Lincoln Business School
Programme Specification for 2008 Entry
BA(HONS) HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
School Lincoln Business School
Campus Brayford Pool, Lincoln
UCAS Code N611
Entry Requirements 240 UCAS points (see below)
Duration 3 or 4 Years
The BA(Hons) Human Resource Management is designed to provide a unique vocational experience for
those whose main career aspiration is to enter human resource management, or one of its specialist areas.
This is a three or four year degree programme which provides the opportunity for under-graduates to gain a
range of contemporary business skills and knowledge which can be employed within a variety of business
contexts. The programme addresses the needs of those seeking employment in both the small and medium
sized organisations as well as those wishing to work for multinational businesses.
Our students have a wide range of interests, experiences and educational history. We have students with
strong arts, humanities and social science profiles studying alongside students with particular scientific,
business and technical interests. The course aims to develop graduates who are, first and foremost, critical
thinkers with a well grounded understanding of management theory and practice. As Human Resource
Management is a very varied activity, the variety of our students reflects the profession and its needs. The
concept of Continuing Personal Development is introduced early in their studies and underlines the Business
School’s commitment to providing our graduates with the necessary skills and capabilities for the
The programme seeks to develop student’s professional competence and enable them to enter the career
market with specific knowledge, skills and abilities relating to their chosen speciality that will give them
advantage over those graduates who have studied a more generalist degree. In order to achieve this, the
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) standards have been used as the platform from
which to develop this programme.
In order to achieve professional standing in the HR field great importance must be placed upon professional
skills development and the application of knowledge into a range of practical situations. We recognise the
value of work experience and to this end our students are encouraged to undertake the optional Work
Placement. Additionally, several modules involve our students actively engaging in project and consultancy
work with local organisations. This work related activity all serves to both enhance the ensuing learning on
the academic programme of study and assists in the development of the students’ C.V. and employment
WHAT YOU STUDY
Certificate Organisational Behaviour: Introduction to Human Business Planning and Contemporary Business
(Level One) Evolving Perspectives of Resource Management Forecasting Analysis
Organisational Behaviour: Principles of Marketing Financial
Management Context Communications
Diploma Professional Practice People Management and The Contemporary Operations
(Level Two) Development Employment Relationship
Qualitative Research in Decision Making
Optional Work Placement
Higher Imaging Strategy: Dissertation Learning and Contemporary issues in
(Level Three) Perspective, Paradoxes Development Human Resource
and Action Management
Organisational Behaviour: Evolving Perspectives of Management
It is suggested that organisational structure affects human behaviour in organisations and that strategy,
structure and culture are closely related, although rarely considered together.
To set contemporary management behaviour in context, an understanding of the evolution of management
theory is necessary, together with a consideration of organisational structure. Accordingly, a number of
competing and contrasting perspectives of past and present thinking on management are explored, together
with an acknowledgement that some approaches are complementary, whilst others are in conflict and
recognition that ‘new’ management thinking and methods may simply be repackaged familiar, old ideas.
The term ‘organisational behaviour’ relates to the activities and interactions of people in organisations.
Organisational behaviour has been defined as the “inter-disciplinary body of knowledge and field of research,
concerned with how formal organisations, behaviour of people within organisations and salient features of
their context and environment, evolve and take shape, why all these things happen the way they do and
what purposes they serve”. In considering the changing and evolving roles of management and managers,
the module acknowledges that the study of organisational behaviour is multi-disciplinary and draws in
particular from psychology, social psychology, sociology, economics and political science.
Introduction to Human Resource Management
This module recognises the importance of an organisation’s human assets to its success and asserts that
the human element of an organisation is the most important resource of all. Whilst introducing the student to
the various functional aspects of human resource management, the module will draw on related theories
drawn from organisational behaviour, psychology, sociology and culture. In addition, the student will be
sensitised to the different ways in which historical, political and economic events have influenced the
development of the field of human resource management in the United Kingdom.
This module aims to introduce the student to some of the core functions of human resource management.
Emphasis will be put on the links between the different functional areas of human resource management and
the overall organisational and corporate strategies. Participants on this module will also be introduced to
various aspects of legislation covering the management of people within work organisations.
