MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
International Labour Law and Regulation

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN71922
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


Introduction to Labour Law and Regulatory Theory; History, structure, functions and institutions of the ILO; Minimum ILO standards underpinning the individual employment relationship; ILO and European Convention standards on freedom of association and the right to strike; EU/EC legal competence in the social policy and labour relations area - including esp EU/EC employment discrimination & equal pay law; EU/EC regulation of health and safety and working time standards; EU/EC standards on information and consultation; Comparative analysis of core labour legislation in individual countries. 


BMAN71922 Programme Req: BMAN71922 is only available as a core unit to students on MSc IHRM & CIR, and as an elective to students on MSc HRM & IR


The course unit will aim to give students an understanding and awareness of the way in ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ international labour law standards are developed and their impact within individual states. ‘Soft’ law standards refer broadly to those developed by, for example, the International Labour Organisation (‘the ILO’) and under the European Social Charter. ‘Hard’ law standards will be explored primarily by reference to the developing body of binding and enforceable European Union (EU) labour & social policy legislation and the possible impact of ‘Brexit’. Standards derived from the European Convention on Human Rights will also be addressed. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit students should be able to:

  • critically assess the overall importance of international labour standards;
  • understand, compare and contrast ‘soft’, ‘hybrid’ and ‘hard’ law regulation;
  • analyse the impact of international labour standards on the labour/employment law regimes of individual states;
  • assess the likely impact of international labour standards on employing organisations & individuals
  • compare and contrast the labour/employment law regimes in a range of different countries

Assessment methods

Essay of up to or around 3000 words in length (100% of the assessment) 

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.

Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff 

Specific course related feedback sessions.

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation.

Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Recommended reading

Barnard, C , 2012. EU Employment Law, 4rh ed, Oxford: OUP

Blanpain, R (ed). 2014. Comparative Labour Law and IndustrialRelations in Industrialised Market Economies. 2014, (11 and revised ed.). Netherlands: Kluwer Law International

Bronstein, A. 2009. International & Comparative Labour Law, Geneva/ILO (&Palgrave Macmillan)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Lord Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Methods

Office hours

Drop in surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)

(i) availability before and after lecture sessions and during breaks etc

(ii) individual appointments with students on request (ie outside of and in addition to 1 and 3 above)

(iii) regular blackboard announcements/messages


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