Postgraduate taught 

International Human Resource Management & Development MSc

Contemporary Issues in Work and Employment MGT5374

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce students to contemporary issues in work and employment. 6 topics will be selected because they are current research interests of staff members and, therefore, contemporary research issues. In each session, the first part of the session will take the form of a lecture summarising existing academic debates around topic of the research. The second part of the session will be run more as a structured Q&A session where the staff member will then explain the research they have undertaken and published, usually in the form of an article or report. The focus of the discussion will be to identify research challenges and how they were overcome, as well as the process of writing up research and linking it to the wider debates highlighted at the start. In this way, students will become familiar with the complexities of research and writing, thereby preparing them for their dissertation. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical analysis of the process of undertaking research and writing about a topic.


2 x 3 hour sessions for 3 weeks

Excluded Courses





Students will be allocated a topic from 5 thematic topics across the course. Students will then be allocated a written journal article and guided to write a 2500 word critical reflection on the article. Students will be guided to research the topic by reading additional material, and to read about the research methods used.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

1. To familiarise students with a range of contemporary research issues that staff members in the area of work and employment have been working on. Topics may include managing professionals in the public sector, romance at work, organising precarious workers, and others that reflect staff research and publication expertise.

2. To develop an awareness of the complexity of undertaking research in the social world, thereby helping them prepare for their dissertation research.

3. To engage students in the process of critical reflection on the processes of writing about research findings

4. To extend the critical analysis skills of students in reflecting on published materials (journal articles, reports etc.) through discussion of decisions made during the research and writing process.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically reflect on the complex processes involved in undertaking research in the social world.

2. Engage with the complex processes involved in writing about research evidence gained through social research on work and employment, thereby helping prepare them for dissertation research.

3. Critically evaluate the research and writing decisions made that lead to published studies in contemporary areas of debate about work and employment, thereby extending their critical reading skills.

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.