MSc Organisational Change and Development

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Learning, Training and Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI71441
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit draws on contemporary research and literature to critically explore how development processes for people in organisations have shifted the balance of effort from ‘trainer led’ activities to methodologies in which individuals and groups exercise more autonomous control of their own learning and performance. Learning is emphasised as the premier skill which can grow in capability as a lifetime experience through conversation and reflection. It is observed as being supported by a wide range of resources including coaching, training and other planned activities that engage individuals and groups in organisations. The nature of a strategic approach to learning is additionally explored as well as the skills of practitioners to advance development.



The unit aims to inform students of the strategies, concepts, approaches and methodologies in advancing learning for personal and organisational development in enterprises, public sector bodies and NGOs.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group discussions and problem solving, constitute an integrated learning environment which on occasions allows direct experience of the content themes of the unit.

A group preparation and presentation of specific plans aligned with learning, training and development, together with an evaluation of the whole process.

Learning is supported by readings posted on Blackboard.


Knowledge and understanding

  •  Understand the theories and approaches in learning that contribute to performance in organisations, personal development and the well being of society in general;
  • Describe the stages in a cyclical approach to development in learner centred training and in coaching, including needs analysis, design and evaluation;
  • Identify the range of methodologies and resources that can support learning, including web and intranet based platforms;
  • Elicit the criteria governing the choice between the role of organisation led learning activities and self organised learning in enhancing performance and development;
  • Understand how to build a strategic approach to learning and development in organisations;
  • Explore the roles of practitioners, managers and learners in meeting transformational change needs in organisations;
  • Identify issues when advancing learning through social media

Intellectual skills

  • Observe and discuss the distinction between traditional approaches to learning and self organised approaches to development;
  • Reflect on own learning capabilities and evaluate the extent of learning to learn skills;
  • Build a conversational approach that supports learning at the individual and group levels;
  • Evaluate how interactive processes can advance problem solving in a cross cultural group context;
  • Appreciate a systems approach in learning that supports organisational development.

Practical skills

  •  Design a personal learning contract;
  • Advise on the stages and design characteristics of learning centred training and coaching;
  • Utilise presentation skills in advising on a learning plan;
  • Act as a member of a team in learning design;
  • Elicit information on learning needs.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Take into professional life a basic understanding on how staff development can be made more effective;
  • Possess personal skills that enhance continuous learning through self awareness, reflection and actions;
  • Apply communication skills towards a ‘community of practice’ in organisational learning and development;

Assessment methods

One 3000 word essay of (100% weighting)

Feedback methods

There will be many opportunities for formative feedback during lectures. Summative feedback will be provided on assessed coursework based on the assignment.

Recommended reading

- Mankin, D. (2009) Human Resource Development, Oxford University Press (recommended for purchase).
- Reid, M.A., Barrington, H. and Brown, M (2004) Human Resource Development: Beyond Training Interventions (7th ed.), London, CIPD.
- Walton, J (1999) Strategic Human Resource Development, London, FT/Prentice Hall.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 122

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kate Rowlands Unit coordinator

Additional notes

GDI Programmes on which course unit is offered:

Semester 1 - Lecture Wednesday and tutorials

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