Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to NN12
Tied to N205
Tied to N208
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N500
Tied to N506
Tied to N508
Tied to N501
Tied to N505
Tied to N507
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • People, Management and Organisations BUSS1141 OR People, Management and Organisations BUSI1141


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module aims to develop students' ability to master the knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to the processes and practices of human resource management.
  • The module is intended to provide students with the opportunity to critically understand research in the field of human resource management.


  • Introduction to Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
  • Staffing the organization
  • Equal opportunities, diversity management and work-life balance
  • Performance management and reward
  • Training and Developing the workforce
  • Collective representation and involvement at work
  • Managing conflict at work
  • Exiting the workforce
  • International HRM

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Define and critically evaluate the main schools of HR thought.
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of the nature and role of human resource management in contemporary organisations.
  • Ability to evaluate a strategic approach to HR.
  • Assess the main trends in the practice of HR.
  • Critically evaluate the processes, procedures and practices of contemporary human resource management.
  • Understand critical perspectives on human resource management and industrial relations as a managerialist discourse.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Analysis of HR issues and the formulation of appropriate responses.
  • Understanding ambiguous and indeterminate contexts.
  • Negotiation and persuasion.
  • Appreciate alternative perspectives.
  • Development of critical thinking.
  • Data gathering and analysis.
  • The development of cohesive and persuasive arguments.
Key Skills:
  • Select appropriate modes of communication.
  • Effective presentation through the use of oral, written and technological media.
  • Research appropriate periodicals, websites, books, other references to draw together required information.
  • Having located relevant information from a variety of sources, to bring it together and present it in a coherent argument.
  • Consider issues from a range of perspectives and draw upon appropriate concepts/values to reach a critical assessment.
  • Take an active role in learning and recognise potential responsibility for own lifelong learning.
  • Think laterally and inventively, to develop original approaches in defining and solving problems.
  • Prioritise tasks, manage and achieve results on time and within budgets and/or other constraints.
  • Construct grammatically correct and well written/spelt essays and reports, using the most appropriate style for the purpose.
  • Understand verbal messages without prejudice or assumptions.
  • Seek, store, retrieve, synthesise, use and present information in ways appropriate to the task, including the use of C& IT.
  • Use computer applications to the level required and appropriate to the problem in hand.
  • Cooperate with others, make a variety of contributions to help the group achieve its goal.
  • Recognise and accommodate the fact that others have different needs, feelings, and/or behaviour.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures and seminars.
  • Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars, and private study.
  • Seminar classes provide a structured series of case studies, group exercises etc to support, reinforce knowledge and encourage independent study.
  • Formative assessment is by presentation and case analysis.
  • Summative assessment is by means of a written assignment and a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Seminars 8 4 in term 1, 4 in term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 1 hour 30 minutes 100% same
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written assignment 2000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One presentation and case analysis.

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