Business Planning and Forecasting
This module introduces some quantitative techniques which are fundamental to analysis, planning and
forecasting in business. It promotes a critical awareness and understanding of some of the processes,
techniques and technology by which numerical information can be collected and communicated.
In addition to ensuring that students are competent in a number of vocationally relevant numerical skills, it
anticipates the requirements of later units that involve the communication and analysis of numerical
Students practise the systematic use of appropriate industry-standard computer technology for the
acquisition, analysis and presentation of data (for example, Excel or SPSS). Students are expected to
develop these skills independently rather than in a class-contact situation.
Contemporary Business Analysis
This module introduces students to a range of economic concepts and basic analytical techniques.
Upon successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
• Explain the workings of the price mechanism, the labour market and various forms of market failure.
• Explain the relationship between the firm’s costs, revenues, prices and outputs within various market
• Analyse the interaction between entrepreneur, the firm and its external environment.
• Analyse the inter-relationships between government and key macro-economic indicators, such as
unemployment and inflation and how this impacts on the environment of the firm.
• Understand the links between the internal and external economy and how this impacts on the firm and its
Organisational Behaviour: Management Context
It is acknowledged that groups and teams have the ability to affect the perceptions, performance and
attitudes of its individual members. Whilst Mayo’s research recognised the positive elements of groups in the
workplace, there are also undoubtedly negative aspects attached to groupwork. This module focuses on the
impact of group dynamics on the individual, the impact of personality when working with others, and
considers the impact of both group dynamics and personality on the workplace from a management
perspective. In order that managers and management may understand, explain and predict individual and
group behaviour, the concept of personality is discussed. Defined as “the psychological qualities that
influence an individual’s characteristic behaviour patterns in a stable and distinctive manner”, the module
considers personality from various perspectives.
The module seeks to consider the impact of groups on individual behaviour, whilst observing the impact of
individual personalities. Utilising a range of appropriate resources, including videos, the lecture programme
introduces theories and models relating to group work, going on to consider the ‘nature/nurture debate’ of the
1960s and 1970s, and the biological and genetic thinking apparent since the 1990s. The extent to which
students already perceive themselves as managers is explored, whilst simultaneously offering an opportunity
for enhancing skills in ‘managing’. To facilitate this, there is an exploration of ‘organisational behaviour’ with
a focus on ‘here and now’ group processes.
Students are encouraged to adopt a critical and analytical perspective to both the literature and their own
experiences. By focusing on the dynamics of the seminar group and the personalities of group members in
relation to their reading on behaviour, students are able to reflect on the social, political and functional nature
of ‘managing’ as it occurs. Thus management is presented as an everyday ‘hands on’ phenomenon,
occurring in groups. Seminar groups are regarded as an image of an organisation, thus providing an
immediate resource to relate to the literature and enabling the development of a sensitivity to the
complexities of organisational process.
The module works on the assumption that without an understanding of ‘self’, we cannot possibly understand
others and that in order to ‘manage’ we must make sense of the context/environment in which we find
ourselves. An exploration of self often requires the involvement of others. That involvement generates the
possibility of developing mutual understanding, insights into the perception of others and opportunity for
individual change, a prerequisite, we would suggest for evidence that learning has taken place.
Principles of Marketing
This module is designed to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of marketing. We aim to
familiarise students with the key concepts and issues of marketing, giving them a thorough grasp of the sort
of marketing decisions there are to be made and what factors affect them. To start with, learning will be fairly
directive - e.g. compulsory reading, and tutor led seminar discussion. Progressively students will be required
to become more independent in their work by making their own reading selections and actively presenting
during seminars. Students will also experience two different assessment types: individual essay writing and a
group presentation. In addition to the course contents, this training will help students become better prepared
for some of the other modules they take in the future.
This unit provides students with an understanding of the relevance of finance and accounting and some of
the current issues facing business people. It is not an introduction to the technical side of accounting, rather
it gives the non-specialist the ability to understand and comment upon issues which will arise for all of those
wishing to pursue a business career.
Because most organisations spend a considerable amount of time and money producing ‘Financial
Communications’ the unit examines the underlying reasons behind this behaviour and the extent to which
these communications achieve their objectives.
This module will provide a distinctive opportunity to understand and develop the practical skills which are
required in the profession of human resource management.
