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

This information is for the 2023/24 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 organisations' HRM practice. It also reviews challenges involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of both overall HRM strategy and specific practice areas. In this respect we review HR practices 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 15 hours of seminars in the AT.

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 AT.

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.

For student who 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.


Essay (90%, 2000 words) in the WT.
Class participation (10%).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 127

Average class size 2022/23: 16

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication