Work, Employment and Human Resource Management in Context (782N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module introduces you to the core issues HR managers deal with as part of the larger social, economic, cultural and political contexts of the modern world of work and employment.

You will pay close attention to both the socio-historical development of dominant forms of work organisation in capitalist economies and also the contextually embedded and variable nature of employment relationships.

You'll be shown how the HR function is affected by both internal and external factors across organisations large and small – profit-seeking, third sector, public sector and multinational.

You will examine internal and external factors, including:

  • understandings of HR
  • the practice of HR professionals
  • the transformation of dominant HR practices
  • the organisational position of the HR function
  • the nature and history of modern management paradigms
  • the dynamics of markets and pressures for competitiveness in markets
  • demographic, social and technological changes that transform work and labour markets
  • the flows induced by globalisation and their impact on the policies of national and transnational governance structures.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Essay)
50%: Examination (Take away paper)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.