University of Technology Sydney

21889 Future of Work

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject explores contemporary issues and emerging trends that have an impact on the future of work, organisations and society. It supports students to develop their sociological imagination and critically analyse how their personal experiences reveal insights about organisational practice. The subject draws on historical and futurist scholarship to examine the genealogy of emerging work trends, while considering the institutional and grassroots movements that have attempted to shape the future of work. Students undertake a research project that connects the analysis of work and organisations with society, culture and the self through which they have the opportunity to reflect on what they would like to change in the future of work.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Evaluate the importance of current developments in technology, culture and society for the practice of human resource management
2. Critically analyse emerging human resource management issues with consideration of contextual factors
3. Assess the depth and rigour of organisational research and the implications of being an ethical ‘practitioner-researcher’
4. Develop plans for future of work trends grounded in critical reflections of past and emerging practices

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject aligns with the Graduate Attributes of intellectual rigour and innovative problem solving, and professional and technical competence. Students will critically interrogate future of work issues that align with scholarly, political and practitioner interests. The subject comprises three points of focus: theory; methodology and criticality. The theory focus provides foundational interdisciplinary knowledge of work and organisations, including a genealogy of emerging work trends. The methodology focus offers participants the opportunity to apply reflexive analysis to personal and professional experiences at work. Finally, the criticality focus draws together the reflexive application of theory to consider ways that the future of work may be understood and transformed.

This subject contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objective(s) for the Master of Human Resource Management courses:

  • Apply critical thinking and advanced analytical skills to develop creative solutions that respond to community, Indigenous and business needs within a human resource context (1.1)
  • Interact with colleagues and stakeholders to work effectively in teams and deliver agreed project outcomes within a human resource management context (2.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject draws on critical pedagogical principles and comprises a number of teaching and learning strategies intended to promote analytical, reflexive and critical thinking as well as collaboration and communication skills. The strategies have been designed to promote independent learning and facilitate students’ development as lifelong learners. Students will gain foundational knowledge via the lectures and tutorials and apply this knowledge and develop their skills via assessments and self-directed research.

Preparation before class: Students are expected to have read and reflected on the required readings and/or short videos before class each week to make the most of the class activities and discussions. Students are encouraged to keep reflective records of their learning by noting what they have learnt and what remains unclear. This record enables students to better contribute their knowledge to class activities and discussions, while guiding them on the areas that require further reading, research and guidance from academics.

During class: In-class content is designed to build on your preparatory readings before class; extending or even problematising mainstream theories and practices with critical contemporary evidence. Face-to-face classes will incorporate active and collaborative learning strategies including a variety of group activities.

After class: Quizzes will test knowledge from lectures and readings. The quizzes along with interactive sessions in class will offer formative feedback and provide opportunities for students to check their progress on the subject objectives with lecturers/tutors.

Online activities: In certain topics, students will need to complete online activities on Canvas. This will typically include videos and/or readings followed by a quiz or writing task.

An aim of this subject is to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills to succeed at university and in the workplace. During the course of this subject, you will complete a milestone assessment task that will, in addition to assessing your subject-specific learning objectives, assess your English language proficiency.

Content (topics)

  • History and philosophy of human resource management
  • Emerging issues in human resource management
  • Ethical considerations in the future of work
  • Research methodologies to investigate the future of work, organisations and society


Assessment task 1: Multiple-Choice Quizzes (Individual)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 20%
  • Understanding of diversity management theories and practices
  • Scope and depth of analysis of cases
  • Accuracy of response

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Assessment task 2: Reflective Exercises (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

Weight: 20%

1000 words

  • Link with relevant theories
  • Accurate and rigorous analysis

Assessment task 3: Research Project (30% for group presentation and 30% for individual written analysis)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 60%

30 minutes synchronous presentation - case analysis and slide deck, group debrief 1500 word individual 'write up' in report form

  • Reference to and use of relevant theories
  • Depth of critical analysis
  • Engagement with ethical principles
  • Vivid and evocative written analysis

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

A collection of contemporary articles, book sections and videos will be used in place of a textbook for this subject.