Learning environment

The approach to HR, management and organisational learning used on the MA is based on models of experiential/action learning. A wide range of methods are used, so as to enable participants to learn in different ways and to ensure that there is always a careful blend of theory and practice.

Typically, the teaching sessions involve inputs from staff or visiting speakers to introduce theories and concepts, interspersed with group work and research investigations. You are also expected to read extensively in the literature, as a way of exploring topics in more detail and identifying new areas of interest.

Debating ideas and sharing experience

A high level of discussion and interaction – both inside and outside the classroom – is a vital element of the programme. There is much emphasis on sharing ideas and professional experience. Sometimes you will be asked to present your findings, either individually or in small groups, to one another and to the tutor(s). The findings are then discussed and linked back to theory.

Themes, ideas and issues arising from one module are often related to other modules or may provide the basis for subsequent coursework assignments. This helps you to develop a well-rounded and integrated understanding of complex, multi-faceted issues.

Collaborative working in learning groups

Learning groups are a central element of the programme. They are used to support and encourage your learning, at an individual and a group level. Each group works together to help individual members to set and achieve their learning objectives and to support them in developing, producing and reviewing pieces of assessed work.

Learning groups comprise four to six participants and a tutor. They generally meet regularly during the taught element of the course, and every four to six weeks during the dissertation phase.

Self-managed learning and private study

The reading lists you will receive provide a starting point for exploration. However, you will be expected to manage your own learning – reading widely, using the internet and making extensive use of the University library resources, both print-based and online. 24-hour access to the School’s IT labs gives you flexibility to devise your own work schedules.

Reading weeks are scheduled each term to allow you extra time for private study. They also provide opportunity for students to organise additional activities – such as workshops or seminars on specific themes. These can either be run by members of the class or may perhaps draw on other departmental staff, Management School doctoral students or MA alumni.