MG480      Half Unit
Foundations of Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Kathy Sun, MAR 5.10


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD) and MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course examines central issues pertinent to the theory and practice of Human Resource Management (HRM). It introduces students to a range of theoretical perspectives which underpin the ways in which organisations manage the employment relationship through the deployment of HRM strategy and policy. From a practice perspective, it reviews challenges involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of both overall HRM strategy and specific practice areas. In this respect we review HR policy and practice in the areas of diversity and inclusion, recruitment and selection, job redesign, training and development, employee voice and conflict, engagement, retention and attrition, performance management and appraisal, and strategic HRM.


15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

Students are expected to read widely in the appropriate journals; a detailed reading list will be provided at the start of the course. 

For students who have not formally studied Human Resource Management previously and/or would like an introduction to course fundamentals, we recommend the following textbook:

  • Torrington, et al. (2017). Human Resource Management. 10th edition.

If you already have an understanding of Human Resource Management foundations, we recommend the following textbook as it encompasses more than a fundamental text: 

  • Boxall, P.; Purcell, J.; & Wright, P. (2008): The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management, Oxford University Press.

Additional textbooks of interest include: 

  • Boxall, P, and Purcell, J. (2016) Strategy and human resource management. 4th ed. Palgrave
  • Marsden, D (1999) A theory of employment systems, Oxford University Press.


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (40%, 1500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: 138

Average class size 2021/22: 15

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication