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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 28/01/2022 09:48:58

Title of Module: HRM Research Design

Code: HURM09004 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Silvio  Hofmann

Summary of Module

This module provides students with the knowledge and skills to plan a research project in human resource management. Topics studied include approaches to research strategy and research design, research methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods), working with the literature, as well as research planning techniques, research implementation issues, philosophy and research ethics.

This module will equip all students to carry out research projects within organisations as part of their organisational roles and to carry out research project for the purpose of knowledge transfer (with the intention of making recommendations for practice) as well as for substantive academic assignments such as honours and masters dissertations.

The module lessons are highly participative and include individual and group work, as students learn and discuss how to design and carry out an HRM research project.

The module has been designed with our HRM students as future academics and professionals in mind, where a strong focus rises on the development of fundamental skills in research are covered, leading to meeting the university’s ‘I am UWS’ graduate attributes:

  • Universal: supporting students in becoming critical thinkers, who can demonstrate analytical and collaborative skills;
  • Work-ready: developing motivated, ambitious and knowledgeable future professionals, with effective communication skills;
  • Successful: helping our students to be autonomous, resilient and transformational individuals who have the drive to succeed in their future careers.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Generate sophisticated and achievable aims, objectives and/or research questions in an HRM context;

L2. Demonstrate the ability to gather, critically analyse and comprehensively present secondary data in HRM;

L3. Evaluate fundamental research philosophies and strategies, and how these inform the conduct of HRM research;

L4. Evaluate the feasibility of and justification for varying data collection and analysis methods and their application;

L5. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate limitations and ethical concerns in conducting primary HRM research.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Critically understanding social science research philosophy as it relates to human resource management.
Critically understanding approaches to research design as they relate to human resource management.
Critically understanding research methods including qualitative, quantitative and desk research.
Critically understanding the importance of research ethics.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Retrieving, gathering, interpreting and manipulating primary and secondary information from a variety of sources including electronic sources.
Preparing a research plan for a topic located human resource management.
Assessing the ethical issues within research generally and also particularly within their own research topic.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertaking critical analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.
Collating and interpreting information from a variety of sources, including academic research publications.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicating effectively in speech and writing.
Using, interpreting and evaluating numerical, statistical and graphical data.
Using a range of IT applications to support and enhance work.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising independence and initiative in preparing a research assignment, while systematically identifying and addressing their own learning needs.
Being aware of ethical issues in research.
Working effectively, both individually and with others in groups, taking a leadership role where appropriate.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Students must be enrolled on the BA(Hons) Business & HRM.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
In line with UWS’ Curriculum Framework, providing a flexible and hybrid, student-centred and inclusive approach to learning and teaching, the module has been designed around the delivery of engaging, activity-/discussion-based and subject-specific workshops, nurtured by meaningful online content, including short videos, reading materials, quizzes, etc. This approach creates more flexibility for students, while also enhancing deeper learning through engagement with peers and teaching staff, both online and in the classroom.

This is further supported by the assessment approach adopted, enabling students to develop both academic and employability-focused knowledge and skills within research methods and design — all aligned to the overarching purpose and aims of the students’ respective programme of study. The module uses a creative approach to assessment one, where students will be assigned to a group (‘journal club’), developing a critical discussion and presentation around research publications, such as journal articles, research papers, etc., while assessment two helps develop a holistic understanding of designing a research project.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop36
Asynchronous Class Activity36
Independent Study128
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Wilson, J., (2014), “Essentials of Business Research - A Guide to Doing Your Research Project”, 2nd Edition, Sage Publications Ltd.

Anderson, V., (2019), “Research Methods in Human Resource Management: Investigating a Business Issue”, 4th Edition, CIPD - Kogan Page

Details of further resources, including textbooks, journals and online resources will be identified at the beginning of each delivery in the module handbook and made available via Moodle.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardManagement, Organisations & People
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelManagement, Organisations & People
ModeratorMohammed Ishaq
External ExaminerLinda Buchan
Accreditation DetailsChartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD)
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
30% of the overall module assessment will be accounted for by a group presentation critiquing research publications (e.g. journal article, research paper, etc.).
70% of the overall module assessment will be accounted for by a individually written research proposal, providing a comprehensive outline/plan of the student’s research project.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Demonstrations/ Poster presentations/ Exhibitions check mark   303

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark700
Combined Total For All Components100% 3 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The Equality, Diversity and Human Rights policy underpins student engagement. We aim to make UWS a fair and equal place to study an institution which addresses specific issues covering all aspects of equality, diversity and human rights. Where required module assessment will be adapted to meet student requirements.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.