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Human Resource Management MSc


Oxford Brookes Business School

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to Advanced Diploma knowledge standards.

With our CIPD-accredited master's degree, graduates go on to successful international careers with a range of commercial, public sector and not-for-profit organisations.

On this MSc Human Resource Management course you will develop your career in the Human Resources profession, either as HR practitioner or consultant. This course is ideal if you want to embark on a HR career. You will build your professional HR knowledge whilst developing your core HR skills. This master's course has many popular features including skills development workshops and visits to organisations to examine their HR practice.

You may also be interested to have a look at our International Human Resource Management and International Management (Human Resource Management) courses. 

If you don't meet the entry requirements for our degrees, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take one of our pathway programmes.


Please come to our Postgraduate Open Day or Master's Online Information Session

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 12 months
  • Part time: 2 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Employability: Many of our modules, such as Developing Skills for Business Leadership, are designed to develop your practical competencies.You will go on regular visits to HR departments in local organisations such as BMW/Mini, the Ashmolean Museum and O2 Telefonica, so as to build your hands-on knowledge of what it is like to work in HR. We also emphasise developing your CV and interview skills through the support of our Careers Centre.
  • Professional networking: From the start of the course you will be members of the premier HR professional body, the Chartered Association of Personnel and Development. This means our students attend the Oxford CIPD monthly meetings, being briefed on the latest HR developments, finding out about local and global employers, and networking with HR people at all stages of their careers. We also host a number of such networking events with the local HR community here at Brookes.
  • Work experience: Brookes has strong relationships with local organisations, giving students many opportunities to apply for unpaid internship or volunteering roles in HR teams, such as at Blenheim Palace or the global NGO Oxfam, during their programme of study. Students who take up these opportunities often write their dissertations based on these experiences and always look back on them as one of the highlights of their MSc programme.
  • Teaching and learning: Oxford Brookes University Business School offers a great environment for studying Human Resource Management. We have a track record of over 30 years of excellence in teaching, learning and research in HRM that means you will be well supported and intellectually challenged throughout your studies.
  • Research opportunities: We host an annual HR Research conference jointly with Oxford CIPD. This provides an opportunity for past MSc students to present their research to those currently completing the course and to local CIPD members. At the conference prestigious speakers such as HR Directors from Amey and BMW have presented the keynote speech. As you plan your dissertation, we will help you think about what topics interest you the most and which organisations you might base your research on.
  • Student Support: you will be assigned to an Academic Adviser who will provide both academic and personal support throughout your course. Student Support Co-ordinators provide guidance for your course and on university-wide administrative issues. They organise a range of events to help you adjust to postgraduate study and are able to help you get advice about any issues you may have during your studies.
  • Oxford location: Oxford offers everything you could want as a student and more. As one of the world's great centres of learning, it is a bustling city. Located just over an hour from the hub of business and entertainment life in London and with easy access to international airports, you'll be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region. Buses leave for London, Heathrow and Gatwick every 20-30 minutes from just outside the university.

For more information about Postgraduate study at Oxford Brookes Business School, come to one of our Business School open days take part in one of our online information sessions, or visit our webpages.

Professional accreditation

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is the world’s largest Chartered HR development professional body.

Compulsory modules

You will study eight compulsory modules and an additional module which provides you with practical experience of human resource management practice. In addition, you will complete a dissertation.

Please see the course structure chart.

Human Resource Management in Context: This will develop your understanding of the main internal and external environmental contexts within which organisations operate. You will compare the role of the Human Resource (HR) manager with other functions to show how these integrate with general management and drive organisational success. You will examine how those in the HR function, and line managers with HR responsibilities, need to recognise this wider perspective. You will become aware of how managers and HR professionals in different organisation types have varying opportunities and constraints when taking organisational and HR decisions.

Leading, Managing and Developing People: You will become familiar with research evidence on employment and effective approaches to human resource (HR) and learning and development (L&D) practice. You will consider significant debates in leadership, flexibility and change management to help you become an effective manager and HR specialist. You will learn to manage others effectively and increase levels of engagement, commitment, motivation and performance.