As well as developing critical intellectual capabilities, the module is further designed to target the key areas
of human resource practice and procedure in which the demonstration of core skills is vital. It will support the
CIPD concept of the ‘Thinking Performer’ and seeks to consciously to develop these reflexive skills. It
complements the unit People Management and Development, drawing upon the theoretical underpinning
and developing the abilities of critical practitioner – thus widening pedagogic relationships between and
across the syllabus.
It also prepares those students undertaking the optional placement year by providing them with the
awareness, skills and critical platform from which to seek and secure work placements.
People Management and Development
This module covers the knowledge and understanding deemed to be essential for all practitioners in the
personnel and training profession. The content covers the key elements of personnel and development in the
generic areas of resourcing, development, relations and reward.
The module aims to provide sufficient knowledge and understanding for the personnel and development
specialist to be able to give informed advice and solutions at work place level, to be able to contribute to
improvements in organisational performance and undertake basic human resources processes across the
Change management is seen as a core issue in the module, not as a stand-alone topic but as it can be
applied in each subject area. There is also awareness that throughout we should be looking at developing
the ‘thinking performer’.
The Contemporary Employment Relationship
The dominant ethos of this degree programme is to provide students with a sound grasp of the functional
approaches and practices to human resource management. This unit provides students with the opportunity
explore the functional values, duties and practices that underpin this core aspect of contemporary
management in greater detail. More specifically, students will investigate normative account of the
contemporary employment relationship as point of departure for critical and reflective investigation and
appraisal. In this context, students will be encouraged to move beyond the safe operating mode represented
in CIPD and other professional discourses and in so doing, develop a more extensive understanding of the
nature of employment relationships and insight into the processes through which human resource
management norm enable/disable professional practice.
This module is designed to respond to the core expectation that students be introduced to the issues
surrounding the management of resources and operations.
The module sets these issues in the context of:
• Understanding organisations as ‘systems’ seeking to remain viable within their environments.
• The notion of ‘operations management’ as the act of aligning processes and systems to deliver an
organisation’s overall strategy and its marketing objectives, in both the service and the manufacturing
Qualitative Research in Management and Organisations
The module aims to provide students of management with an introduction to the principal research methods
used in the social sciences, the issues surrounding research design, and to develop a critical appreciation of
the contribution research makes to management practice through building or extending knowledge, theories
and models. It aims to develop the student’s skills in designing and planning a research project with critical
awareness about the types of methods at their disposal for data collection and interpretation.
This module adopts three main approaches to help develop insights into the process of decision-making.
The three main themes are:
• The Individual and Decision-Making (addressing the subject from a psychological dimension).
• Decision-Making in Groups (identifying phenomena, such as ‘groupthink’ that affect the behaviour of
individuals in a group context).
• Decision-Making in an Organisational Context ( addressing the relationship between structure, culture,
power, ideology and decision-making in organisations).
The central focus linking the three approaches is the emphasis on self. Throughout the module students will
be encouraged to acknowledge the importance of understanding their own role in the decision-making
Imaging Strategy: Perspective, Paradoxes and Action
Conventional approaches to the theory and practice of organisational strategy are presented as overtly
prescriptive, emphasising the importance of tools and techniques in encouraging absorption of an accepted
body of knowledge and established recipes and procedures that are regarded as essential to creating and
sustaining ‘competitive advantage’. The content of management action is emphasised, rather than exploring
issues of process and context, with theory and practice tending to be presented as blandly unitarist and
substantively non-contentious. In so doing, they risk compromising the needs of aspiring managers in not
recognising the critical importance of developing understanding of the inherently contentious nature of
organisational strategy and its core assumptions when assessing its potential for assisting the management
of diverse organisational forms.
In contrast, this module extends the organisational strategy debate beyond the comfort of rational, linear
thinking into the real world where history, politics, power and culture are recognised as key driving forces of
change. Emphasis is given to developing students as strategic thinkers, rather than absorbers of
conventional techniques. The learning programme challenges the taken for granted assumptions that
comprise the ‘conventional wisdom’ of organisational strategy in developing core skills of informed analysis,
critical and reflective innovative thinking that are essential to encouraging the creativity of thought and
practice demanded for organisational survival in business environments that are increasingly complex,
turbulent and ambiguous.
