HR9692 - Futures of Work

What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary organisational practice and emergent forms of work. Drawing from organisational psychology and sociology, the module will explore changes through a macro and micro perspective, allowing for appreciation of responses to societal change at the individual and collective level. Building upon core levels 4 People, Management and Organisations and Business, Economy and Society, the relevancy of the module lies in its future-orientated focus. ‘Futures of Work’ will provide an overview of key changes to the labour market and organisational practices, such as those connected to the rise of the gig economy and automation, and examine how managers and organisations are responding to these changes.. The module will encourage students to critically assess issues connected to the future of work through longstanding concepts such as agency, time, dignity and power.
The module has broad relevancy to business and management students as it offers insights that will assist in understanding a complex and dynamic labour market. By focusing on emergent trends and alternative ways of working, students will be able to identify how organisations change, adapt and ‘future-proof’ themselves in response to external environmental and societal changes. The module will prepare students to enter a dynamic workplace by equipping them with the theoretical framework to understand emerging trends and the conceptual lens through which to recognise how individuals and organisations as a collective are affected.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning journey in this module will consist of a combination of tutor-led, learner-led and team-led session activities.
Tutor-led research-informed seminar sessions will help you to develop an understanding and increased awareness of your own personal skills and employability and provide practical support to help you record and document these attributes to support future career progression.
A learner-led, tutor guided approach will further be adopted to support the development of your personal career plan focusing on your future graduate identity.
A team-led, facilitated approach provides the authentic experience of working as part of a team on an appropriate graduate level project within your field. You will be jointly responsible for identifying your team’s learning needs in order to provide appropriate recommendations for a real business organisation. You will be provided with a framework / structure to help you work through the issues and your facilitator will support with advice and constructive criticism throughout.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff who will facilitate your learning and support you through the led sessions whilst disseminating appropriate activities you should be engaging in during your independent study time. They are also available upon request to support you outside of formal session time by responding to questions or concerns that you might have either via email or via individually pre-arranged appointments and/or drop-in sessions.
Tutor-led, tutor-guided and learner-led activities are organised in groups of around 20 working in smaller teams. This approach provides a closer, more personal academic support. All workshops and seminar sessions will consist of learners who are also studying on your programme.
Academic support is also provided through the provision of a range of University learning support services. A wide range of online support materials are also available thought the virtual learning environment. These materials include recordings, webcasts, pre-recorded sessions on the use of specialist software and key academic skills, also an electronic reading list including RSS feeds that showcase the application of various practices presented in the module.

To support you in your academic progress, you will receive both formative and summative feedback/feed-forward on your work through the course of each academic year. Regular formative feedback on class activities provides you with the necessary guidance to scaffold your knowledge and understanding of key issues to enable your success in the final summative assessment. Summative feedback/feed-forward will be provided on your work after it has been assessed and graded. You should use all feedback that you receive to identify areas of strength and areas for future study and improvement.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1 To understand key developments within work and organisations.
ML02 To critically assess implications for future working practice based on organisational and employment trends.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

ML03 Challenge your understanding of key developments across organisational landscapes and identify potential directions of the future of work.

ML04 Understand organisational and individual responses to emergent trends of labour.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
ML05 An ability to debate important, contentious organisational issues in an ever-changing context.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Throughout the module you should actively participate in scheduled and self-directed activities and should engage in discussions, team work and feedback exercises to challenge your own thinking and that of your peers.

Face-to-face sessions will provide you with the opportunity to self-assess your knowledge and understanding through applying the different aspects/topics examined. You will work through small groups activities which will enable you to secure on-going feedback from your peers.

Summative Assessment:
The MLOs will be assessed through a group presentation (20%), involving small groups outlining how a chosen organisation has responded to recent environmental changes. (ML05)

A 2,000 word assignment (80%), critically assessing how work is affected by recent changes (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and ML04).





Module abstract

The world of work is constantly changing from major, unanticipated environmental jolts such as Covid-19, to technological innovations that revolutionise how work is obtained and delivered. ‘Futures of Work’ will provide you with an insight into how the changing nature of work affects both organisations and the individuals within them, and how management and HR might respond to these changes. Importantly, as prospective entrants to the labour market, you will gain an understanding of how these emergent trends are re-shaping the lived experiences of workers. Through an enhanced understanding of the labour market you are soon to enter, you will be better placed to assess how both organisations and individuals adapt and respond as the landscape around them changes.

Course info

UCAS Code N110

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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