Resourcing, Talent and Performance Management: A major objective of the human resources function is the mobilisation of a workforce. Organisations can only function if they are able to assemble teams of people with the necessary skills to meet their goals and retain effective performers. This module focuses on the practical aspects of recruitment, selection, employee retention and exiting. You will develop the knowledge and skills required for resourcing and talent management within a global context. You will also gain an understanding of how performance management can support the strategic objectives of an organisation, how the performance of people can be enhanced and inspired by leadership, and how this contributes to high-performance work organisations.

Managing Employment Relations: This will develop your understanding of managing employment relations within different types of organisation. Employment relations is a changing subject which is influenced by external factors (political and economic) and internal factors (management and management style). You will explore the impact of different national environments on employment and the roles of different stakeholders in employment relation systems. You will also critically review employment relations in an organisation and make suggestions to drive improvements to Human Resource Management. This module like many others includes a practical skills workshop.

Organisational Design and Organisational Development: This will enable you to acquire an understanding of organisations with particular reference to job design, cultural dynamics, organisational change, leadership, power and politics. The module will develop expertise in organisational development (OD) aspects of HR management.

International Human Resource Management (IHRM): This module develops your understanding of the theoretical origins of HRM. You will explore the links between business strategy and international HRM, and study the relationship between achieving strategic objectives and the implementation of appropriate and coherent HR strategies. As the pace of globalisation has gathered momentum, IHRM is now a discipline in its own right, attracting attention from researchers and practitioners.

Developing Skills for Business Leadership: Successful leaders have different approaches to their work, sharing a range of diverse personality traits, attributes and beliefs. They are central determinants of an individual manager's effectiveness and are developed consciously over time and with an awareness of the differing cultural contexts and operating environments. A key purpose of this module is thus to encourage learners to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and of their own strengths and weaknesses as managers and colleagues. In addition it seeks to help learners to develop and improve a range of specific skills which are pivotal to successful management practice and to effective leadership in particular.

Human Resource Management in Practice: This provides the opportunity to visit a range of organisations and learn about Human Resource Management (HRM) in practice, so giving you a valuable practical insights and enhancing your employability. Prior to visiting you will research the organisations and prepare questions for them and afterwards you will capture your reflections on your learning in writing.

Researching Organisations: This module prepares you for completing high quality, systematic business and management research, drawing upon a range of secondary and primary data sources in preparation for your research project. You will be introduced to a range of tools required for research including methodological issues, data collection techniques and different approaches to data analysis.

Dissertation: You will investigate a HR management or organisational practice issue using primary and/or secondary data, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts from literature and a relevant research design. You will also make recommendations for improved future practice.

Across the course there is an emphasis on your developing essential practical skills that will form part of your Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification. Skills workshops throughout the course are designed to develop practical know-how and encourage a continuous learning mindset.

As we review our courses regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from the list shown above.

It is a requirement of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that all students enrolling on a CIPD HR Programme are student members of the CIPD and pay membership fees to the CIPD. The cost of this is not included in your Oxford Brookes fees. Further information about the benefits of being a student member and how to pay your joining fee will be provided during Induction. If you are already a student member you are still required to register your continuing professional development with the CIPD, and we ask that you provide us with your CIPD number. You can find details of the CIPD's current student membership fees on their website.

Benefits of being a student member of the CIPD:

  • You will become a member of a leading professional institute which you will be able to include on your CV.
  • You will be able to join the Thames Valley Branch Network of the CIPD and will be able to attend activities and build networks.
  • You will be able to access member resources on the CIPD website which include news articles and research reports.
  • When you complete your course you will gain a master's degree from Oxford Brookes and at the same time a professional qualification from the CIPD.

Teaching and learning

On the course you will experience a variety of teaching and learning approaches. These will include lectures, seminar discussions and practical workshops, as well as facilitated online learning through our virtual learning platform (Moodle). A stimulating mix of theoretical and practical inputs is offered to help you understand the challenges of HR in practice as well as improve your employment prospects. Teaching staff at the Business School are researchers and/or come from an industry background with an in-depth practical experience of HR and wider business and management issues. Visiting speakers from business, industry, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed using a range of different methods such as examinations, assignments, individual or group reports and group presentations. This range of assessments will help you to develop the analytical and presentational abilities that employers look for.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes Business School has now moved to its new home at our Headington Campus. The university’s Headington Campus have undergone a £30m refurbishment to provide a new home for the Business School, which consists of a lecture theatre, teaching rooms, social learning space and a café. There is a new modern hall for teaching and special events like graduation.

