BA(HONS) HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Lincoln Business School
Programme Specification for 2008 Entry
BA(HONS) HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC
School Lincoln Business School
Campus Brayford Pool, Lincoln
UCAS Code NP62
Entry Requirements 240 UCAS points (see below)
Duration 3 or 4 Years
The BA(Hons) Human Resource Management and Public Relations is designed to provide a unique
vocational experience for those whose main career aspiration is to enter Human Resource Management or
Public Relations. This is a three or four year degree programme which provides the opportunity for
undergraduates to gain a range of contemporary business skills and knowledge which can be employed
within a variety of business contexts. The programme addresses the needs of those seeking employment in
both small and medium sized organisations as well as those wishing to work for multinational businesses.
As Human Resource Management and Public Relations is a very varied programme so too are our students.
Our students have a wide range of interests, experiences and educational history. We have students with
strong Arts, Humanities and Social Science profiles studying alongside students with particular Scientific,
Business and Technical interests.
The learning environment is lively and stimulating and will challenge and develop thinking. The majority of
tutors are ex-practioners and actively engage with their professional bodies in order to keep up to date. Our
approach to Human Resource Management and Public Relations covers the technical and reflective skills
necessary to operate within a changing business environment. In this way the programme aims to ensure
that students will be more employable and have a deeper comprehension of the changing and dynamic
nature of the realities of the work place.
Studies will be organised around the core subject areas of Human Resource Management, organisational
behaviour, learning and development, contemporary issues for Human Resource Management, Public
Relations, buyer behaviour, strategic corporate Public Relations, crisis management counselling. As the
students progress through the years they will be asked to link these subjects in an integrated and systematic
WHAT YOU STUDY
Certificate (Level Business Planning and Contemporary Analysis of Organisational Behaviour: Introduction to Human
1) Forecasting the Firm Evolving Perspectives of Resource Management
Introduction to Public Principles of Marketing Organisational Behaviour: Financial
Relations Management Context Communications
Diploma (Level 2) Managing Public Public Relations for People Management and The Contemporary
Relations Marketing Support Development Employment Relationship
Optional Work Placement
Higher Strategic Corporate Values, Issues and Crisis Learning and Contemporary issues in
(Level 3) Public Relations Management Counselling Development Human Resource
Business Planning and Forecasting
This module introduces some quantitative techniques which are fundamental to analysis, planning and
forecasting in business. It promotes a critical awareness and understanding of some of the processes,
techniques and technology by which numerical information can be collected and communicated.
In addition to ensuring that students are competent in a number of vocationally relevant numerical skills, it
anticipates the requirements of later units that involve the communication and analysis of numerical
Students practise the systematic use of appropriate industry-standard computer technology for the
acquisition, analysis and presentation of data (for example, Excel or SPSS). Students are expected to
develop these skills independently rather than in a class-contact situation.
Contemporary Analysis of the Firm
This module aims to provide an analysis of business with an combination of microeconomic theory and
current business examples. In this way, it is hoped that the programme will provide a firm theoretical
underpinning to pressing business issues in a way which both interesting and contemporary. This module
introduces students to a range of microeconomic concepts and basic analytical techniques needed in the
later years of their award programmes. The focus of the unit is the Financial Times (FT). The FT covers
issues relating to operations management, accounting, HRM, economics, finance etc., all of which are
relevant this degree. It has the additional benefit of encouraging students to keep abreast of current events
in the commercial environment so maintaining a contemporary feel to the unit. Moreover, it provides ideas
about labour markets and job opportunities in the commercial world.
Organisational Behaviour: Evolving Perspectives of Management
It is suggested that organisational structure affects human behaviour in organisations and that strategy,
structure and culture are closely related, although rarely considered together.
To set contemporary management behaviour in context, an understanding of the evolution of management
theory is necessary, together with a consideration of organisational structure. Accordingly, a number of
competing and contrasting perspectives of past and present thinking on management are explored, together
with an acknowledgement that some approaches are complementary, whilst others are in conflict and
recognition that ‘new’ management thinking and methods may simply be repackaged familiar, old ideas.
The term ‘organisational behaviour’ relates to the activities and interactions of people in organisations.
