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Unit of study_

WORK1003: Foundations of Work and Employment

This unit draws on concepts from industrial relations and human resource management to examine the interests and strategies of workers, unions, managers, employers and the state. It explores the relationships between these parties as they seek to manage their environments and workplaces and to exercise control over each other. The unit enables students to understand how and why the organisation, regulation and management of work are changing in Australia and globally. As well as providing an introduction to all aspects of the study of the employment relationship, this a foundation unit the industrial relations and human resource management and management majors.


Academic unit Work and Organisational Studies
Unit code WORK1003
Unit name Foundations of Work and Employment
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Alex Veen,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Final exam
Written exam
30% Formal exam period 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
In-semester test Mid-semester exam - online Canvas quiz
15% Mid-semester exam period 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7
Small continuous assessment group assignment Tutorial presentation
15% Multiple weeks 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Tutorial participation
Attendance and participation
10% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
Assignment Assignment
Written essay
30% Week 08
Due date: 21 Apr 2020 at 10:00

Closing date: 05 May 2020
1700 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Mid-semester exam - online Canvas quizThis online mid-semester exam quiz will be based on the online material, lectures, tutorials, and readings from the first half of the unit – details provided on Canvas.
  • Assignment: The essay question is designed to develop your critical, analytical, and research skills. Students will be asked to research and use quality scholarly sources from unit materials and library databases.
  • Tutorial participation: Students will be assessed on preparation, tolerance, respect, attendance, and participation. Students are requried to make a regular and informed contribution to class discussions.
  • Tutorial presentation: In the first tutorial class, students will be allocated to a small group for the purpose of an in-class presentation.
  • Final exam: Details about the mode of delivery and format of the final exam will be provided via Canvas. All aspects of the unit from weeks 1-13 are examinable.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 02 Employment relations and the changing context Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Employment relations theories and workplace conflict Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Writing convincing critical essays Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 The state (incl. regulatory framework) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Employers and employer associations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Reading week Individual study (3 hr)  
Week 08 Employees and unions Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Recruitment and selection Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Training and development Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Performance and reward management Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Contemporary challenges in work and employment Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 13 Conclusion and unit overview Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Lecture recordings: All lectures and seminars are recorded and will be available on Canvas for student use. Please note the Business School does not own the system and cannot guarantee that the system will operate or that every class will be recorded. Students should ensure they attend and participate in all classes.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Bray, Waring, Cooper and Macneil (2018). Employment Relations: Theory and Practice (4th edition), Sydney: McGraw-Hill Education (Australia) Pty Ltd.

You can purchase the text at the co-op bookshop or access an online version through the library:

Make sure to use the fourth edition and not an earlier version of the book.

Other readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. define and explain key terms in employment relations
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of approaches to employment relations in the Australian context and identify the strategies of the major institutional ‘parties’ in employment relations
  • LO3. explain the economic and political context in which employment relationships develop
  • LO4. explain current issues in employment relations, as reported in the media and in public policy debates, and their implications for managers, organisations, employees, and other employment relations parties
  • LO5. demonstrate the analytical skills and the ability to read and write in a critical and academically-appropriate fashion
  • LO6. work effectively as a part of a group to better understand the ‘world of work’
  • LO7. locate relevant and current reading, data, and research.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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