BSc Management with Industrial/Professional Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Comparative Industrial Relations

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN31871
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course examines industrial relations within the broad socio-economic context, focusing for the most part on the experience in European countries but drawing on wider international comparisons. The central theme of the course is that of the employment relationship, and the objectives and methods of the parties in industrial relations; workers, trade unions, management/employers and the state. The approach is both descriptive and analytical, and draws on concepts that students will have encountered in first-year foundation courses as well as second year modules concerned with the study of work and employment.




Students must be registered on BSc Mgt/Mgt specialism, IM, IMABS to enroll onto BMAN31871.

Students must be registered on BSc Mgt/Mgt specialism, IM, IMABS, to enroll onto BMAN31871.


The Comparative Industrial Relations course introduces final year students to the range of issues pertinent to the different industrial relations systems that operate in five European countries (for example Britain, France, Germany, Hungary and Sweden). It is designed to provide a general background in the subject with particular emphasis on the role of the state, employers, trade unions and workers. It also reviews the development of pan-European forms of regulation and practice. In this context attention is directed towards efforts to generate a ’European’ system of industrial relations.


Learning outcomes

On completing the course students should be able to:

  1. Identify the factors which influence the different European systems of industrial relations, the processes through which they are determined and the tensions which can arise in employment relations;
  2. Appraise the nature, objectives and methods adopted by the social partners  in attempting to influence job regulation;
  3. Critically analyze and assess present provisions, policies and practices of the various interests and interest groups;
  4. Critically examine and assess policies implemented by the European Union as it attempts to establish a European system of industrial relations.


Teaching and learning methods

Methods of delivery - Lecture/seminar sessions

Lecture hours – 22 (A single two-hour lecture per week over 11 weeks)

Seminar hours - 9 (1 hour per week, over 9 weeks)

Private study - 75

Total study hours: 169 hours split between lectures, classes, self study and preparation for classes and coursework

Informal Contact Methods
Office Hours
Drop in Surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)
Drop in to teaching staff offices.

Assessment methods

The course is assessed by means of single essay. This essay counts for 95% of the marks. Participation in one group seminar presentation is required during the module - 5% of the final mark is awarded for participating in the group presentation, and 5% will be deducted from the final mark for students who do not take part. Around half way through the semester students are requested to complete an essay as a means of formative assessment. This formative assignment does not count towards the assessment of the course.

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during lectures and seminars.

• Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum.

• 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.

The formative assignment is marked and written feedback sent to students as a matter of course. Students have the opportunity to discuss the detail of the comments on their formative assignment during a seminar period devoted to verbal feedback. Students receive written feedback on their final assessment. In addition, students are encouraged to seek advice during lectures and seminars. Each seminar commences with a presentation by students on which feedback is provided by the seminar leader.

Recommended reading

There is no single text for the course. Each of the following will be useful:

Baccaro, L. and Howell, C. (2017) Trajectories of Neoliberal Transformation: European Industrial Relations since the 1970s. Cambridge University Press - 

Bamber, G., Lansbury, R., Wailes, N. and Wright, C. 2015.(eds). (6th Edition) International and Comparative Employment Relations: National Regulation, Global Changes. Sage.

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

Frege, C. and Kelly, J. 2013. (eds.). Comparative Employment Relations. Routledge.



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 9
Independent study hours
Independent study 169

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stefania Marino Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Additional notes

Pre-requisites: None

Co-requisites: None

Dependent courses: None

Programme Restrictions: BSc Management and Management (Specialisms), BSc International Management with American Business Studies and BSc International Management.

For Academic Year 2023/24

Updated: March 2023

Approved by: March UG Committee

Return to course details