Organisational behaviour has been defined as the “inter-disciplinary body of knowledge and field of research,
concerned with how formal organisations, behaviour of people within organisations and salient features of
their context and environment, evolve and take shape, why all these things happen the way they do and
what purposes they serve”. In considering the changing and evolving roles of management and managers,
the module acknowledges that the study of organisational behaviour is multi-disciplinary and draws in
particular from psychology, social psychology, sociology, economics and political science.
Introduction to Human Resource Management
This module recognises the importance of an organisation’s human assets to its success and asserts that
the human element of an organisation is the most important resource of all. Whilst introducing the student to
the various functional aspects of human resource management, the module will draw on related theories
drawn from organisational behaviour, psychology, sociology and culture. In addition, the student will be
sensitised to the different ways in which historical, political and economic events have influenced the
development of the field of human resource management in the United Kingdom.
This module aims to introduce the student to some of the core functions of human resource management.
Emphasis will be put on the links between the different functional areas of human resource management and
the overall organisational and corporate strategies. Participants on this module will also be introduced to
various aspects of legislation covering the management of people within work organisations.
Introduction to Public Relations
The module provides a broad introduction to corporate public relations (PR), including the way modern PR is
an important component of corporate life, in particular assurance of an organisation’s reputation. It is
designed for students with no previous experience or clear idea about public relations and the professional
activities of practitioners.
There are two main areas of study:
1. The context of PR will give students the necessary theoretical background to PR by considering both
communication models and professional public relations activities.
2. The practice of public relations to meet objectives giving students the opportunity to apply both the
concepts and practical aspects of PR to a campaign.
Principles of Marketing
This module is designed to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of marketing. We aim to
familiarise students with the key concepts and issues of marketing, giving them a thorough grasp of the sort
of marketing decisions there are to be made and what factors affect them. To start with, learning will be fairly
directive - e.g. compulsory reading, and tutor led seminar discussion. Progressively students will be required
to become more independent in their work by making their own reading selections and actively presenting
during seminars. Students will also experience two different assessment types: individual essay writing and a
group presentation. In addition to the course contents, this training will help students become better prepared
for some of the other modules they take in the future.
Organisational Behaviour: Management Context
It is acknowledged that groups and teams have the ability to affect the perceptions, performance and
attitudes of its individual members. Whilst Mayo’s research recognised the positive elements of groups in the
workplace, there are also undoubtedly negative aspects attached to groupwork. This module focuses on the
impact of group dynamics on the individual, the impact of personality when working with others, and
considers the impact of both group dynamics and personality on the workplace from a management
perspective. In order that managers and management may understand, explain and predict individual and
group behaviour, the concept of personality is discussed. Defined as “the psychological qualities that
influence an individual’s characteristic behaviour patterns in a stable and distinctive manner”, the module
considers personality from various perspectives.
The module seeks to consider the impact of groups on individual behaviour, whilst observing the impact of
individual personalities. Utilising a range of appropriate resources, including videos, the lecture programme
introduces theories and models relating to group work, going on to consider the ‘nature/nurture debate’ of the
1960s and 1970s, and the biological and genetic thinking apparent since the 1990s. The extent to which
students already perceive themselves as managers is explored, whilst simultaneously offering an opportunity
for enhancing skills in ‘managing’. To facilitate this, there is an exploration of ‘organisational behaviour’ with
a focus on ‘here and now’ group processes.
Students are encouraged to adopt a critical and analytical perspective to both the literature and their own
experiences. By focusing on the dynamics of the seminar group and the personalities of group members in
relation to their reading on behaviour, students are able to reflect on the social, political and functional nature
of ‘managing’ as it occurs. Thus management is presented as an everyday ‘hands on’ phenomenon,
occurring in groups. Seminar groups are regarded as an image of an organisation, thus providing an
immediate resource to relate to the literature and enabling the development of a sensitivity to the
complexities of organisational process.
The module works on the assumption that without an understanding of ‘self’, we cannot possibly understand
others and that in order to ‘manage’ we must make sense of the context/environment in which we find
ourselves. An exploration of self often requires the involvement of others. That involvement generates the
possibility of developing mutual understanding, insights into the perception of others and opportunity for
individual change, a prerequisite, we would suggest for evidence that learning has taken place.
This unit provides students with an understanding of the relevance of finance and accounting and some of
the current issues facing business people. It is not an introduction to the technical side of accounting, rather
it gives the non-specialist the ability to understand and comment upon issues which will arise for all of those
wishing to pursue a business career.
