HR9789 - Masters HRM Enquiry

What will I learn on this module?

The Masters’ HRM Enquiry module is a student-led individual project that enables you to undertake a significant piece of assessed work commensurate with a capstone module and is offered as an alternative to the Masters’ Dissertation and Masters’ Consultancy Project in the MSc in Global HRM programme.

The module aims to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate an authentic engagement with managers and/or professionals in the HRM discipline, and to integrate the knowledge you have developed during your programme to explore the theory in practice. The learning on this module is experiential and problem based, where the focus is upon you discovering, probing and questioning key practice-based issues. Through the module you will be offered the opportunity to develop and enhance key transferable employability skills, including time management, project management, communication (written, aural and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and influence, discovery, initiative, problem-solving and analysis.

The module has five thematic areas; explore, review, engage, reflect and connect. These form the key elements of the assessed submission which is a single 15,000 word report.

Part A (35%, 5,000-5,500 words)

Explore: Interviewing a manager and/or professional in your discipline. In this interview you will either explore a key issue which you feel the discipline is facing or, alternatively, explore with the manager or professional the key issues that they feel they are facing in practice. It is expected that you will apply non-verbatim documented conversation and provide evidence of the key ideas emerging within the submitted enquiry report (e.g., within the appendices).

Review: Critically examining the academic and practitioner literature to support the exploration, displaying an ability to critically assess and appraise the knowledge of your discipline related to a specific key issue arising from your exploration.

Part B (65%, 9,500-10,000 words)

Engage: Displaying an authentic engagement with the discipline problem/issue identified in Part A, by collecting/generating and analysing further live data (beyond the initial interview) regarding the discipline problem/issue. This live data may be primary data (e.g., further interviews with, or questionnaire to, managers and/or professionals in practice) or secondary data (e.g., industry data). Application of appropriate, ethically-considered, research methods and appropriate qualitative or quantitative data analysis.

Reflect and Connect: Demonstrating an ability to critically evaluate and reflect on the issues arising from the HRM Enquiry.

Demonstrating how you have connected and fed-back to the participants of the Enquiry (usually the manager and/or participants) your key findings to provide clear prioritised, well-justified, practical and actionable recommendations for change/enhancement/improvement to existing practice to show how the recommendations would potentially affect workplace professional decision making.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is an individual student-led enquiry. You are supported, initially, through weekly lectures and workshops on the pre-requisite HR 9786 Research Methods for HRM module, which provide an introduction to undertaking HRM Enquiry research. These are then followed by one-to-one or small-group supervision meetings once you embark fully on the Masters’ HRM Enquiry. On HR9786, you will study on the same taught sessions as students choosing the Masters’ Dissertation or Masters’ Consultancy modules, with the taught elements of the module covering the following topics; developing a literature review, researching ethically, quantitative research techniques, qualitative research techniques, quantitative analysis techniques and qualitative analysis techniques. These taught sessions will introduce you to the underpinning knowledge necessary for undertaking an individual student-led investigation into an applied business problem or issue. The workshops provide you with the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice for your own proposed research area. The summative assessment for HR9786 represents the proposal work for the Masters’ HRM Enquiry. Once the Masters’ HRM Enquiry commences, pos-HR9786, the one-to-one or small-group supervisions with your allocated supervisor give you the opportunity to seek guidance to support your HRM Enquiry. Your supervisor will not instruct you but will provide you with on-going formative feedback on your progress as you engage with the HRM Enquiry process. Supervisors will be appointed in line with Business School policy which recognise the requirements of professional bodies and AACSB accreditation. A supporting reading list provides you with key references to enable you to undertake a more detailed and in-depth review of your enquiry. You will be expected to keep up-to-date with your project tasks. To aid with self-assessment, a portal is available to encourage your experiential learning through, journals, development of project meetings etc.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The selection of a suitable Masters’ HRM Enquiry topic rests with you, the student. A key element of this module is the experiential nature of exploring and discovering an area of the academic and professional literature which you then take to managers and/or professionals to investigate in practice. There is an expectation that this is discipline specific and relates to your chosen Masters’ programme.

To achieve this, you will be supported by the following academic staff:

• Lecture tutors and seminar-workshop tutors (from HR9786 and within the academic departments), who will have an interest in your programme subject area, or a related field.
• Your Masters’ HRM Enquiry supervisor, who will have an interest in your programme subject area, or a related field.

You will also be provided with support from your peers on the pre-requisite HR9786 module and from your Masters’ programme. The module is supported by an e-learning portal (eLP), which acts as a repository for: lecture materials, workshop materials, assessment details. In addition, the eLP houses the online reading list (including direct links to textbooks, journal papers, academic and conference reports) and various support facilities such as the recordings of certain lectures.

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. Demonstrate a critical understanding of innovative research on the business and management community [MLO1]
2. Acquire, interpret and critically apply specialist functional knowledge in relation to the programme of study [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Plan and complete a major project on a HRM topic for an external organisation [MLO3]
4. Demonstrate skills of critical analysis and synthesis in the application of research methods to the exploration of a contemporary HRM issue [MLO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Reflect critically on your ethical values [MLO5]

How will I be assessed?

There is a single summative module assessment which comprises two components, submitted in the form of a single 15,000 word business report, which demonstrates your engagement with the five themes of the module.

Part A: Explore and Review (35%, 5,000-5,500 words)

Part B: Engage, Reflect and Connect (65%, 9,500-10,000 words) This will address MLO1, MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.

Formative assessment will take place through applied peer activities. You will receive on-going formative feedback from your supervisor and throughout the period of your engagement with the HRM Enquiry process. Your summative assessment to the pre-requisite HR9786 Research Methods for HRM module and the mark/feedback will formatively inform this HRM Enquiry. Full and detailed guidance will be given on this assessment. The eLP will be used to permanently host this detailed guidance, also a copy of the marking criteria, to ensure that students can access it throughout the HRM Enquiry process.





Module abstract

The Masters’ HRM Enquiry module aims to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate an authentic engagement with HRM managers and/or professionals, and to integrate the subject-specific knowledge developed during your programme of study to explore theory in practice. Your learning on this module is experiential and problem-based, with a focus upon you discovering, probing, questioning and critically reflecting upon practice-based issues. You will meet and discuss with a HRM manager/professional to scope an initial problem or issue that you will then explore. You will review this issue/problem, examining the depth of pre-existing academic knowledge. You will then undertake the collection/generation of primary or secondary data to probe and investigate this issue/problem more widely. Having analysed your data, you will feed-back to the participants of the Enquiry (usually the manager and/or participants) your key findings to provide clear prioritised, well-justified, practical and actionable recommendations for change/enhancement/improvement to existing practice to inform workplace decision-making.

Course info

Credits 60

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.  

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