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.
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.
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. Students 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 2018 was £1380, which included 7 nights’ accommodation in the Boston area, insurance, the company visits, 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.
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.
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