Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI5C315: Employee Relations

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI5C315: Employee Relations

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N2P109
Tied to N2P409
Tied to N2P609
Tied to N2P809


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • 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 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:
  • Have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the contemporary and historical context in which employee relations and reward occurs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • 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:
  • Written communication;
  • planning, organising and time management;
  • problem solving and analysis;
  • using initiative;
  • computer literacy.
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

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

  • Through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and guided reading addressing key topics in employee relations and reward management, students will acquire the advanced skills and knowledge to enable them to develop a thorough understanding of this specialist field of study.
  • The assessment of the module, by written assignment, is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to reflect upon, and apply it to the analysis of specific issues relating to the study of work and society.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 2 per week 1 hours 18
Seminars 3 fortnightly 1 hour 3
Workshop 1 4 hours 4
Preparation & Reading 125
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 2,500 words (Maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Negotiating role-play exercise

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