HR9783 - Human Resource Analytics and Decision Making

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn to interpret the four key sources of information for decision makers which are identified by CIPD: scientific literature, organisational data, expertise and judgement of practitioners, managers, consultants and business leaders, and stakeholders. Drawing on the growing interest in and expectations of the role that analytics can play in improving Human Resource (HR) Management in global organisations you will understand how the growth in Big Data, the challenges in managing this, and the principles of quantitative analysis can be applied to HR management to increase knowledge and operational practice by demonstrating impact and enhancing strategic decision making. You will also gain the skills needed to work with statistics and Big Data to use evidence to solve problems in an organisational context. These may include (but will not be restricted to) looking at stakeholder engagement, data management and visualisation methods, and working with metrics and statistical modelling.

How will I learn on this module?

You will start by exploring the growth in Big Data and the implications of this for organisations, including gaining an understanding of the challenges and opportunities it presents. You will then develop an appropriate, brief, theoretical grounding in commonly used analytical techniques and tools for decision making and you will focus on gaining an appreciation of how they can be applied in an ethical way, including considering the risks which may be present. By working with data and case studies you will develop the skills to allow you to contribute effectively as an HR manager. You will therefore learn in a very practical way in this module, with the inclusion of workshops which will allow you to ‘learn by doing’ using packages such as PowerBI, SAS and SPSS. As a master’s student, you will also be encouraged to research current uses of HR analytics in organisations independently, allowing you to deepen your learning by focussing on any areas which are of particular interest to you or of relevance to your future career plans.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is delivered through lectures, workshops, directed and independent study. While lectures will be interactive, drawing upon your own experiences and opinions as well as the directed learning you will undertake, they will also provide a theoretical basis for your learning. The workshops will complement this by allowing you to assimilate your knowledge, develop your skills, and reflect critically on potential organisational applications through completion of practical exercises and discussion with your tutor and peers.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities, and use of e-learning platforms. Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the specialist subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, and research.

The module is supported by a Teaching and Learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, the tutor-directed study, and independent reading.

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:
1. Understand and apply advanced knowledge of HR analytics in identifying and solving global HR issues [MLO1]
2. Evaluate how HR analytics can influence and shape people and business strategy by aiding strategic, evidence-based decision making [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and analyse HR data using advanced quantitative techniques and communicate this effectively to stakeholders [MLO3]
4. Outline and produce appropriate solutions to problems showing an awareness of what may be appropriate in different situations, including consideration of potential risks and benefits [MLO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Build ethical and responsible HR models which could be used to inform policies [MLO5]

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be carried out on a continuous basis within the workshops. In addition to tutor feedback on progress on the workshop exercises time will also be set aside regularly to discuss your individual progress and ideas.

There are two components of summative assessment on this module. One is a group presentation based on research and the other is an individual report.

Summative Assessment
Component 1 (25%)
A group assignment in which you will investigate and report on contemporary uses of analytics in the HR environment. This will be assessed through a group presentation.
[MLOs 1 and 2]

Component 2 (75%)
Individual assignment. A 3,000-word report to be submitted at the end of the module which critically analyses the use of HR Analytics in an organisation of your choice and demonstrates either how its use has contributed to organisational performance or has the potential to do so.
[MLOs 2, 3, 4]

Electronic written feedback will be provided on individual work and released through the eLP.





Module abstract

Human Resource Management increasingly relies on data and evidence for problem solving and strategic decision making, drawing on management information systems, predictive models of behaviour and statistical analysis of trends to do so. In this module you will be introduced to the key concepts behind this practice in a way that will enable you to operate as an effective manager and you will also learn about the growth in Big Data and the ways that organisations can utilise it. Through a hands-on approach to data analysis and decision making you will learn how to best apply and use your knowledge of analytics to improve the effectiveness and direction of organisations and to improve operational practices.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

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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