Units of study

The University of Sydney website (sydney.edu.au/courses/) contains the most up to date information on unit of study availability and other requirements. Timetabling information for the current year is available on the Business School website (sydney.edu.au/business/timetable). Students should note that units of study are run subject to demand.

1. Table of postgraduate units of study: Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations

(i) Core units of study (all courses)

Students enrolled in the Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations courses complete their core units of study from the following table.

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session
(i) Foundation
The foundation unit is designed to be taken at the commencement of the course.
WORK5002
People, Work and Employment
6   

This is the foundational unit for the graduate Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations program and should be taken in a student's first semester of study.
Semester 1
Semester 2a
(ii) Advanced
Students must complete the following 12 credit points in advanced units of study:
WORK6017
Human Resource Strategies
6   

Core unit for the MHRM and IR
Semester 1
Semester 2
WORK6116
Employment and the Law
6   

This unit is not available for students enrolled in the Master of Labour Law Relations
Semester 1a
Semester 2

(ii) Capstone (core) unit of study (Master's degree only)

Students enrolled in the Master of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations complete a capstone (core) unit of study in their final semester of study.

The capstone unit of study is listed in the following table.

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session
The capstone unit draws on all the units completed and thus is undertaken at the end of the degree. The capstone unit is only available to students enrolled in the master's degree.
WORK6034
HRM and IR in Action
6    P minimum of 36 credit points
N WORK6031


Capstone unit for the Master of HRM and IR.
Semester 1
Semester 2

(iii) Elective units of study

Students enrolled in the Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations courses complete their elective units of study from the following table.

The number of units required to be completed for each course are as follows:

  • Master's degree: 36 credit points in elective units.
  • Graduate diploma: 18 credit points in elective units.
  • Graduate certificate: 6 credit points in elective units.
Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session
WORK6001
Organisational Analysis and Behaviour
6      Semester 1
WORK6002
Strategic Management
6      Semester 1
Semester 2b
WORK6012
Industrial Relations Policy
6      Intensive October
WORK6018
International Industrial Relations
6      Semester 1
WORK6026
Organisational Change and Development
6      Semester 1
WORK6030
Performance and Rewards
6      Semester 2b
WORK6033
Organisational Sustainability
6    N ECOF6110 or CLAW6028
Semester 1
WORK6108
International Dimensions of HRM
6      Semester 2
WORK6115
Managing Diversity at Work
6      Semester 2a
WORK6118
Managing Communication in Organisations
6    N ECOF6030 or ECOF6040
Semester 1
WORK6120
Research Essay
6   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Available only to students who have achieved 75% or better in at least four WORK (or equivalent) units studied; and have the Discipline's permission to take the unit.
Semester 1
Semester 2
WORK6130
Leadership in Organisations
6    N ECOF5807 or ECOF6090
Semester 1
IBUS6002
Cross-Cultural Management
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
IBUS6005
Ethical International Business Decisions
6      Semester 1
QBUS6320
Management Decision Making
6    N ECOF6070 or ECOF5804 or ECMT6310 or ECMT5003
Semester 1
Semester 2
BUSS6500
Industry Placement
6    P 48 credit points with a minimum credit average (65%)
N ECOF6500

Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Permission is required to enrol in this unit. Contact the Careers and Employability Office for details: business.placements@sydney.edu.au.
Intensive August
Intensive March
Semester 1
Semester 2
Please Note. BUSS6500 is only available to students enrolled in the Master's degree.

2. Unit of study descriptions for Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations coursework programs

Note: These unit of study descriptions are listed alphanumerically by unit code.

