The Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work launched the Masters Programme in Human Resource Development in 1995 in order to provide an integrated training programme which combined traditional HR functions with a wider emphasis on training, group dynamics, organisational dynamics and research skills. This innovative programme was built upon the traditional strengths of the department in teaching sociology, psychology and sociological psychology. These foundations are still to be seen at the core of the programme that pays close attention to the interpersonal and group processes at the dyad, small group and organisational levels along with the theories of training, adult education, learning and development, as well as the traditional human resource management functions and the principles of strategic management. These have been blended into an amalgam of theory and practice in a scientist-practitioner model of education that prepares students to contribute to their organisations’ long-term as well as immediate development.
The programme also capitalises upon the opportunities that present themselves to develop students through the augmentation of the core programme with several workshops. Many of these were initiated in response to the gaps perceived in the students’ readiness for the competitive environment in the workplace. Others were prepared in answer to the employee challenges posed by our stakeholder groups. The result is a programme that has been pronounced, publicly, the best HR programme in the Caribbean by some members of the University Council of Jamaica. To date, the MSc. HRD programme has graduated over 360 students from its first 10 cohorts and now has 74 persons at various stages of completion.
The programme was designed and coordinated by Patricia Anderson and Don Robotham and is currently coordinated by a team comprising Pat Anderson, Clement Branche,Olivene Thomas and Disraeli Hutton. The HRD Lecturers and professionals who contributed to the design of courses and who also taught in the programme from its inception included Grace Martin-Hall, Disraeli Hutton, Neville Ying, Don Robotham and Clement Branche.