This new home will help us to collaborate even more closely with university colleagues in other departments. It also provides a new Main Hall and a vibrant gateway into the Headington Campus. With these innovative spaces, students and staff can interact and collaborate in first-class facilities.

The Headington Campus is also home to the new John Henry Brookes Building, being the most significant project in the history of Oxford Brookes University. Set at the heart of our Headington campus, it has been designed for the future of higher education and has transformed the experiences of our students and the entire University community. The John Henry Brookes Building brings together the library and essential support services that offer academic, careers and international student advice. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.

The majority of our student halls are close to the Headington Campus.

Field trips

We offer an International Business in Practice Study Trip module. The purpose of this study trip is to give postgraduate students a hands-on, intensive experience with the ideas and practices of global business. The programme will include presentations from local management executives and experts. S

tudents will have direct interaction with management executives and practices through site visits to major corporations and agencies.

This study trip is voluntary and all costs associated with the trip will need to be funded by you. It is not linked to university assessments in any way. If you successfully complete this module you will have the following non-credit bearing module recorded on your transcript: P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.

Whilst the destination and therefore precise costs vary from year to year, as an example, the programme fee of the study trip to Boston USA in July 2019 was £1580, which included 7 nights’ accommodation in the Boston area, insurance, the company visits (e.g. Facebook, Dunkin Brands, Trip Advisor, Microsoft, Bank of America), group transportation for all activities and some of the meals, but excluded for example International airfare, Visa application fee (if relevant), dinners and activities during your free time.

We also run a study trip to Chengdu, China.

If you choose the study trip, you will be provided with additional details regarding the trip (which runs in July) by March, in order to inform decision making, ahead of the trip in July.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £8,490 2020/21: £10,500

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £5,200 2020/21: £5,250

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,880 2020/21: £15,400

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

The Business School is pleased to offer scholarships in all disciplines for students wishing to undertake full-time taught postgraduate MSc courses. Some part-time courses offer scholarships for UK and EU applicants.

Entry requirements

This course attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. A minimum of a second class honours degree (2:2) in any academic discipline, or equivalent overseas degree from a recognised institution or equivalent professional or other qualification is required.

Applicants who possess a diploma rather than a good degree may be eligible for entry provided they have compensatory work experience and can demonstrate career development.

Applications are welcome from those in work and seeking continuing professional development.

Entry will also be subject to two satisfactory references (one of these must be an academic reference).

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to have the following level of English language competency:

  • Minimum 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in listening and speaking).
  • If you have completed your undergraduate degree in the UK (at least one full year of study) you will automatically meet our English language requirements.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • If you need to take a pre-master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course, you can take our two year master’s course. This course combine the pre-master's diploma and your master's in one application. You can apply for one visa for the two years of study.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply


Please contact Business School enquiries if you need help with your application or require any further information.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

The course provides you with the knowledge, skills and experience to help you start a successful career in HR Practice, HR Consultancy or general management. This course is professionally accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Many career opportunities open up for individuals who gain their professional HR qualifications.


Experience shows that our MSc HRM graduates are highly employable. They can follow a number of different career routes. Many graduates (alumni) are in HR departments across a wide spectrum of organisations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), governmental bodies, large global commercial organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Some students develop academic careers and others follow consultancy opportunities or go into general management.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We take great pride in the personal, academic and career development support provided to our postgraduate students. Our student support co-ordinators ensure that whatever problem you may have it is addressed rapidly.

Our dedicated careers centre provides advice and workshops to help develop the key skills needed to develop your career and get the right job. The programme lead and all academic staff provide open office hours so that you can walk in without an appointment to discuss academic or personal concerns. A dedicated team of postgraduate programme administrators ensures efficient and effective support of students, delivered in a friendly and approachable manner.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research areas and clusters

Related to this subject there are two research clusters in the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice.

Research clusters