and time management skills
  • problem solving and analytical skills
  • the ability to use initiative
  • advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • advanced computer literacy skills

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 taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading and critical reflection.
  • The summative assessment of the module, by written assignment, is designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to apply it to the analysis of specific topics in HRM.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion), timetabled in blocks 24
Preparation and reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment, critically evaluating a contemporary debate in the HRM literature 3000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group-based discussions and case study exercises.

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