module specification

HR6W04 - Developing Professional Practice for HRM (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Developing Professional Practice for HRM
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
90 hours Placement / study abroad
129 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   A 60-minute unseen in-class test
Group Presentation 30%   A 20-minute group panel interview presentation
Coursework 40%   An e-portfolio of 3,500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Developing Professional Practice for HRM is closely mapped with one of the CIPD’s core Level 5 units.  It is designed for students to take ownership of their own personal and professional development needs and to prepare them for entry into the HRM professional and managerial labour market within a local, national and global context.  

The module will give students a broader understanding of the generalist and specialist knowledge, skills and abilities required by HRM employers and the HRM professional body, the CIPD.   Students will also develop both theoretical and practical understanding of careers and will reflect on these to develop their employability. The module assessment strategies will include an in-class test, a group presentation and a portfolio.  The student will undertake a short-term placement in order to develop the relevant graduate attributes.

Module aims

The module has a strong employability and work-based learning focus including the following aims:

1) To develop a theoretical understanding of careers and professional development within the wider context of individuals and organisations.

2) To identify and develop appropriate knowledge skills and abilities required to perform efficiently and effectively as a self-managing HR professional and to reflect on these in light of students’ own psychological, social and political background and value.

3) To develop relevant graduate attributes/skills ie:

  • Interpersonal communication including intercultural communication
  • Written communication
  • Researching  
  • Digital literacy & IT
  • Critical thinking
  • Career management
  • Commercial awareness
  • Enterprise skills
  • Problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Negotiation
  • Networking
  • Career management
  • Self-awareness skills.

4) To critically reflect on relevant experiences, situations, skills, learning and intentions, and to develop a continuing professional development plan based on the capabilities required for a self-managing HR professional including capabilities required for ethical business-focused and interpersonal professional conduct. The module has a strong employability and work-based learning focus.


The syllabus will focus on HRM professional development areas and will include:

The nature of careers and employability

  • Historical roots and context of careers and meaning of careers
  • Career theories and approaches
  • The employability agenda
  • Trends, paradoxes and directions in career research

Careers and the Individual

  • Making career choices and decisions
  • The psychological contact and the management of careers
  • Career self-management and career success
  • The relational nature of career management
  • Issues and approaches to graduate career management
  • The role and contribution of the HR professional and HR professionalism

Careers and organisations

  • Career systems
  • Career management in a national and global context
  • Ethical, legal & governance issues within the context of organisational career management

Development of relevant graduate attributes

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Written communication
  • Researching
  • Problem solving
  • Negotiation
  • Networking
  • Career management including psychometric test and assessment centre training and performance, professional CV writing , cover letter and job application, interview preparation and mock panel interviews
  • Commercial and organisational awareness

Work-based learning processes

  • Accessing Business Works and Careers (Department of Students Services) to gain support in finding suitable employment opportunities
  • Professionalism and work ethics
  • Health and Safety in the workplace
  • Transferring learning from studies and previous employment into the work-placement environment
  • Critical self-reflection to recognise personal gain and allow appropriate articulation of competencies and knowledge gained from their experiences

Learning and teaching

The module involves three hours contact time per week consisting of a 1.5 lecture and a 1.5 hour seminar. 

✓ The lectures will involve an elaboration of key ideas, theories, models and research findings.

✓ Seminars will be mainly concerned with supporting students in their explorations of post-graduate employment, the determination of choices, and the development strategies for affecting their choices.  It will include a combination of tutor input, group and individual discussion and activities. 

✓ There will also be an assessed short work-placement element preferably an HR role or a general administration role.   The placement should be personally developmental and involve a reasonable level of responsibility.  Students will gain support in developing job search skills to secure the appropriate short-term placement.  Each student’s work-placement roles and individual level of responsibilities will be assessed for suitability.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Develop a sound theoretical understanding of the nature of careers and approaches to careers development and career management within a local, national and global context.
  2. To enhance the continuous professional development of students via work-based learning where students can work as a collaborative member of working groups and teams as well as work as an added value contributor to the organisation.
  3. Research the HR labour market including a particular sector and organisation, to obtain relevant information to assist graduate entry and to gain a broad understanding of what is required to become an effective and efficient HR professional.
  4. Undertake a skills identification profile together and self-evaluation audit in relation to the findings and produce a plan of continuing professional development to address the skill gaps in the HR labour market.
  5. To develop the relevant graduate attributes including the transferrable competencies that will enable students to perform as self-managing HR professionals.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to meet the learning outcomes for this module and will consist of three individually-based components: 

✓ Component 1 - One hour unseen in-class test which assesses students ability to give a critical analysis on a particular career and professional development issue, make comparisons with other organisations and use relevant theoretical approaches.

✓  Component 2 - Twenty minute group panel interview presentation to assess students’ transferable skills relating to HRM including relevant graduate attributes. 

✓ Component 3 - Portfolio (maximum of 3,500 words) that will include a self-assessment, personal development planning and a professional CV and employment letter - relevant to students’ selected occupational area.


Essential Reading:

  • Baruch, Y (2010).  Managing Careers: Theory and Practice, FT-Prentice Hall, London


  • Greenhaus, J.H., Callanan, G.A., Godshalk, V.M. (2010) Career Management, 4th Ed, Sage, London.

Further Reading:

  • Arnold, J. (2005) Managing Careers for the 21 Century, London Paul Chapman Publishing
  • Darling, D. ((2010) The Networking Survival Guide: Practical Advice to Help You Gain Confidence, Approach People, and the success You Want.
  • Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success, The Personal Development Handbook, 2nd Ed, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Brown, P. & Hesketh, A. (2004) The Mismanagement of Talent: Employability and Jobs in the Knowledge Economy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Fanthome, C. (2004) Work Placements – A Survival Guide for Students, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
  • George, C. (2009) The Psychological Contract: Managing and Developing Professional Groups, Berkshire, Open University Press McGraw-Hill Education
  • Helyer, R. (2010) The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, Harrison, R. (2009) Learning and Development CIPD.
  • Megginson, D. (2007) Continuing Professional Development, London Paul Chapman Publishing.
  • Redman, P. (2010) The Graduate Jobs Formula: How to Land Your Dream Career, Surrey, Trotman publishing
  • Whetten, D. & Cameron, K. (2005) Developing Management Skills, 6th Ed, New Jersey, Pearson International Edition

Online resources:

  • http://www.cipd


  • People Management
  • Management Today
  • Journal of Career Development
  • Career Development Quarterly
  • Career Development International
  • Personnel Review
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Management Review