Core units of study

WORK5002 People, Work and Employment

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Semester 1a: intensive - TBA; Semester 2:1 x 3hr seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: tutorial facilitation and reflections (20%), final exam (40%), research essay (30%), tutorial attendance (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening, Block mode
Note: This is the foundational unit for the graduate Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations program and should be taken in a student's first semester of study.
The unit provides an integrated overview of the social, legal, psychological, ethical and strategic dimensions of human resource management. The learning content develops broad and deep knowledge in a select number of topical human resource issues and links these to a real-world context. As such the unit provides students with the essential preparatory knowledge and skills to build an intellectual foundation for the suite of subsequent elective units in human resource management and industrial relations available in the program.
WORK6017 Human Resource Strategies

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1 x 3 hour seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: group presentation (10%), group report (10%), essay (40%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Core unit for the MHRM and IR
This unit examines the theoretical foundations of strategic human resource management and then critically analyses the empirical evidence related to a range of HR strategies deployed in contemporary workplaces, both in Australia and internationally. In doing so, the unit explores the issues underpinning emerging HR strategies, their implementation and the outcomes experienced within the organisation and the wider environment. The HR strategies studied involve those that focus on managing a contemporary workforce and may include human resources strategies associated with: the management of front line workers, teams, non standard forms of employment, job quality and work-life balance, and gender and diversity at work, for example.
WORK6116 Employment and the Law

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Assessment: presentation (20%), essay (30%), final exam (40%), tutorial participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode, Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: This unit is not available for students enrolled in the Master of Labour Law Relations
This unit of study examines the legal framework with respect to labour relations in Australia. In particular it examines the scope of industrial law, the employment relationship, the Federal-State division of legislative power in industrial relations and the industrial arbitration systems, courts, tribunals, agreements and awards. Current developments in the law and politics of the systems will be referred to throughout the course.

Capstone unit of study (Master's degree only)

WORK6034 HRM and IR in Action

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1 x 3 hour seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: presentation (20%), assignment (40%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Capstone unit for the Master of HRM and IR.
This unit examines the emergence, significance and challenges associated with applied human resource management and industrial relations within contemporary organisations. In doing so, the unit brings together and consolidates theories, practices and debates associated with human resource management and industrial relations, whilst drawing on both Australian and international examples to illustrate the current and future imperatives central to human resource management and industrial relations.

Elective units of study

BUSS6500 Industry Placement

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 9 hours of pre-placement workshops; 210 hours internship; 2 hour debrief workshop. Assessment: Performance objectives (0%), report (70%), presentation (30%) Mode of delivery: Professional practice
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Intensive August,Intensive March,Semester 1,Semester 2
Note: Permission is required to enrol in this unit. Contact the Careers and Employability Office for details: business.placements@sydney.edu.au.
This unit is available to outstanding students completing the Master of Commerce, Master of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, and Master of Professional Accounting program. It involves a professional placement with a business, government, or non-government organisation. It includes preparatory coursework in reflective, professional practice and report writing. Assessment includes a reflective journal and professional report and presentation based on the internship placement. Permission is required to enrol in this unit. Further information and application process is outlined at http://sydney.edu.au/business/study/opportunities/industry_placement_program
IBUS6002 Cross-Cultural Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1x 3hr lecture/seminar per week Assessment: Participation (10%), culture report (10%), case study (20%), mid-semester exam (in class) (20%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day, Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
An understanding of cultural differences and how to manage such differences is critical to effective management in international and multi-cultural business environments. The aim of this unit is to provide conceptual frameworks and evidence from practice that will develop an understanding of the ways in which cultures differ, how these differences can impact on management, and how cultural issues can limit organisational effectiveness. Major topics include the significance of culture in international management, the meaning and dimensions of culture, comparative international management and leadership styles, managing communication across cultures, ethics and social responsibility in global management, cross-cultural negotiation and decision-making, forming and managing global teams, and developing the international and global manager.
IBUS6005 Ethical International Business Decisions

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1x 3 hour seminar per week from week 1 to week 13 Assessment: Group assignments (40%), final exam (30%), and individual assignments (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
In order to succeed in international business, both corporations and individuals need broad decision-making abilities. Business decision-making tools yield more coherent and justifiable results when used with an understanding of the ethical, social and environmental aspects of the process. This applies to various situations in the international business setting including business relations with government, customers, employees, and NGOs. This unit is designed to look at these non-financial elements in the decisions made within the international business context. Upon completion of this unit, students will have enhanced skills and knowledge relevant to the understanding of ethical issues and ethical decisions making in international business organisations.
QBUS6320 Management Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 3hrs of classes ('lecturial' - combination lecture/tutorial) per week Assessment: assignment 1 (25%), assignment 2 (25%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening, Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit introduces models and tools for decision analysis and their application in managerial settings. The unit focuses on the use of formal decision methods for management decisions in business. The main goal is to show how these decision models can improve the decision process by helping the decision maker to understand the structure of decisions; use subjective probabilities for measuring risk; analyse sensitivity of decisions to changing decision parameters; quantify outcomes in accordance with risk attitudes; and estimate the value of information. Special attention is paid to informal interpretations of formal decision approaches.
WORK6001 Organisational Analysis and Behaviour

