BSc Management with Industrial/Professional Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Employment Relations and Human Resource Management

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN24332
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Employment Relations and Human Resource Management course unit examines work, employment and the management of people within its wider social and economic context. A core focus in the course will be the British experience of these issues but wider European and global developments will also be assessed. The central theme of the course is the employment relationship, with a focus on the academic and practical nature of employment relations and human resource management (HRM), including the objectives and methods of the actors within employment relations and HRM; workers, trade unions, management/employers and governments/the state. The development of and relationship between employment relations and HRM, and the tensions between the two academic fields and areas of practice, will be assessed to develop theoretical knowledge of the study of the employment relationship. The approach is both descriptive and analytical, and draws on some concepts that students will have encountered in first-year foundation courses.


Available as option for BSc Mgt/Mgt Specialism, IM and IMABS. Core for BSc Management with HR Specialism.



The course unit aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of work, employment and human resource management within its wider social and economic context, combining strong academic foundations with practical insights of relevance to future careers involving the management of people.

Learning outcomes

1. Identify the factors which shape the nature and content of the employment relationship, e.g. management strategies; HRM policies and practices; government policies; trade union activities; economic and labour market conditions.
2. Appraise the nature of the objectives and methods adopted by the various parties who seek to influence the content and dynamics of the employment relationship (employers and HR managers, trade unions, employees and the state).
3. Analyse and critically assess the policies and practices of various interest groups (e.g. employers, unions and the state) e.g. HRM; collective bargaining; state regulation of employment rights; union-management partnership; union organising; industrial action.
4. Examine and critically assess current trends and issues in employment relations and HRM.


The 10 subjects covered include

1) Introduction to the course unit and the fields of employment relations and HRM;

2) The changing nature of labour markets, employment relations and HRM;

3) The role of the state in the employment relationship;

4) Management, HRM and the employment relationship;

5) Employee voice, trade union organisation, social actors and managerial responses ;

6) Trade union ‘renewal’ and changing patterns of union membership;

7) Industrial action and conflict at work;

8) Pay determination, HRM and collective bargaining;

9) HRM and employment relations in the public sector;

10) Review and revision session

Teaching and learning methods

The course will consist of 10 x 2 hour lectures and 10 weekly seminars over the course of 1 semester. Seminars will be based around student preparation through reading, group discussions, teamwork contributing to student presentations, and critical analysis of case studies and the wider literature.

Assessment methods

The unit is to be assessed through a written essay constituting 100% of the final mark. There will also be the opportunity to submit a formative essay and students will take part in seminar group work, with feedback given by course tutors.

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided to students via Turnitin on summative assignments, informal feedback will be given on presentations within the seminars, and written feedback will be provided for those who complete a formative assessment.

Recommended reading

Bingham, C. (eds.) (2023) Employment Relations: Fairness and Trust in the Workplace. London: Sage.


Colling, T and Terry, M. (eds.) (2010) Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice. . Wiley

Dundon, T. and Rollinson, D. (eds.) (2011) Understanding Employment Relations. McGraw Hill.

Farnham, D. (2015) The Changing Faces of Employment Relations: Global, comparative and theoretical perspectives. Palgrave.


Williams, S. (eds.) (2020) Introducing Employment Relations: A critical approach. Oxford University Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nathaniel Tetteh Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Pre-requisites: None
Co-requisites: None
Dependent courses: None

Programme Restrictions: BSc Management / Management (specialism), IM, IMABS

Core to BSc Management (Human Resources) specialism

For Academic Year 2024/25

Updated: March 2024

Approved by: March UG Committee

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