It should be an original piece of work involving, as noted above, the investigation of a human resource management problem or issue and the presentation of a 15,000 word dissertation.
The subject is a matter for you to determine, although you should gain approval for your initial proposal, and develop the dissertation in consultation with both your in-company and academic supervisor. It should, though, be an issue or real problem within the theory and practice of human resource management - either set within a subject area in which you are particularly interested or addressing a specific topic in the context of your employment experience.
There are a number of common features that need to be covered, as follows:
¨ Examination of the problem or issue through both the academic literature (known as the "literature review") and, where appropriate, the practical context in which the problem or issue is set;
¨ Rigorous analysis of the problem or issue through empirical research in your organisation; and
¨ Development of a sustained and reasoned analytical framework or argument which allows conclusions / recommendations to be drawn and relates theory to practice and the general to the specific (and vice versa).
¨ Clear, focused recommendations that include a cost-benefit analysis, prioritisation and timings, and consideration of feasibility
¨ Reflection on the process within a personal learning review
The dissertation is the culmination of the learning process at Masters level. It is the mechanism through which students add to organisational knowledge in order to enhance performance and at the same time contribute to broader theoretical debates.
The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to consolidate and synthesise their learning in human resource management through a predominantly self-managed in-depth study leading to an in-company dissertation. Research methods sessions provide students with the knowledge framework and the skills necessary for undertaking a dissertation.