Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
01 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N60012 Human Resource Management,
MSC N60024 Human Resource Management

Module description

This module introduces students to the importance for organisations of managing workforce diversity and equity. While this importance is extensively discussed in practitioner and academic communities there remains a gap between equalities policy and its effective implementation in the contemporary work(place).

This module provides you with an opportunity to reflect on the ideas, debates and concepts underpinning the development of different policies and practices shaping the management of equality, diversity and inclusion. We will encourage you to critically engage with theory and practice in exploring the organisational processes and contexts which both produce and reinforce inequalities of outcome among diverse social groups. Reflecting on the tools at our disposal to monitor those outcomes, and improve them, we will consider our ethical responsibility to do so. The module will provide insights in the role of HRM practitioners and other organisational actors in managing equality, diversity and inclusion; and the need for relentless effort in order to make a difference.

Module aims

The aims of this module are to explore:

  • The changing social, economic, political and cultural context of equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • Theoretical and conceptual debates underpinning different approaches to the management of equality, diversity and inclusion at work.

  • The nature of informal and formal processes in organisations and wider labour markets which influence the provision and effectiveness of equality, diversity and inclusion policy initiatives.

  • The role of HRM policy and practice, and of relevant legislation, in shaping the experience and management of equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • Recent changes in the practice of equality including the influence of social movements on staff network activism and how changing work spaces may pose both opportunities and challenges for equality.

  • Academic research and case study material focusing on lived experiences of equality, diversity and discrimination in contemporary work organizations and labour markets.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Consider appropriate strategies and structures for overcoming discrimination and inequalities embedded in the informal and formal processes that imbue employment and workplaces, including the role of legislation.

  2. Act ethically and professionally with a demonstrated commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity in workforce development and to continuous personal and professional development.

  3. Have an ability to analyse and evaluate the role of HRM policy and practice in shaping the experience and management of equality, diversity and inclusion.

  4. Have a critical awareness of relevant philosophical, theoretical and conceptual debates underpinning different approaches to the management of equality and diversity at work.

  5. Build an understanding of effective evidence-based practice in the management of equality, diversity and inclusion and its potential to support efforts to foster positive organisational cultures.

  6. Have an informed and reflexive appreciation of lived experiences of equality, diversity and discrimination and the role of management in helping to shape those experiences.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

  1. Self-evaluation: students will be encouraged to develop their reflexivity by keeping a weekly Learning Journal. They will develop their critical thinking and written communication by reflecting on their experiences in a diverse learning setting and relating their learning experiences to theories and concepts studied throughout the module.

  2. Provide a critical analysis of approaches to management, organisation and employment from the perspectives of disadvantaged groups.

  3. Develop your capacity for reflexive critical engagement and collaborative analysis of key issues through development of a group presentation.

  4. Foster your commercial and social awareness through discussion of contemporary case studies engaging with current issues in the management of equality and diversity.

  5. Develop your research skills, critical thinking and ability to evaluate evidence by producing an in-depth case study that draws on your module learning.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • 3-hour weekly sessions consisting of interactive workshops.

Beginning with a lecture style overview of the aims and focus of the session, followed by a case-study analysis and interactive group discussion, these are intended to culminate in a sharing of ideas and insights. This format is seeks to: (a) facilitate intellectual exchange and discussion, encouraging the development of a critical, reflexive approach to understanding and managing equality and diversity, (b) help you to prepare for your assessment, and (c) encourage the development of transferable skills.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   1,000 words Developmental Essay   28/02/2024  20% 
Coursework   3,000 words Case study essay  02/05/2024  60% 
Practical   Group Report  20/03/2024  20% 

Additional coursework information

Coursework 100%
Coursework Submission Requirements:

The developmental essay should be 1000 words.
The group report should be 1200 words.
The case study assignment should be 3,000 words in length. It should be word-processed, double spaced, and written in an appropriate academic style.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Maria Hudson, email:
Dr Maria Hudson



External examiner

Dr Sheena Vachhani
University of Bristol
Reader (Associate Professor) in Work and Organization Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 15 hours, 15 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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