Module code: MANM382

Module Overview

The module introduces and explores key methods of research methods and analytics for HR. The course provides an intermediate grounding in a broad variety of methodological and analytical ‘tools’ for application to common HR and business issues. It provides an applied grounding in methods and the research process for the MANM357 Applied Research Dissertation module, where students explore an HR issue from a business perspective in greater detail. The course is very applied and hands-on with practical lab-based sessions in every session. It takes a ‘tool-box’ approach to the core analytical techniques based upon an intuitive understanding of them with a rule-based approach to their application. At the end of the course, students complete a structured assignment on how to apply principles of research and analytical techniques to a business issue from an HR perspective.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

HUO Yuanyuan (SBS)

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: 84

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes (weekly topics):

  • Identifying a research question

  • Conducting literature reviews

  • Collecting and preparing data

  • Quantitative analysis

  • Qualitative techniques

  • Writing the dissertation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

Their breadth and depth of understanding of both the theory of research methods and its application to research problems (through their assignment). The assignment (approximately 4000 words) focuses on the transfer of knowledge to practice and ensures that students actively apply their theoretical knowledge to analysing research questions.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  Formative assessment

Students will receive continuous feedback during the module. Students will be encouraged to ask questions to the teaching staff throughout the module.  The module adopts an inquiry-based approach to feedback. Students will receive feedback on their performance throughout the module. These include verbal feedback provided during face-to-face seminars on the individual assignment.


In addition to the overall mark, generic feedback will be provided for each individual assignment to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Feedback will help students to assess their understanding of the module materials and identify the areas in which improvement can be made. The overall mark will allow students to assess their progress in comparison with their peers.

Module aims

  • Introduce approaches to tackling research problems
  • Provide students with an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods and the ethical aspects of research
  • Provide students with hands-on experience with data collection and data analysis

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the attributes of a good research topic and turn research ideas into research problems K
002 Conduct a review of appropriate literature relevant to a stated research topic K
003 Distinguish between main research approaches and understand the philosophy of science CT
004 Evaluate a range of data collection tools in order to design an effective research method and the related ethical issues. CT
005 Use quantitative and qualitative data analysis procedures to serve the purpose of a research project PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The majority of learning will be independent learning, in line with other courses on the programmes.

The teaching be in the form of Lectures and seminar sessions.

Each lecture will be based around exercises applying and illustrating the particular theme that week with specific reference to practical HR issues (e.g. diversity analysis for bivariate analysis, predicting turnover from selection scores for regression and prediction, making sense of engagement surveys with factor analysis, analysing the gender pay gap for moderation, etc.).

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: MANM382

Other information

This module promotes four of the main Student Competency Framework Pillars as follows:


The module is designed to equip students with the capability of identifying a problem and gathering data to solve the problem - a fundamental requirement for a career in HR analytics and HR management. Most importantly, students will learn how to conduct independent and critical research, which is relevant for almost any career they would like to purse.

Resourcefulness & Resilience

Students are expected to come up their own ideas to do the assignment, explore their own network to collect the data, and finally analyze the data and present the findings in a report. This process will enable them to develop their own resources. Their resilience can also be enhanced by solving the difficulties and challenges in the research process. The staff members will support students when needed.

The module is designed to meet the Learning Outcomes of the CIPD unit - 7CO04 Business Research in People Practice:

1. Be able to plan a people practice business research project aimed at adding organisational value - justify terms of reference for the business project - critically analyse key publications and other evidence to underpin the research questions - develop a range of questions aimed at addressing the project's main focus and outcomes.

2. Be able to justify the most appropriate research methods to collect data for the chosen project - assess differences between primary and secondary data, including the value of different research methods - justify the most appropriate research methods to support the project's intended outcomes - critically assess the ethical issues surrounding data collection, usage and storage for the project.

3. Be able to analyse data to make decisions and provide business and people management insights - appraise the costs of different approaches to data collection and analysis for the project - design an appropriate strategy for analysing, organising and interpreting data collected from research - present the findings of the business project clearly and logically and aimed towards the intended audience.

4. Be able to propose recommendations based on conclusions derived from the research and analysis - justify conclusions derived from analysis of key findings, which align to the terms of reference - propose business-focused recommendations, action points and a cost-benefit analysis - evaluate the success of the project, including ways in which to improve future project design and delivery.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Resources Management MSc 1 Compulsory Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% 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 2025/6 academic year.