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Unit information: People, Work and Organisations in 2021/22

Unit name People, Work and Organisations
Unit code EFIM20022
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Harry Pitts
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Unit Directors: Dr Harry Pitts and Dr Vanessa Beck

This unit aims to provide students with a grounding in classical and cutting-edge interdisciplinary social scientific theories of work and empirical developments in the study of how people and organisations relate. It will help students develop a strong set of critical analytical and conceptual frameworks and apply them to a series of contemporary issues in the organisation of work, labour markets and economic life. Critical social theories will be used as a means by which commonplace understandings of work can be unpicked and unpacked to better capture and represent the experience of changing workplaces and careers.

Applying different theoretical and conceptual frameworks in different empirical contexts, the unit focuses specifically on the varied range of forms and locations in which work takes place, including work inside and outside the home, the gig economy, health and social care, the digital economy, migrant labour, and unemployment as they are experienced in social-psychological terms across lines of class, ethnicity, age and gender.

By looking in-depth at what it is like to work and manage in a range of different professions, the unit will also provide students with more general intellectual, personal and technical skills that can be drawn upon in the development of their own future careers, including a glimpse into emergent sectors of business and employment, theoretically informed assessments of their own careers, and understanding of the practical implications of contemporary trends in employment for people, work and organisations that they will experience themselves in their post-university careers.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify how employees and employers are affected by and respond to the key trends and themes of the contemporary experience of work in a range of formal and informal workplaces.
  2. Evaluate and apply relevant critical and social theories of work, management and organisation to further the understanding of the underlying factors impacting upon the experience of contemporary work.
  3. Analyse and synthesise findings from key empirical studies informing the development of the study of working life so as to generate new knowledge and insights about the changing world of work.
  4. Enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills independently and in groups.
  5. Identify required employability skills as they are reflected in the work-based literature and gain an understanding of the implications for individual career development.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, tutorials, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities.

Assessment Information

Summative: 3000-word individual assignment - 100% Formative: Short individual writing assignments with feed forward


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIM20022).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.