The framework of an interactive debate is used to present contrasting perspectives, as reflected in the core
ideas of prominent thinkers and doers, as a means of best capturing the major differences in approaches to
creating and sustaining ‘competitive advantage’. Their underlying preconceptions are exposed to assess the
organisational circumstances in which they are most relevant and to which they can effectively be adapted.
A range of illustrative issues, generally recognised as fundamental to organisational success, is used to
identify and explore their inherent tensions and paradoxes. The developing debate demonstrates that
apparently diametrically opposed perspectives yield valid, but partial, contributions to understanding the
complexity of contemporary management issues. Emphasis is placed on confirming that, to best assist the
effective management of contemporary organisations, resolution of the gap between conflicting perspectives
must be sought by seeking a synthesis that is most appropriate to the organisational context being
considered. The learning programme emphasises and develops the contribution of metaphor and paradox to
informing our theoretical and practical conceptualisations of organisational management.
The dissertation is a major independent piece of work intended to develop a student’s ability to actively
engage with core disciplinary issues. The dissertation focuses on analysis, synthesis and critique. In
undertaking dissertation research, students are required to demonstrate the ability to identify, organise and
select from a large body of material in order to produce a coherent, well-defined and internally consistent
representation of their findings
Students work with their supervisor to research, develop and present their study for assessment following
the agreed formats prescribed by Lincoln Business School and detailed to staff and students in their
respective study and supervisor guides.
In addition, students also have the option of attending supportive workshops on: planning; focusing a topic,
research methods, constructing a literature review, and writing.
Learning and Development
Over the last decade, there has been a gradual shift in the techniques and language used to describe the
steps taken by employers to help employees perform their jobs more effectively. Until the closing years of the
last century, ‘training’ would have been the word most frequently employed, whether to describe a job
(‘training manager’) or a development technique (which would probably have been a classroom-based
event). Now ‘learning’, often linked with ‘development’, is the key term.
CIPD’s definition of learning is ‘a self-directed, work-based process leading to increased adaptive capacity’;
in other words, an environment where individuals ‘learn to learn’ and possess the capabilities that enable
them to do so to help their employers to build and retain competitive advantage. Various authors have
somewhat different definitions, but what they all have in common is that they link the enhancement of the
performance of individuals with that of organisations.
Recent CIPD research has demonstrated that, in our rapidly changing and increasingly knowledge-based
economy, competitive advantage is built where individuals actively seek to acquire the knowledge and skills
that promote the organisation’s objectives. Organisations are learning environments, and employment in
them is (or should be) a continuous learning experience. Of course learning takes place all the time, through
experience, though not all such learning is positive. The point about organisational learning and development
is that it should be structured, to enhance benefits for individuals and their employers.
This module aims to equip students with the academic knowledge, critical understanding and the reflective
practitioner skills to be able to make a professional contribution to learning and development in a range of
Contemporary Issues in Human Resources
This module provides an opportunity to draw on current research and professional practice into human
resource management and development. The topics/issues/research under consideration may vary year on
year but at the heart of our concerns is a desire to draw upon earlier studies in order to consider the
implications that contemporary human resource management and development theories hold for
practitioners. In this context, the limitations of traditional approaches to human resource management
practice will be explored and critiqued. Students will apply their learning to emergent business issues,
practices and challenges.
HOW YOU STUDY
Students are encouraged to develop independence in their thinking and managing their own time within a
framework of direction and support offered by teaching staff. Throughout the course, students are sensitised
to issues of codes of professional conduct and ethical behaviour.
Most modules include some lectures. These are designed to inspire and motivate students, introduce them
to particular topics and give an overview of current issues and debates within the discipline. Some are given
by visiting practitioners who provide ‘live’ case material and offer students industry contacts and careers
advice. In addition to tutor-directed seminars, students are encouraged to form their own learning and
Our approach is one of collaboration between staff and students. Emphasis is put on using the student group
as a resource for learning. In seminars, which typically involve numbers of fewer than 20, students are able
to articulate their own thoughts and clarify ideas through discussion with others. A variety of learning
methods used including in-class group exercises, discussions, presentations, evaluation of sample material,
and case study analysis. Student participation is encouraged from the start and set as the norm for the rest
of the course. Students are expected to prepare prescribed material for seminars as well as generally keep
abreast of current developments in their discipline.
