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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 01/07/2022 12:54:41

Title of Module: Critical Employment Relations

Code: HURM09005 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:Andrew  Burnett

Summary of Module

This module critically examines the employment relationship, i.e. the relationship between employer and employee, taking a thematic approach to its object of study in terms of; theory and context; main actors; and key processes or contemporary concerns.

It begins by examining the context within which employment relationship take place and theoretical underpinnings to the field of study. The second theme outlines the role of the main actors or parties, i.e. management; the state; and trade unions. The third theme centres on topical contemporary concerns in the employment relationship; employee engagement; equality, diversity and inclusiveness; and conflict, discipline and grievance.

As such the module prepares learners to consider the institutional and environmental influences on the relationship including sources of legislation and labour markets; it considers different approaches to managing the employment relationship, concepts such as the nature of work, rights, responsibilities, power, authority and how the relationship would change over time.

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 1check markTerm 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. Critically examine the employment relationship.

L2. Conceptualise the contexts and theoretical underpinning of employment relations.

L3. Identify and conceptualise the role of the main parties in the employment relationship.

L4. Understand and differentiate between main processes that regulate and maintain the employment relationship.

L5. Advise stakeholders on contemporary employment relations.

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.

Knowledge and understanding of how the employment relationship would be reproduced in the contemporary period.
Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of the roles of the main actors/parties in the employment relationship. Knowledge, understanding and critical evaluation of the processes used to regulate and maintain the employment relationship.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Critical scrutiny and selection of sources of employment relations knowledge. Interpretation, explanation and application of key concepts in practice.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Critical analysis of the methods used to regulate and maintain the employment relationship.
Critical evaluation of the role of the main parties involved.
Critical appraisal of context, development and underpinning theory of employment relations.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Critical interpretation and use of relevant statistical indicators e.g. TU membership, unemployment rates, interest and inflation rates and their implications for the field of study.
Development of ICT skills for the production of coursework materials.?

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Working autonomously and in collaboration with peers to produce robust characterisation of the employment relations field in terms of professionalism and ethics.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
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- and discussion-based 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 employment relations — all aligned to the overarching purpose and aims of the programme.
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)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Independent Study164
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:

Bennett, T. et al., (2020) Managing Employee Relations. 7th Edition London. CIPD

Gennard, J. et al., (2016) Managing Employee Relations. 6th Edition. London CIPD

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

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

(**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
ModeratorEleni Tzouramani
External ExaminerLinda Buchan
Accreditation DetailsThe module is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
50% of the overall module assessment will be accounted for by an individual written assessment.
50% of the overall module assessment will be accounted for by a group project.
Individuals who fail to pass this instrument of assessment will be required to undertake an individual written assessment.
(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
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck mark  500

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
Presentation   check markcheck mark503
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.