Global Development Institute Blog

Students on our  MSc Human Resource Management Enhancement Programme (HRMEP), recently took part in a residential visit to Bristol, Bath, Salisbury, Birmingham and Ironbridge.

The MSc HRMEP has developed over seven years, with support from Heads of School and Faculty, to offer closer student engagement with a wide range of organisational contexts in the field of HR practice, with a focus on the professional, cultural and social dimensions of student’s experience. HRMEP aims to equip learners with a robust theoretical framework in human resource management and at the same time to provide students with an opportunity to gain insights into practice-focused human resource practices across a wide range of management contexts and sectors.

Working together with organisations in different sectors and contexts, students had the  opportunity to talk to colleagues in practice, to explore historical and cultural contexts and management strategy of different organisations. Feedback from students shows the positive and valuable impact of this residential visit, especially on the human resource management and strategic management in workplace, especially in the context of the  Covid-19 pandemic.

The communication with our students also has impact on our hosts to enhance their reflection on their work. Sally Cordwell, the CEO of Aerospace Museum has given us feedback that, ‘Thank you so much for bringing your group of students to the museum. I hope you all enjoyed it and found the trip useful. I really enjoyed speaking to everyone and being able to share the details of the charity, the students gave me lots to think about!’Group of students in a lecture room

We’d like to thank our hosts, including Sally Cordwell, the CEO of Aerospace Museum and Kamila Chorazy, the Booking and Administration Officer of the Aerospace Museum in Bristol, Sophie Thomas, the Education Visits Officer of English Heritage in Stonehenge, Kate Saykouk, the Bookings and Visitor Experience Manager of Salisbury Cathedral, Georgina Haynes, the Blue Badge Guide Team of Salisbury City Council and Colin Pitt and colleagues in the Education Team of Cadbury World in Birmingham.

Students of the MSc HRM (ID) Programme reflected on their learning experience of the residential visits.

Feedback to the Aerospace Museum

This visit to Aerospace Museum and the presentation delivered by the CEO of the organisation  impressed upon me the application and function of self-motivation in a practical context. As a HR practitioner, I understand that I need to motivate people based on their needs and specific situations. In the future, I will try to understand the importance of organisational contexts when analysing HRM issues from different perspectives. Also, the comparison in different organisational contexts can improve my learning on theories. To conclude, the visit not only helped me understand relevant HR issues, but also enhanced my reflective thinking in linking the specific contexts with relevant theories.


Feedback to the Stonehenge

The visit to the organisation was an eye-opening experience that provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of managing a cultural relics protection organisation. I was especially impressed by the presentation from the Education Group staff on introducing the English Heritage and providing an overview, vision and value, development history, and management of key stakeholders. From a HRM perspective, it was fascinating to see how the organisation uses external resources and engages with existing and new customers to continue to develop and improve its management practices.

The event was well-organised, and the people who presented to us were knowledgeable and passionate about their work. The setting at Stonehenge was awe-inspiring and added to our overall experience. The visit provided me valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of managing a heritage site and highlighted the significance of innovative management practices, customer engagement and external resources. It also emphasised on the importance of cultural context, which enhanced my learning and development in the field of HRM.Man in Cathedral

Feedback to the Salisbury Cathedral

For the visit to Salisbury, I was impressed with the organisation and professionalism, especially from our tour guide in the Salisbury Cathedral, David, who was incredible knowledge about the history of Salisbury. He provided great insights and  personalised our tour. I think one of the key point I’ve learned in the visit, which I can link with HRM, is the importance of communication, as it is very important for the success of Salisbury Cathedral. Clear communication between the local government, business leaders and residents is necessary to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders can be coordinated and that the city can continue to thrive. Also, the leadership is important to promote the growth of the city. Overall, thanks again to all the colleagues for the visit and presentations.

Two people at cadbury worldFeedback to the Cadbury World

The visit and presentations at Cadbury World were interesting as the staff used different data from market research to help us understand the customer demand and behaviour in the chocolate industry. They showed us good examples in practice of how to manage different targeted customers and to design a product strategy to attract customers in a competitive global market. They also demonstrated to us  important factors, which can influence the customers’ loyalty, such as the long-term renewal and seasonal development of products and healthier products. This was a wonderful visit, which increased my knowledge and understanding of branding management and strategy in a specific organisational context.

Many thanks, again to our colleagues Sally Cordwell, Kamila Chorazy in Bristol, Sophie Thomas in Stonehenge, Kate Saykouk in Salisbury Cathedral, Georgina Haynes in Salisbury City Council and Colin Pitt in Cadbury World in Birmingham.

We are very glad to have been able to work together with all of you  this year and the students are very lucky to have face-to-face communication with you. We look forward to further cooperation in the future.

Dr Lujia Feng, MSc HRM Residential Fieldwork Leader




Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.