Because most organisations spend a considerable amount of time and money producing ‘Financial
Communications’ the unit examines the underlying reasons behind this behaviour and the extent to which
these communications achieve their objectives.
Managing Public Relations
This unit will look at Public Relations and how it works as a business in its own right, together with how it
works as a function of other businesses. Like any other business or business function, PR must be
managed if it is to achieve what it sets out to do; Managing Public Relations takes students' existing basic
knowledge of PR and raises it to embrace the fundamentals of day-to-day business management in order to
provide students with a clear image of the establishment, structure and style of a PR consultancy, linked to
the professional processes that go on within the business.
This will include considering the practical steps that are taken to set up and run a small consultancy, from the
financial planning required to calculate break-even points and hourly rates; to hiring, motivating, and
managing the right staff; to identifying, winning, and retaining clients, and looking at the different categories
of work that may come from those clients.
As well as the world of PR consultancies, this unit will consider and discuss the role of PR within an
organisation, considering the similarities and differences between the structure and performance of
consultancy and in-house PR resources.
Public Relations for Marketing Support
The nub of this module is the role of public relations within an integrated marketing communication campaign
plan (communication tools and media choices). It develops students' understanding of communication
models to apply appropriate coding of messages and use of appropriate communication tools. It will also
include a knowledge, application and evaluation of specific public relations marketing techniques such as
developing relationships with the media, sponsorship, events and stunts, blogging etc. These are realised in
practice through the application of public relations techniques within a marketing communication campaign
plan. In evaluating that also requires a consideration of the tools in the communications mix and exploration
of their strengths and weaknesses
Through completion of the module students will be able to plan and evaluate the contribution of marketing
public relations within an integrated marketing communications campaign strategy and develop their skills in
presenting and defending their ideas within a realistic context.
People Management and Development
This module covers the knowledge and understanding deemed to be essential for all practitioners in the
personnel and training profession. The content covers the key elements of personnel and development in the
generic areas of resourcing, development, relations and reward.
The module aims to provide sufficient knowledge and understanding for the personnel and development
specialist to be able to give informed advice and solutions at work place level, to be able to contribute to
improvements in organisational performance and undertake basic human resources processes across the
Change management is seen as a core issue in the module, not as a stand-alone topic but as it can be
applied in each subject area. There is also awareness that throughout we should be looking at developing
the ‘thinking performer’.
The Contemporary Employment Relationship
The dominant ethos of this degree programme is to provide students with a sound grasp of the functional
approaches and practices to human resource management. This unit provides students with the opportunity
explore the functional values, duties and practices that underpin this core aspect of contemporary
management in greater detail. More specifically, students will investigate normative account of the
contemporary employment relationship as point of departure for critical and reflective investigation and
appraisal. In this context, students will be encouraged to move beyond the safe operating mode represented
in CIPD and other professional discourses and in so doing, develop a more extensive understanding of the
nature of employment relationships and insight into the processes through which human resource
management norm enable/disable professional practice.
Increasing standards of living and wealth in western society has resulted in more of the working population
earning their living from providing services. More of our income is spent on services rather than
manufactured goods and will continue to be so. Traditional marketing and marketing units tend to be product
based rather than reflecting the importance of the consumption of services and the implications. A wide
range of services will be used with particular emphasis on the smaller service providers.
Strategic Corporate Public Relations
The focus of this module is on how organisations and other corporate entities can use public relations to
enhance and maintain corporate reputation, and to defend reputation when it may be under attack in this
often fiercely competitive environment.
Three key audiences will be examined:
Internal audiences: Employee Relations is an important element in an organisation’s communications matrix
- although perhaps traditionally the domain of human resources and personnel departments. Internal Public
Relations involves more than employee communications and is an essential aspect of most (perhaps even
all) Public Relations programmes. In particular students will consider ethical aspects of Internal Public
Relations and distinguish the role of Internal Public Relations from that of related fields such as Human
Resource Management and internal publicity. Students will also study areas including organisational
behaviour, company culture, and management and leadership styles so as to inform their understanding of
various constraints or influences on their actions.
