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University of Exeter Business School

Employment Law

Module titleEmployment Law
Module codeBEMM046
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Stephen Taylor (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module is essential for anyone who is planning to develop a career in HRM in the UK or in another country with a similar legal system. We will be taking a very practical approach, explaining the purposes of employment law, the way it is made and enforced, and how managers should act in the workplace so as to ensure compliance and to reduce the risks associated with litigation from existing and former employees.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The purpose of the module is to provide you with the knowledge and understanding to give timely and accurate advice to managers about HR decisions they are taking which have potential legal consequences. It will also enable you to take responsibility for the management of cases in your organisation, to negotiate settlements to tribunal claims, to develop HR policies which comply with employment law and to run training sessions on the central employer obligations associated with employment law.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Meet the core standards within the CIPD profession Map for Employment Law
  • 2. demonstrate that you are able to give good, basic advice about workplace issues which are potentially affected by employment law

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. explain how employment law affects HR practice in the UK
  • 4. critique the extent and nature of employment regulation from different perspectives

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. develop and express strong, original and well-justified arguments to support your views
  • 6. give accurate and timely advice to colleagues and managers about salient organisational issues

Syllabus plan

Over 15 two-hour sessions you will be introduced to the most significant employment statutes, to the common law and to the case law covering employment matters. We will also be looking at how employment law has evolved historically, what it seeks to achieve, how it is made and how it is enforced. Sessions will include lectures as well as extensive group exercises focusing on real cases and their outcomes.

The fifteen sessions will cover the following major topics:

  • An introduction to employment law
  • Accessing employment rights
  • Discrimination law
  • Dismissal law
  • The law of contract
  • Health and safety law
  • Collective employment law
  • Hours and wages
  • Family-friendly employment law

You will need to undertake preparatory guided reading associated with each of these areas of study before attending your taught sessions.

This module will take 150 hours, comprising 30 contact hours and 120 hours of guided study / test and assignment preparation. You will undertake a variety of different learning activities while studying this module including lectures, discussion exercises, supplementary reading and online activities.

You will be encouraged to relate your own experiences and developments in organisations you have worked for to your studies and to share these with fellow students.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities30Lectures and group analysis of cases
Preparatory Reading30Reading prior to taught sessions
Assignment Preparation60Reading, research and/or observation of a tribunal case

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion exercises30 minutes each week1, 2, 5 & 6Tutor feedback
Observing a tribunal case6 hours3 & 4Tutor feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assignment (Tribunal Report or critical assessment of an area of employment law) or three short article or a case study 502,500 words (approx)1 - 6Written tutor feedback
Multiple choice exam 501 hour1-2Verbal feedback in person

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assignment Assignment (50%)1 - 6July
Multiple choice examTest (50%)1-2July

Re-assessment notes

Students who fail their assignments will need to resubmit another assignment either on the same subject or another.

NB. Students who take this module while studying towards an MSc or PgDip HRM will also participate in a mock employment tribunal exercise which is assessed as part of the compulsory HR Skills (BEMM048) module.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core texts:

  • Lewis, D. & Sargeant, M. (2023) Essentials of Employment Law, Sixteenth Edition, CIPD
  • Lockton, D & Broen, T. (2020) Employment Law, Tenth Edition, Palgrave
  • Pitt, G. (2020) Employment Law, Eleventh Edition, Sweet and Maxwell
  • Taylor, S. & Emir, A. (2019) Employment Law: An Introduction, Fifth Edition, Oxford University Press

Indicative basic reading list:

  • Collins, H. (2012) Employment Law, Second Edition, Oxford University Press
  • Davies, A. (2009): Perspectives on Labour Law, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press
  • Deakin, S. & Morris, G. (2014) Labour Law, Seventh Edition, Hart Publishing
  • Emir, A. (ed) (2022) Selwyn's Law of Employment, Twenty-second Edition, Oxford University Press
  • Honeyball, S. (2011) Great Debates: Employment Law, Palgrave

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

You will have access to an online searchable and resources database, with links to several eBooks available through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). Within this environment, you will also be supported through online discussion forums and activities.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development you will also have access to the entirety of the Institute's website, including all published research reports, archived articles from 'People Management', fact sheets, discussion papers and briefings.  

Key words search

employment law, employment regulation, discrimination, dismissal, contracts, health and safety 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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