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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Human Resource Management (CMSE11126)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryThe way that people are managed is fundamental to the success (or otherwise) of organisations. It is therefore important to begin to understand the intricacies and complexities of managing people in the modern workplace. The course will consider the extent to which the terms of the debate on managing employees have shifted in recent years, largely driven by key changes in the economic, political, social and legal environment. In particular, the course will focus on developments in the key component parts of human resource management, such as strategic HRM, the labour market, recruitment and selection and training and development.
Course description Eight core HRM topics are covered in the course. They range from broader themes, for example the impact of HRM practices in general on employees and their experience of work and organisations, to more specific components of the employment relationship, such as selection procedures and the management of workplace conflict.
The course will comprise a mixture of formal lectures, group discussions and exercises. Guest speakers from academia and industry will also be invited to contribute to some of the lectures. The lecture programme will provide an overview of key debates in this area, supported by the recommended readings. The aim of the lectures is to identify key concerns, to be further evaluated in subsequent discussion sessions. The course will examine major themes in human resource management and draw heavily on practice, using various sources of evidence, including that from the lecturers┐ own research and employment experience. The group discussions in class provide an opportunity for students to clarify their understanding of the issues raised and to critically reflect on important questions. In all aspects, students are encouraged to apply academic concepts and frameworks to real workplace problems. This overall approach is appropriate to the learning objectives of the course.
-To examine the roles and functions of HRM professionals.
-To explore the range of techniques and practices used by HRM professionals in all major aspects of managing employees.
-To explore the level of adoption of such techniques and practices, and to offer explanations for patterns of adoption.
-To consider whether it is possible to identify ┐best practice┐ in human resource management.
-To examine the effects of specific practices in terms of managerial and employee experience in the workplace.
-To critique and challenge some of the underlying assumptions of the literature and suggest new alternatives.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Organisational Behaviour (CMSE11089)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.

Admission to students without Organisational Behaviour (CMSE11089) will be at the discretion of the HRM Course Organiser.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 127 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course is examined by two pieces of coursework. The first of these takes the form of a management report with academic references, completed on an individual basis and constitutes 70% of the course mark. The aim is to allow the student to apply their knowledge of the subject to a contemporary human resource management issue. The second piece of coursework will be a group presentation. This will constitute 30% of the course mark.

Individual assignment (70%) (assess all learning outcomes)
-Individual management report with academic references
-Based on a case study
-Max. 3,000 words

Group presentation (30%) (assess all learning outcomes)
-15 minute presentation, groups of 4 or 5

Feedback All students will be given at least one formative feedback or feedforward event for every course they undertake, provided during the semester in which the course is taken and in time to be useful in the completion of summative work on the course. Such feedback may be at course or programme level, but must include input of relevance to each course in the latter case.
Feedback deadlines
Feedback on formative assessed work will be provided within 15 working days of submission, or in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course, whichever is sooner. Summative marks will be returned on a published timetable, which has been made clear to students at the start of the academic year.
Students may also ask questions in Lectures to assess their knowledge.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Be able to describe and discuss the key elements of current debates in human resource management
  2. Be able to outline alternative approaches to specific policy areas, such as involvement initiatives or approaches to resourcing
  3. Be able to identify the scale and nature of adoption of specific human resource policies
Reading List
Wilton, N. (2016)
An introduction to human resource management, 3rd edition, London: Sage

Grugulis, I. (2016) A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about human resource management, London: Sage.
Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson C. (2014) Human resource management, 9th Edition, Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. This is available as an e-book through DiscoverEd.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- demonstrate that they can evaluate critically the strengths and weaknesses of particular human resource approaches in specific contexts
- be able to identify the likely effectiveness of currently proposed solutions to managerial and organisational dilemmas
- exhibit an awareness of the concerns and experiences of a range of organisational stakeholders
- be able to apply critical analytical skills to complex practical problems
- be able to summarise and explain alternative organisational choices
- be able to demonstrate considerable clarity in evaluating alternative human resource policy choices, both in writing and verbally

Subject Specific Skills:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- be able to identify key constituent elements of the employment contract and relationship
- be able to identify alternative practices within these key constituent elements
- be able to assess the design, adoption and implementation of these practices and their impact
Course organiserDr Michelle O'Toole
Tel: (0131 6)51 5012
Email: Michelle.O'
Course secretaryMiss Fionna Ogilvie
Tel: (0131 6)51 3028
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