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Managing research in the workplace

This module will provide you with an introduction to research skills in order for you to complete a live, work-related research project.  As part of the research report, to be completed during the module, you are expected to select and critically review the literature relevant to a chosen topic, select appropriate research methods, use these to carry out a systematic analysis and write up the findings in a credible and professional research report. You'll also be asked to write a reflective account of your learning in this applied research exercise.

Vocational relevance

This module is part of a qualification that is intended to provide a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (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 your organisation.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
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Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

The module is organised into eight units of study. The first three units introduce you to fundamental issues associated with a workplace research project. You'll be guided as to how to select a suitable topic that will form the basis of their project. Following on from this, the different stages of the research process, including salient assumptions of different research methods and research design are explored.

The remaining five units focus on the practical undertaking of the workplace research project. This includes examining how to collect and analyse information, draw relevant and sound conclusions from the research agenda. Developing the findings into an appropriate written format will also be explored. Finally, you'll be asked to reflect on the process of the research project in terms of what has been learned during the project and how this may inform your continuing development and future HR practice.

You will learn

You will learn how to:

  • understand what is meant by ‘research’ and the processes associated with a research project 
  • identify and justify a HR topic for research 
  • identify and engage in critical reading and analysis of the literature relevant to the chosen research topic 
  • explain, compare and contrast different research methods including their relevance to different types of research topics and situations 
  • conduct an analysis of qualitative and/or quantitative information 
  • present the results clearly, credibly and persuasively in an appropriate written format, including costed recommendations for future HR policy and practice 
  • demonstrate reflective learning through research by writing a reflective account of their learning in this applied research project. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your assignments and provide advice and guidance. You'll be able contact to your tutor by email, phone or via your tutor group forum on the B865 module 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).

Professional recognition

This module is an optional module on the MSc in Human Resource Management and the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.  However, this module is a compulsory module on the Postgraduate Diploma in HRM when the qualification is being taken as an approved qualification for membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Managing research in the workplace starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 when we expect it to start for the last time.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    This is an optional module in our MSc in Human Resource Management and Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, therefore all entrants to the programme 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.


    Start End England fee Register
    02 Nov 2019 Apr 2020 £1575.00

    Registration closes 17/10/19 (places subject to availability)

    November 2019 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    Managing research in the workplace starts once a year – in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 when we expect it to start for the last time.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    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.

    Study materials

    What's included

    An extensive variety of specially written resources presented and designed exclusively for this module. Audio-visual material, published articles, case studies and access to The Open University library. 

    Computing requirements

    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:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    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.

    If you have a disability

    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.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.