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The University of Southampton

MANG6379 Key Skills in Communication and HRM

Module Overview

This module first provides students with an understanding of academic writing at Masters Level in UK Higher Education, with regard to essay writing and then with regard to the practical skills necessary for presenting a clear and concise business report. This emphasis is designed to provide early feedback on improvements that they can make towards studying further on this and other modules on their programme. This module then turns to developing skills and attitudes that enable us to work and act in the modern business world, spanning HR skills necessary for HR practitioners but also team work, collaboration and employability. The module is relevant not just too future work opportunities but also to day-by-day work at University. The lessons learned are intended to have immediate practical application.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the qualities of a ‘good’ business essay;
  • the planning required in writing an essay;
  • the qualities of a ‘good’ business report;
  • the planning required in writing a report;
  • HR skills relating to employment practice;
  • how HR skills are integral to HR policy implementation;
  • how specific HR skills relate to differing roles adopted by HR practitioners in contemporary organisations
  • working in teams;
  • employability.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate essays;
  • assess your own and your peers essay planning and writing skills;
  • critically evaluate business reports;
  • relate HR theory to practice.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • competently plan an essay;
  • present a well-structured and concise essay;
  • support your peers in class activities;
  • competently plan a report;
  • present a well-structured and concise report;
  • exercise self-awareness in appraising your own skill strengths and weaknesses;
  • use inter-personal skills in order, e.g. to gain greater HR influence
  • contribute effectively as a team member.


- What makes a ‘good’ essay, understanding structure – use of paragraphs, presentation of an argument and critical analysis, citation and referencing - Qualities of a good report, who is your audience, report writing techniques, planning and preparation of reports. - HR skills in employment - Inter-personal and Influencing Skills - HR skills for different HR roles - HR decision Making Skills - Innovative and Effective Team Work - Issues in Employability

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods: Generally, lectures, directed reading, small and large group discussion and exercises, debating, learning tasks and mini-presentations during lectures. Essay writing involves a 4 hour workshop style lecture where students complete activities in a workbook on essay writing. 1 hour feedback workshop to provide students with generic feedback on their assignments and signpost further support for developing their writing skills. Report writing involves a series of presentation and discussion sessions. Learning activities include: Small group work, Individual planning time, peer review of work. Learning activities include: - Small group work - Role play - Self-awareness exercises - Case discussion

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Torrington, Hall & Taylor. Human Resource Management.



MethodPercentage contribution
Collaborative learning task 60%
Essay 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text as appropriate. There is however no need to buy a book for this module. All materials will be provided in the lecture or through the library and online journal databases.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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