Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI47J15: Employee Relations & Reward (Online)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI47J15: Employee Relations & Reward (Online)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N1N107
Tied to N6K207


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Employee Relations & Reward (Taught)


  • To develop students’ ability to master the knowledge and understanding at an advanced level of key issues relating to trends in the modern employment relationship, and how relations between managers and employees are conducted;
  • To provide students with the opportunity to critically understand the reasons and explanations behind such trends. There is a special focus on reward management, and on involving non-managerial employees in organisational decision-making


  • Employee Relations: an introduction to theory, context, perspectives and actors
  • Management-workforce relations and negotiations
  • The role of collective bargaining and negotiation in the employment relationship
  • Participation and involvement at work – engaging employees in workplace and strategic decision-making
  • Rewarding Employees: the role of rewards in the organisation; payment structures and strategic considerations; performance-related pay and the individualisation of rewards

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the contemporary and historical context in which employee relations and reward occurs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • Be able to critically analyse a number of different issues relating to the study of employee relations and reward management, including pay systems, employee voice, strikes, and the role of trade unions;
  • Be able to critically review and understand debates in the area of employee relations and reward management;
  • Be able to reflect upon the personal implications that might arise from insights encountered during the module, such as how one may wish to manage, and to be managed.
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

  • The module is delivered via online learning across a six month period, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email).
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment, based on a case analysis 3000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

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