Postgraduate taught 

International Human Resource Management & Development MSc

Managing Careers in the 21st Century MGT5355

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course begins with introduction of career studies and reviews the all-important context of economic, social and other factors within which careers are enacted. The course then considers various perspectives that help understand the variability in career development, e.g., the role of agency and career boundaries. The course concludes with considerations for career self-management and organisational career management.


6 X 3-hour slots over two weeks

Excluded Courses





Assessment is composed of an individual written assignment of 2,000 - 2,500 words. The assignment consists of 2 tasks as follows:


TASK 1 - Lessons from a real career case - The first task of this assignment is about examining others' careers in light of the main points we discussed in this course. Examining the career journey of a celebrity students should produce a 1,500 word report considering the role of the following on his or her's career success:


■ Context - ILO 1

■ The role of personal agency - ILO 2

■ Career journeys - e.g., occupational, organisational careers, boundaryless career and/or international careers? - ILO 3

■ Aspects of career self-management are evident in his/her career history; and - ILO 4

■ What role, if any, did organisational support play a role in his/her career development? - ILO 5


TASK 2 - Personal reflection and personal development plan - The second task of this assignment is for students to reflect on how well they have developed each attribute so far in their studies and identify three graduate attributes that they think they should improve on. Students are also expected to complete a personal development plan. 500 words each. ILO's 1 - 6

Course Aims

This course aims to:


1. Develop a critical understanding of the nature of contemporary careers.

2. Familiarise students with the internal and external factors that influence development of contemporary careers.

3. Provide an understanding of how careers work - from a wide range of theoretical perspectives, including material from sociology, psychology, social psychology, education and management studies.

4. Reflect on complexities of managing one's own career as well as implications for managing/facilitating others' careers (from managerial perspective).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Critically evaluate the context of economic, social and other factors within which careers are enacted and which vitally influences them.

2. Critically analyse the how personal agency influences career development.

3. Critically assess the popular theorising that contemporary careers are increasingly 'boundaryless'.

4. Critically analyse the extent to which career self-management is key to career success in the 21st century.

5. Appraise how organisations play a role in managing careers.

6. Apply knowledge of career theories and research to (1) reflect on personal career development and (2) examine careers of others.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.