Skip to main content

University of Exeter Business School

HR Skills

Module titleHR Skills
Module codeBEMM048
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Jonathan Smith (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Module description

In this module you will develop (or further develop) a broad range of skills that are necessary in order to pursue a successful career in Human Resource Management. Taught sessions will be held to introduce and assess a range of skills.  The skills you will be developing will help you to increase your competence and confidence in your roles as leader, colleague, decision-maker and HR specialist. Sessions covering masters-level study skills also form a part of these inputs.  The module is designed to meet the HR Professional Body (CIPD) Advanced Level Award for Developing Skills for Business Leadership - see


Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to help you build on your existing skills and hence to further both your ability and your confidence to perform an HR management role. We also aim to help you perform to the highest level from an early stage as a masters student at the university. You will learn through a combination of taught sessions, online exercises, group activities and more generally by reflecting critically on your own skills development during the time that you are studying with us. The major skill-sets that you will enhance as a result of participating on this module will be in the following areas:

  • postgraduate study skills
  • self-management skills
  • interpersonal relationships
  • leading, influencing and decision-making
  • interpreting financial data
  • IT skills
  • specialist HRM skills (eg: selection interviewing, appraisal and disciplinary interviewing, participating in an employment tribunal, presenting a business case).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Manage yourself more effectively at work or in another professional context.
  • 2. Manage interpersonal relationships at work more effectively.
  • 3. Make sound and justifiable decisions and solve problems more effectively.
  • 4. Lead and influence others more effectively.
  • 5. Interpret financial information and manage financial resources.
  • 6. Demonstrate enhanced IT proficiency.
  • 7. Demonstrate an essential people management skill-set.
  • 8. Demonstrate competence in postgraduate study skills.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

    ILO: Personal and key skills

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

      Syllabus plan

      The HR skills unit has been designed to run through the programme like a spine. We will introduce its aims and method of operation at the start of the course.

      There will also be a number of interactive taught sessions provided here, including a session on postgraduate study skills. Later as you proceed through the programme and develop further skills-based knowledge and understanding you will keep records of your development by building up a skills portfolio and development plan. Towards the end of your programme you will attend a further suite of taught sessions which will prepare you for the 2nd assessment. The syllabus covers skills in the following areas:

      • postgraduate study skills
      • self-management
      • managing interpersonal relationships
      • general management skills
      • financial data and IT
      • interviewing, tribunal preparation / international HR consultancy and effective presentation

      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 activities40Attending a variety of different taught sessions
      Group based activities undertaken in preparation for the closing residental40Preparation for assessments
      Guided independent study70Background reading, critical self-reflection, preparation and submission of a reflective skills portfolio and development plan

      Formative assessment

      Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
      In-class exercises20 hours1-6Tutor feedback
      Online learning exercise20 hours1-6Tutor 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
      Skills portfolio, learning diary, reflective essay and personal development plan504000 to 6000 words1-8Written tutor feedback
      Assessed skills50A variety of formats depending on face-to-face or on-line delivery, but equivalent to 5000 words.1-8Written tutor feedback

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

      Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
      Skills portfolio, learning diary, reflective essay and personal development planSkills portfolio, learning diary, reflective essay and personal development plan1-8Three months after result release
      Assessed SkillsAssessed Skills1-8Three months after result release

      Re-assessment notes

      In the case of some assessed skills where a group work is central and only one member of a group fails to demonstrate sufficient competence to pass, re-assessment will involve re-performing an aspect of the wider group task. 

      Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

      CAMERON, S. (2016) The business student’s handbook: skills for study and employment. 6th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education.

      CLEGG, C., LEGGE, K. and WALSH, S. (1999) The experience of managing: a skills guide. Basingstoke: Macmillan Business.

      DYSON, J.R. (2017) Accounting for non-accounting students. 9th ed. Harlow: Pearson.

      GALLAGHER, K. (2013): Skills development for business and management students: study and employability. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

      HORN, R. (2009) The business skills handbook. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

      LEE-DAVIES, L. and BAILEY, S. (2007) Developing work and study skills. London: Cengage Learning.

      ROPER I, PROUSKA R and AYUDHA UCN (eds.) (2010) Critical Issues in Human Resource Management.
      Chapter 14. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

      TAYLOR, S. (2018) Resourcing and Talent Management. 7th ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

      THOMPSON, N. (2015) People skills. 4th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

      WATSON, G. and REISSNER, S. (2014) Developing skills for business leadership. 2nd ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

      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 on 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

      Study skills, HRM, interviewing, presentations, consultancy, IT, financial data, self-management

      Credit value15
      Module ECTS


      Module pre-requisites


      Module co-requisites

      HR in Context, Leading, Managing & Developing People, Employee Relations, Employment Law / People & Organisations, HRD, Resourcing  and Talent Management,

      NQF level (module)


      Available as distance learning?


      Origin date


      Last revision date