HOW YOU ARE ASSESSED
Assessments are designed to address the intended learning outcomes of individual modules, and reflect
progression through the various levels of the programmes. A range of assessment methods are used to give
students a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Assessments become increasingly
demanding in their content and complexity as the programmes progress. Assignments are used to allow
students to manage their own time, develop their research and analytical skills, and explore subjects in
greater depth. They take a range of forms including essays, reports, and oral presentations prepared
individually and in groups. All modules include the opportunity for formative feedback to aid learning and
prepare students for submission of summative assessments. Examinations are also used where
The aim of all the programmes in the Business School is to produce independent, enquiring, knowledgeable
graduates who enjoy learning, are enterprising, employable, self-aware, able to take career and other
opportunities in life, and able to make a positive contribution to society.
All courses run by Lincoln Business School offer students work placement opportunities. These fall within
two broad categories:
• A short placement of up to 12 weeks. This is designed to fit in the break between the second and final
years of the degree programme. Typically this period will be funded by devices such as the Shell STEP
• A full year (academic year) of work placement, funded by full-time paid employment. This is designed to
last between 40 and 46 weeks.
Each student’s experience will include one of these types, and preferably also other work experience such
as relevant casual work, voluntary or social enterprise activity or leadership within student clubs and
We have an excellent track record for employment. Students find employment in a wide range of human
resource management roles, within the private, public and not for profit organisations. Some of our
graduates prefer to set up their own business and work as independent HR consultants. Whatever their
interests, this programme of study equips them for employment in the fields of HRM and/or general
management. We strongly encourage students to take the four year placement option. We have found that
many students not only gain substantive employment in Human Resource Management within the
placement organisation at the end of their degree, but a number of our students also have financial support
provided by the employing organisation in the final year.
Lincoln Business School is based on the Brayford Pool Campus in Lincoln, at the heart of the City Centre
and very close to the student accommodation. The buildings and facilities are modern and technologically
advanced, and students will be able to make the most of the fully-equipped library and modern virtual
You need 240 UCAS points across at least two full A-Levels (or equivalent) to gain entry onto this course.
You will also need at least five GCSE’s Grade A-C which must include English and Maths.
We encourage applications from mature students and we will give special individual consideration to you if
you are in this category and do not have the standard entry requirements.
Students whose first language is not English will also need British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or
APPLYING FOR THIS COURSE
Is This The Right Course For Me?
This is the right degree course for you if you want a degree with a specialist Human Resource Management
focus that will help you to gain entry into a management profession which is recognised internationally.
Rather than focusing on broad business skills, this programme is specifically designed to provide you with
the particular knowledge skills and expertise to advise and guide other front line managers on all aspects of
the critical aspects of managing people. The programme encompasses:
• Organisational resourcing issues from staffing and recruitment , performance management systems, to
retirement, redundancy, dismissal handling.
• Organisational learning and development.
• Employee representation, industrial relations and conflict management.
• The ethical and legal aspects of employment.
• The sociology of work and organisational behaviour.
• The role and expectations of the professional body, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and
• Procedures and organisational justice.
• A wider appreciation of business principles in the fields of economics, marketing, operations.
What skills do I need to join this course?
No specific skills are needed other than the genuine interest in the subject area and a wish to have a career
in managing the people side of the enterprise.
What will I gain from this course?
Effective problem solving techniques, the ability to analysis situations; a toolkit of theory and practice which
can be developed into appropriate and individual interventions to help develop organisations and the people
within them; a reflective approach to personal development; and a commitment to continuing professional
What do we look for in your application?
Many of the staff on this programme are experienced HR practitioners who are Chartered Fellows, or
Chartered Members of the CIPD. All students will reach professional standards of knowledge and practice.
At the outset, we seek applicants with a sense of curiosity and endeavour, a commitment to develop study
and work skills, and the determination to succeed in the field of human resource management.
We welcome mature applicants from non traditional study or educational backgrounds, and encourage
applications from all sections of the community.
Lincoln Business School
Address: Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS
Telephone: 01522 837300
Fax: 01522 886032
Information contained in this programme specification document, including units and unit descriptions, entry requirements and
assessment methods, is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information please visit www.lincoln.ac.uk.