This module examines how HR policies and practices operate within multiple tiers of economic, political and social context. It examines context at the macro (societal and international) and micro (organisational) levels and incorporates the practice area of resourcing and talent management as an example of HR practice in context. Topics covered will include HR strategy and its contexts, markets and government regulations, the changing social and technological environment, resourcing and talent management processes and designs and managing labour flow.
This module can be studied as part of MSc in Human Resource Management that is intended to provide a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) if you wish to develop a career in HR management. This is currently pending CIPD approval. 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.
B811 is a compulsory 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 the first half of this six month module you'll examine what we mean by strategic human resource management and how the different contexts in which organisations operate will shape the decisions they make about HR policy and practice. This includes the influence of different regulatory regimes and of different types of market economy and you'll also look in depth at the social and technological changes which are transforming organisations and indeed the whole world of work.
In the second half you'll consider how these ideas can be applied to the practice area of resourcing and talent management. You will consider workforce planning and the importance of talent management and you'll look in depth at recruitment and selection, retention and managing exit from the organisation. Finally, you'll explore the important question of how to evaluate HR policies – that is, how to find out what really works and what does not.
Throughout this module you will be asked to relate your study of theory to practice in organisations which you know well. This may mean drawing on your own experience of organisations, as an employee or perhaps as a volunteer, for example. You'll also be offered case studies and will be encouraged to do your own research using the university’s online library. There will be a day school towards the middle of the module and four online tutorials to support you in your studies.
You'll develop and practise a number of skills, including postgraduate study skills and digital literacy skills. You'll also develop skills in strategy development, talent management, recruitment and selection and helping others to learn. You'll continue to develop as a reflective practitioner, planning your skill development and keeping a record of your plans.
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 module website.
The assessment details can be found in the facts box.
You must use the online eTMA system to submit your TMAs.
Human resource management in context starts once a year, in May. This page describes the module that will start in May 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2030.
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 11/04/24 (places subject to availability)
There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer 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 designed exclusively for this module. This includes:
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.
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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