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1 x 3 hour seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: presentation (20%), essay (40%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit introduces students to the behaviour of people when acting as members of an organisation. The aim of the unit is to provide an understanding of the processes and structures that influence organisational behaviour, by drawing on ideas from psychology, sociology, management and anthropology. Topics covered include: personality and the self; learning and socialisation; motivation and commitment; group behaviour and dynamics; organisational design and boundaries; organisational culture, change and leadership.
WORK6002 Strategic Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Semester 1b: Intensive - TBA; Semester 2: 1 x 3hr seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: seminar-based assessment (20%), case study assessment (40%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening, Block mode
The aim of this unit is to introduce the concept of strategy and explain its role in the management of organisations. The unit thus traces the development of strategic management as a field and examines different approaches to strategic management. WORK6002 introduces students to the classical strategy process of strategic analysis, strategy formulation and strategy implementation. This involves learning about and working with a range of strategy models and tools that can be used in the strategic management of organisations. In particular, a range of case studies is used to explore the practical application of these tools. The unit also critically examines traditional views of strategy by introducing a range of current debates in the strategy field.
WORK6012 Industrial Relations Policy

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Intensive - TBA Assessment: presentation (30%), end of unit quiz (20%), policy essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of the policy debates in employment relations with an emphasis on laws, institutions and social processes. It combines theoretical and historical understandings of employment relations in Australia with a detailed examination of the current policies and strategies of the key employment relations players and the role of the state. Topics covered include: the regulatory framework, state and federal governments policies, union policy, employer policy, the practices of Australia's industrial tribunals and responses to current challenges, such as the quest for improved productivity and greater flexibility. Overarching themes include individualisation and decentralisation of employment relations policy in Australia and whether there are more suitable alternatives.
WORK6018 International Industrial Relations

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Intensive Assessment: minor essay (10%), major essay (30%), seminar presentation (30%), final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit provides students with insights into the debate about the effect of globalisation on employment relations by using comparative analysis to identify the range of factors that account for similarities and difference in national patterns of industrial relations. The unit focuses on providing an understanding of the nature of industrial relations patterns in developed and developing market economies and invites students to compare a range of developments across these countries.
WORK6026 Organisational Change and Development

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1x 3 hour seminar/tutorial per week Assessment: assignment 1 (35%), assignment 2 (15%), presentation (10%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit seeks to develop diagnostic and prescriptive skills in relation to the management of organisational change while also encouraging the adoption of a critical perspective of the field. Part 1 (Organisational Change and the Nature of Organisations) introduces the fields of organisational change, explains its relevance to organisation performance and strategy and examines key change management models. Part 2 (Diagnosis and Intervention) examines the utility of key organisational change models and techniques and identifies factors that may impact on the effectiveness of the change management process. Part 3 (Key Areas of Intervention) analyses the application of organisational change practices and initiatives to a number of specific organisational issues.
WORK6030 Performance and Rewards

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Intensive Assessment: participation (10%), tests (20%), assignment (40%), final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit examines the processes and practices associated with contemporary performance and reward management. Results-based, behaviourally-based and competency-based methods of performance management are examined, along with processes of performance review, planning and developing. Coverage of reward management issues includes: job- and person-based approaches to building base pay structures; methods for rewarding individual performance; work group incentives such as gainsharing, goal-sharing and team pay; methods of rewarding employees for organisational performance, including employee share ownership; and performance-related rewards for executives. The unit also examines approaches to developing strategically integrated performance and reward management systems.
WORK6033 Organisational Sustainability

