This module considers the role and contribution of the HR professional and provide opportunities for you to examine and develop your own skills for this role. Topics covered will include an introduction to human resource management, managing performance, leadership and change management, and the nature of professionalism and ethics. You'll also develop the skills needed to work effectively as an HR professional. These include self-management, leading and working in teams, communication skills, using ICT and managing financial resources.
This module is part of a qualification that is intended to provide a route to professional membership of the CIPD if you wish to develop a career in HR management. It will also provide training in research and academic skills if you want to develop an academic career in the field of HR management.
More generally, by studying a postgraduate business qualification you can expect your salary to increase and for it to have a positive impact on your career progression, as well as bringing improvements to the organisation.
B863 is a compulsory module in our:
B863 is an optional module in our:
Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.
Find out more about entry requirements.
In this first module of the MSc you'll consider the role of the HR professional and the skills needed to be effective in this role. You'll also consider the implications of recent research findings in the field of human resource management for your own practice, for example in increasing levels of engagement and improving performance, in acting ethically and in managing change. You'll compare this with the practice of HR professionals in other contexts, drawing on case studies and the experience of your fellow students working in different geographical areas and sectors; and you will also look at the development over time of thinking about the role of HR professionals in order to understand how this may influence current thinking. The emphasis throughout will be on considering what HRM practices are associated with positive organisational outcomes.
You'll develop and practise the skills you'll need to be effective as an HR professional, including as a leader and a senior manager. These include self-management, leading and working in teams, making decisions, managing and communicating information, including financial information, consultancy skills and helping others to learn. You'll also develop postgraduate study skills and digital literacy skills.
Perhaps most importantly this module will develop your skills as a reflective practitioner, committed to continuously learning from reflection on your practice and on the critical application of new theories and ideas to inform this practice.
By studying this module you will learn to:
Your tutor will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your assignments and provide advice and guidance. You'll be able to contact your tutor by email, phone or via your tutor group forum on the B863 website.
Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.
You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).
The role of the human resource professional starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2021
All entrants must hold a BA/BSc degree awarded by a recognised university, or equivalent. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
Registration closes 15/10/20 (places subject to availability)
There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.
We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.
That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.
You will have access to a module website with an extensive variety of specially written resources presented in different media (print and online) and designed exclusively for this module. This includes:
A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.
Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.
A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.
The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.
To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).
Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.
Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.
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