Employment and relations (module) You must answer ONE of the following five questions: 1. In what ways is the employment relationship unique compared to a contract for goods or services? Drawing on topics from across the module, critically answer this question with reference to both theory and evidence. 2. Are changes in technology something to be welcomed or feared by workers? Critically answer this question with reference to both theory and evidence. 3. Labour market institutions are said to rebalance the inherent power inequalities in the employment relationship. To what extent do EITHER minimum wages OR trade unions (i.e., choose one of these) do this? Critically answer this question with reference to both theory and evidence. 4. Drawing upon appropriate theories and evidence, critically assess the extent to which the trend towards more ‘flexible work’ has been beneficial or detrimental to workers. 5. Evidence suggests certain social groups earn less on average than other social groups. Using the example of EITHER the gender pay gap, OR ethnic pay gaps, OR class pay gap (i.e., choose one of these three), critically assess why pay gaps emerge and how might compulsory pay gap reporting reduce these disparities. Assessment Criteria Essays should be thoroughly grounded in the literature, use appropriate theoretical concepts, provide illustrative examples where appropriate, and evidence of a well-constructed and argued piece of work. This assessment will be assessed on the extent to which the student is able to achieve the following learning outcomes: • Display knowledge and understanding of the content, scope, and limitations of the chosen topic; • Bring together and critically evaluate theoretical and critical perspectives on the chosen topic;1 • Integrate and reflect on in-Seminar learning and independent study and research into the coursework; • Formulate and communicate a well- structured, researched, and developed argument responding to the question, observing the academic standards of grammar, spelling, and referencing. N.B. Please use the Harvard system of citation and referencing Guidelines The word count for this assessment is no longer than 2,000 words. This does not include reference lists and bibliographies. There is no 10% tolerance for overly long essays. Marks may be deducted if you overshoot the word limit. Essays should be thoroughly grounded in the literature, use appropriate theoretical concepts, provide illustrative examples including comparative (where appropriate), and evidence of a well-constructed and argued piece of work. Do use the recommended reading – considerable time has been taken to compile these reading lists to enable you to produce high-quality work. Your essay will be assessed on how well you comply with the above and with the following points: • Provide a clear introduction. You should set out the nature and scope of the topic or question to be discussed and outline the terms of reference and parameters/boundaries/limitations of your discussion. In other words, the introduction to your essay should give the reader an initial understanding of what the discussion is about and what it will cover. • Provide evidence of research and reading. In the final year, you should be reading beyond standard textbooks, including making use of recent journal articles. This is a very important aspect of the coursework – if you simply regurgitate sections of textbooks or websites, you will not score highly on this criterion. You will also need to demonstrate that you have reflected on what you have read and that you have understood the main arguments/debates in the literature. Please make use of the readings on QMplus as well as additional relevant research conducted by yourself. • Substantiate propositions and arguments. You need to gather empirical evidence (from the literature and available data sources) and present theories where appropriate. Where relevant and appropriate, you should engage with alternative and competing perspectives so that you can demonstrate an ability to think critically and evaluate different arguments. Although your own reflections are important, these must be informed and supported with proper academic argument and evidence. • Provide a clear conclusion. This must summarise the key points and arguments made, but also draw conclusions about the topic you have discussed. • Reference all cited sources and provide a comprehensive bibliography in ‘Harvard style’. It is very important that you do not attempt to present the ideas of published or unpublished authors as your own. You must be careful to reference throughout the essay and not simply provide a bibliography at the end. Use page numbers for direct quotations. For Internet-only sources, please provide full weblink and date accessed.
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