Module code: MANM346

Module Overview

The module explorers the employment relationship from a socio-economic perspective and exposes students to the dynamic and varied nature of the employment relationship, focusing on the role of management, employees, and the state in both national and international perspectives. The module is broadly divided into three sections: (1) theories and context of CER, (2) key stakeholders in CER, and (3) applied CER issues.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to Contemporary Employment Relations (CER)

Sessions 2 to 4 explore the context of CER

Sessions 5 and 6 review the role of key stakeholders.

From then until the end of the module we review CER issues in practice


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework INDIVIDUAL ESSAY 3500 WORDS 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Critical application of course materials

  • Knowledge of key employment relations components and systems and how they vary

  • Knowledge of the evolution of employment relations

  • Ability to present solutions to problems and assess their suitability in a given context

  • Assessment strategy involves more than exam technique (e.g. presentation, teamwork, and research skills).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework will consist of an individual assignment of 3,500 words

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Verbal feedback in Lectures/tutorials

  • Clear explanation of marking scheme will be given for all assessments

  • Written feedback on coursework within three weeks of submission (by course tutors)

  • Office hours held will be held bi-weekly should further feedback be required

Module aims

  • To provide students with an understanding of the evolution of employment relations primarily in Britain and the shifting roles and nature of management, employees, and the state;
  • To introduce international perspectives on contemporary ER, focusing primarily on Europe, North America, and China;
  • To enable students to understand contemporary ER issues in an applied manner, teasing out their wider implications for organizations and society.
  • On completion of the module, students should be able to understand the main trends in employment relations, provide accurate advice on frameworks of collective and individual employee relations in national and international contexts, and should be able to assess how contemporary issues and proposed developments are likely to affect management policies and procedures.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the key components of employment relations theory and demonstrate a sound overarching knowledge K
002 Understand and evaluate the roles of the key actors in employment relations KC
003 Understand theoretical models and empirical trends in the evolution employment relations nationally and internationally KPT
004 Be knowledgeable in applied contemporary employment relations issues (e.g., collective bargaining, industrial disputes, employee participation, the role of technology in the changing nature of work) KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide a rich learning experience using a variety of  pedagogical approaches.

The majority of your 150 hours of learning will be independent learning, in line with other courses on the programme for which this particular course is designed. The teaching will mainly be in the form of tutor input of for one hour, supplemented by online case studies, mini-quizzes, points of reflection and critical evaluation that helps to structure your independent learning. There will be two hours of required on campus attendance in the form of seminar discussions of a case study. Students will come to the class having reviewed the relevant session of captured content. 


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM346

Other information

This module encompasses the following CIPD learning outcomes:

7HR01 Strategic Employment Relations

1. Understand different perspectives on employment relations and how they influence the roles of people professionals and line managers
- critically evaluate different perspectives on employment relations
- contrast examples of cooperation and conflict within the employment relationship in different organisational contexts
- critically evaluate employer strategies towards trade unions and whether they are fit for purpose
- review ways in which people professionals can foster positive employment relations at work

2. Understand how external institutions can shape employment relations at organisational level
- critically evaluate the extent to which globalisation and other international influences have shaped and transformed employment relations within organisations
- review the practice of employment relations at organisational level, including how it is being shaped by short-term competitive pressures
- critically appraise the advice that external bodies can provide in order to help people professionals make appropriate decisions for their organisation
- analyse the changing nature of work in different parts of the economy

3. Understand how people professionals can work with employees and trade unions to sustain mutuality and voice
- review evidence of external sources of advice that contribute to people management decisions, including which forms of voice are appropriate for different types of organisation
- critically analyse how different forms of indirect/informal/direct voice could contribute to improved levels of organisational performance and employee outcomes
- evaluate how people analytics and research supports the fact that voice enhances both organisational performance and employee outcomes

4. Understand how people professionals work with employees and trade unions to mitigate organisational risks
- critically analyse the role of collective bargaining in determining pay and other contractual issues in organisations
- assess the impact of negotiations between employers and employee associations/trade unions aimed at problem resolution
- review the advantages and disadvantages of third-party options in resolving disagreements at work
- examine the design and implementation of grievance, disciplinary and other procedures and their fitness for purpose in the organisation

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Resources Management MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.