Financial/city/investor audiences: Central to strategic corporate PR is financial public relations: Lord
Chadlington (Peter Gummer) claims that: “Financial public relations has done more for the respectability of
PR in general and the PR practitioner in particular than any other single factor.” Financial public relations is
arguably the flagship activity of corporate PR, and as such is an essential component in the study of public
Business and government: Developed market economies have highly developed systems of interest
representation in which groups of all kinds seek to influence the formation of public policy. Business is one
of the most significant and powerful of the many groups that engage in lobbying in the defence and
promotion of their interests. However, the benefits are not all one way. Advantages accrue to government
from the relationship. The information obtained from business helps in the formulation of policy. By
consulting interests, policy is made 'legitimate'.
Values, Issues and Crisis Management Counselling
Public relations as a business activity is concerned with winning trust and building relationships with relevant
audiences, constituencies and publics. Public relations is concerned with how organisations are perceived
and their reputations with key audiences.
During the first semester the module develops in depth aspects of public relations students may have met at
an introductory level earlier in the degree. Students will evaluate several approaches to the determination of
ethical principles and consider the application of these to potential ethical problem cases in the practice of
public relations and in relation to the ethical codes of a number of public relations professional bodies. For
example, the use of front organisations, astroturfing and greenwashing.
The debate will be widened to include consideration of the relationship between public relations and
propaganda and the role of public relations in the exercise of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In
particular in the debate whether CSR should be regarded simply as an aid to organisational image
management or whether corporate reputation assurance requires that public relations plays a more active
role in the determination of corporate strategy.
In the second semester the focus will be sharpened specifically on the relationship between organisations
and issues with a potential for entering the public policy agenda. The management of issues is something
that is of vital concern to the whole management of an organisation. However, within the management team
effort public relations has a unique contribution to make in terms if the early identification of potential issues
and counselling the organisation at the highest level on managing communications and relationships aspects
of the issue. In particular students will consider the concept of moral panic, the role played by the media in
promulgating it and evaluating public relations strategies for managing the problem.
The study of issues leads students into the study of the public relations implications of crises that seriously
threaten an organisation. Some crises are the result of mismanaged issues but others are not, such as the
aftermath of a natural disaster. Again, the contribution of public relations is to the work of a management
team reporting to the highest level. Successful crisis management enables the PR practitioner to establish
their value to the organisation at the highest level. On a personal level it has the potential make or break
Learning and Development
Over the last decade, there has been a gradual shift in the techniques and language used to describe the
steps taken by employers to help employees perform their jobs more effectively. Until the closing years of the
last century, ‘training’ would have been the word most frequently employed, whether to describe a job
(‘training manager’) or a development technique (which would probably have been a classroom-based
event). Now ‘learning’, often linked with ‘development’, is the key term.
CIPD’s definition of learning is ‘a self-directed, work-based process leading to increased adaptive capacity’;
in other words, an environment where individuals ‘learn to learn’ and possess the capabilities that enable
them to do so to help their employers to build and retain competitive advantage. Various authors have
somewhat different definitions, but what they all have in common is that they link the enhancement of the
performance of individuals with that of organisations.
Recent CIPD research has demonstrated that, in our rapidly changing and increasingly knowledge-based
economy, competitive advantage is built where individuals actively seek to acquire the knowledge and skills
that promote the organisation’s objectives. Organisations are learning environments, and employment in
them is (or should be) a continuous learning experience. Of course learning takes place all the time, through
experience, though not all such learning is positive. The point about organisational learning and development
is that it should be structured, to enhance benefits for individuals and their employers.
This module aims to equip students with the academic knowledge, critical understanding and the reflective
practitioner skills to be able to make a professional contribution to learning and development in a range of
Contemporary Issues in Human Resources
This module provides an opportunity to draw on current research and professional practice into human
resource management and development. The topics/issues/research under consideration may vary year on
year but at the heart of our concerns is a desire to draw upon earlier studies in order to consider the
implications that contemporary human resource management and development theories hold for
practitioners. In this context, the limitations of traditional approaches to human resource management
practice will be explored and critiqued. Students will apply their learning to emergent business issues,
practices and challenges.
HOW YOU STUDY
Students are encouraged to develop independence in their thinking and managing their own time within a
framework of direction and support offered by teaching staff. Throughout the course, students are sensitised
to issues of codes of professional conduct and ethical behaviour.
