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

Postgraduate Course: Human Resource Management In Context (CMSE11177)

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
SummaryThis course provides a broad introduction to, and understanding of, the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations. This covers both the managerial and business context, within which Human Resource Management (HRM) professionals, managers and employees must learn to interact, often under challenging conditions of environmental turbulence, change and uncertainty.

Course description The course examines how leading organisations in various sectors and industries respond to trends and features of their dynamic internal and environmental contexts. It indicates how those working in the HR function need to work with the rest of the organisation and its stakeholders to recognise and acknowledge how corporate decisions are shaped by various forces, and how these decisions might be made most effectively given the business environment.

This means learning to identify and evaluate a range of internal and external forces, often beyond the immediate or direct control of the HR function itself. Having studied this course, students will therefore be aware that HR professionals and managers in different types of organisation (small, large, national, global) not only have opportunities and choices when taking organisational decisions, but also face some constraints on their autonomy in determining their futures.

The course explores the implications for professional HR policy and practice of engaging with broader business environments and trends, and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Outline Content

1. HRM in contemporary organisations and defining business environments.
2. The line management and professional context of HRM.
3. HRM (and general business) strategy.
4. Market and competitive organisational environments facing HRM.
5. Globalisation and the world economy's impact on HRM.
6. Government policy, legal regulation, and HRM.
7. Demographic and social trends affecting HRM.
8. Technology and HRM.
9. Ethics, social responsibility, sustainability and HRM.
10. Course overview and revision of weeks 1-9.

Student Learning Experience

This course provides students with a wide understanding of the boundaries and key areas of concern across the field of HRM, through examples and topics addressed in lectures. Lectures will all be digitally recorded using Panopto software so students can listen to them again in a flexible and interactive format.

The students use class exercises and case study examples to facilitate interactive student discussions applying HRM frameworks to contemporary business problems, with formative feedback provided to individuals and groups where appropriate. Two guest speakers with established backgrounds in the HR profession will also deliver sessions in the course on cutting-edge areas of HR strategy and practice that have been, and can be, applied to client organisations where HR is making a real difference to success.

Assessment provides opportunities for students to analyse HRM issues and topics by critically and in more depth, summarising multiple viewpoints and making related recommendations for policy and practice, and receiving further formative and summative feedback on completion of this assessed work.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
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 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework (individual) - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and critically evaluate the range of contemporary business organisations and to explain how they fit into their principal environments.
  2. Understand and critically evaluate the managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work.
  3. Critically evaluate how organisational and HR strategies are shaped by and developed in response to internal and external environmental factors.
  4. Summarise key globalisation and international forces and discuss how they interact with organisational HR strategies and practices.
  5. Analyse economic, political, demographic/social, legal/regulatory and technological trends in terms of how they interact with organisational and HR strategies and HR practices.
Reading List
KEW, J and STREDWICK, J. (2010, 2013) HRM in a Business Context. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.

Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality.

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.

Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.
KeywordsHRM-HRM in Context
Course organiserDr Thomas Calvard
Tel: (0131 6)51 5313
Course secretaryMiss Isla Dalley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3900
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