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Intensive Assessment: tests (30%), assignment (30%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Organisational sustainability is a critical part of contemporary managerial practice, focusing on organisations' economical, social and environmental impact. This unit critically evaluates the intentions, practices and outcomes of organisational sustainability initiatives. By applying relevant theoretical frameworks, students are encouraged to enhance their understanding of the role and responsibilities of management, the impact of organisations on employees, and the wider societal and environmental implications of contemporary organisational trends. With an emphasis on the human dimensions of organisational actions, this unit builds on foundational units of study in Management, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.
WORK6108 International Dimensions of HRM

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Intensive Assessment: assignment 1 (40%), assignment 2 (25%), final exam (35%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit considers the opportunities and challenges associated with managing people in international and cross-cultural contexts, with specific emphasis on international recruitment, selection, preparation, placement, management development, performance management, reward and remuneration. The unit considers the implications of internationalisation and globalisation for human resource management (HRM), the different levels of international business activity, the difference between domestic and international HRM, the challenges of cross-cultural management, models of cross-cultural management, and specific international HR processes, including selection, development, performance management, remuneration and repatriation. The unit provides students with a practical understanding of the issues and challenges associated with managing employees in international, global and cross-cultural contexts.
WORK6115 Managing Diversity at Work

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: intensive: 6 days, 9am - 5pm Assessment: facilitation (15%), assignment 1 (10%), assignment 2 (30%), participation (5%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit examines the ways in which organisations manage a heterogeneous workforce and the legal and ethical issues associated with the management of workforce diversity. While drawing on international literature in the field, the primary focus is on the Australian experience, including the so-called 'program' approach and the complaint mechanism found in the anti-discrimination statutes. As well as encouraging the development of diagnostic and prescriptive skills in diversity management, students also have the opportunity to develop a critical perspective on the growing literature in this field.
WORK6118 Managing Communication in Organisations

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 1 x 1hr lecture and 1 x 2hr seminar per week Assessment: assignment 1 (35%), assignment 2 (15%), presentation (10%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
In this unit students learn theories of communication and how they apply within organisations, at an organisational, team and individual level. In the unit we review the concept of communication through different theoretical and philosophical lenses, so that students gain an understanding of how different perspectives provide different insights into communication within organisations. The unit also examines communication processes and how communication occurs between individuals and within groups. There is also a focus on communication challenges such as technology, diversity and globalisation. The unit incorporates practical exercises and case studies to enable students to evaluate their own communication practices and to apply the knowledge and understanding they gain from the unit to their own organisations and careers.
WORK6120 Research Essay

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: Supervision Assessment: research essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Semester 1,Semester 2
Note: Available only to students who have achieved 75% or better in at least four WORK (or equivalent) units studied; and have the Discipline's permission to take the unit.
This unit provides high-performing students with the opportunity to undertake supervised reading and research for a major essay of 5,000 words on an approved topic of special interest in work and organisational studies. The unit centres on supervised individual reading and research rather than on class-based teaching and learning. Enrolment is limited to students who (a) have achieved 75% or better in at least four WORK (or equivalent) units studied; and (b) have the Discipline's permission to do so. Approval is subject to supervisor availability. Students contemplating enrolment in this unit must first seek approval from the Work and Organisational Studies Postgraduate Coursework Coordinator. Approval will depend on the nature of the proposed essay topic and the availability of appropriate supervisory expertise.
WORK6130 Leadership in Organisations

Credit points: 6 Session: Classes: 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Assessment: presentation (30%), assignment (30%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit is designed to encourage students to consider the role and significance of leadership in various organisational contexts. The unit introduces the major streams of leadership theory and traces the development of our understanding about leadership. The unit explores how these theories allow us to understand leadership in practice and in what ways leadership is linked to different aspects of organisational effectiveness. It then examines the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' sides of leadership, e.g. positive forms (transformational, charismatic) and negative forms (narcissistic and Machiavellian). The unit explores leading for diversity and diversity in leadership (e.g. based on gender, culture and ethnicity) and the role of leaders in constituting ethical and socially responsible organisations. The critical role of leaders in effecting organisational change is explored and the leadership of top management teams, and leadership succession is examined. The unit also examines leadership development programs and instruments and students have an opportunity to reflect on factors that might influence their own leadership style.