Most modules include some lectures. These are designed to inspire and motivate students, introduce them
to particular topics and give an overview of current issues and debates within the discipline. Some are given
by visiting practitioners who provide ‘live’ case material and offer students industry contacts and careers
advice. In addition to tutor-directed seminars, students are encouraged to form their own learning and
Our approach is one of collaboration between staff and students. Emphasis is put on using the student group
as a resource for learning. In seminars, which typically involve numbers of fewer than 20, students are able
to articulate their own thoughts and clarify ideas through discussion with others. A variety of learning
methods used including in-class group exercises, discussions, presentations, evaluation of sample material,
and case study analysis. Student participation is encouraged from the start and set as the norm for the rest
of the course. Students are expected to prepare prescribed material for seminars as well as generally keep
abreast of current developments in their discipline.
HOW YOU ARE ASSESSED
Assessments are designed to address the intended learning outcomes of individual modules, and reflect
progression through the various levels of the programmes. A range of assessment methods are used to give
students a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Assessments become increasingly
demanding in their content and complexity as the programmes progress. Assignments are used to allow
students to manage their own time, develop their research and analytical skills, and explore subjects in
greater depth. They take a range of forms including essays, reports, and oral presentations prepared
individually and in groups. All modules include the opportunity for formative feedback to aid learning and
prepare students for submission of summative assessments. Examinations are also used where
The aim of all the programmes in the Business School is to produce independent, enquiring, knowledgeable
graduates who enjoy learning, are enterprising, employable, self-aware, able to take career and other
opportunities in life, and able to make a positive contribution to society.
All courses run by Lincoln Business School offer students work placement opportunities. These fall within
two broad categories:
• A short placement of up to 12 weeks. This is designed to fit in the break between the second and final
years of the degree programme. Typically this period will be funded by devices such as the Shell STEP
• A full year (academic year) of work placement, funded by full-time paid employment. This is designed to
last between 40 and 46 weeks.
Each student’s experience will include one of these types, and preferably also other work experience such
as relevant casual work, voluntary or social enterprise activity or leadership within student clubs and
Our graduates do mainly pursue careers in Human Resource Management, though some do opt for more
generalist management roles. Our graduates find their skills required in the public sector with Local
Government, NHS and Police services requiring trainee general managers and key workers or within the
private sector, including retail.
Lincoln Business School is based on the Brayford Pool Campus in Lincoln, at the heart of the City Centre
and very close to the student accommodation. The buildings and facilities are modern and technologically
advanced, and students will be able to make the most of the fully-equipped library and modern virtual
You need 240 UCAS points across at least two full A-Levels (or equivalent) to gain entry onto this course.
You will also need at least five GCSE’s Grade A-C which must include English and Maths.
We encourage applications from mature students and we will give special individual consideration to you if
you are in this category and do not have the standard entry requirements.
Students whose first language is not English will also need British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or
APPLYING FOR THIS COURSE
Is This The Right Course For Me?
A joint degree in Human Resource Management (HRM) and Public Relations will provide you with the
particular knowledge, skills and expertise to advise and guide front line managers on all aspects of managing
people, public relations and other important resources in the wider business context. It will help you develop
a critical approach to learning which will give you the ability and confidence needed for a successful career.
This blend of subjects ensures that the graduate is particularly marketable to employers, as the expertise
spans more than a single discipline. For the individual, it means that the range of graduate job opportunities
is far greater and this allows for wider career choices.
What skills do I need to join this course?
No specific skills are needed other than the genuine interest in the subject areas and a determination to
develop work disciplines and excellent study habits.
What will I gain from this course?
This programme has strong vocational elements, and aims to build both the knowledge and skills that are
attractive to employers. The programme particularly encourages:-
Effective problem solving techniques; the ability to analyse situations; a toolkit of theory and practice; the
capacity to learn and work in both individual and team settings; a reflective and self analytical approach to
personal development; and a commitment to continuing professional development.
What do we look for in your application?
Many of the staff on this programme are members of their appropriate professional bodies and experienced
practitioners within their field. We expect all students to reach professional standards of knowledge and
At the outset, we seek applicants with a sense of curiosity and endeavour, a commitment to develop study
and work skills, and the determination to succeed.
We welcome mature applicants from non traditional study or educational backgrounds, and encourage
applications from all sections of the community.
Lincoln Business School
Address: Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS
Telephone: 01522 837300 Fax: 01522 886032
Email: LBS@lincoln.ac.uk Website: www.lincoln.ac.uk
Information contained in this programme specification document, including units and unit descriptions, entry requirements and
assessment methods, is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information please visit www.lincoln.ac.uk.