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Human Resource Management

MSc

Key facts

Start dates

September 2023

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 12 months

Part time: 24 months

Accreditation(s)

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Overview

With our Human Resources Management MSc you’ll be prepared for a successful international career in a range of commercial, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. Our course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to Advanced Diploma knowledge standards.

You will build your professional HR knowledge while developing your core HR skills with:

  • skills development workshops
  • visits to organisations to examine their HR practice. 

You will become a member of the Chartered Association of Personnel and Development, the premier HR professional body, and you will:

  • attend the Oxford CIPD monthly meetings
  • receive briefings on the latest HR developments, including local and global employers.

While studying you'll have opportunities to apply for internships or volunteering roles. Past students have found placements with HR teams at Blenheim Palace and Oxfam.

You may also be interested in:

Two students comparing notes

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific 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 recent graduates hoping to start a career in HRM as well as those looking to take a break from work to take up full-time study or to study the programme part-time as part of their continuing professional development.

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

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

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.

International qualifications and equivalences

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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.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

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.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£11,000

Home (UK) part time
£5,500

International full time
£16,200

Home (UK) full time
£11,400

Home (UK) part time
£5,700

International full time
£16,800

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£11,000

Home (UK) part time
£5,500

International full time
£16,200

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
£11,400

Home (UK) part time
£5,700

International full time
£16,800

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Additional costs

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 below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements

Learning and assessment

Over the duration of the course, you will take nine compulsory modules. You will also complete a research project. 

Lecturer presenting to class

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

People Resourcing and Talent Management

This module will give you an understanding of the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations and how these affect both organisational and HR strategies.  You will engage with leading edge practices for planning and recruiting organisational workforces, including the risks and benefits of using technology, and learn how to create an integrated people plan.

Employee Engagement, Performance and Reward

This module will provide you with a critical understanding of how contemporary organisations can elicit employee engagement and performance, and the challenges associated with doing so. It presents theoretical perspectives on the individual and collective employment relationship as the basis by which you can understand the challenges of managing employees – drawing on the key themes of authority, power, and control - and how the levers at management’s disposal, notably, those associated with reward and performance management can be deployed to best effect. The module also explores dysfunction and conflict in the employment relationship from both theoretical and practical standpoints, and the role of the HR
professional in managing the relationship between stakeholders.

Learning, Development and Coaching

You will gain a critical understanding the contribution that learning and development can make to individuals and organisations, together with practical skills in designing and implementing leading edge Learning & development programmes.  You will develop the critical understanding required to develop a coaching programme in the workplace and to participate in a coaching style of management.

Employment Law

It is essential for everyone working in HR to develop knowledge, understanding and skills required to brief organisations on how current and future developments in employment law (British Jurisprudence) impact on HR practices,  and to give up-to-date, timely and accurate advice concerning the practical application of employment law in the workplace.  The module promotes critical reflection on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint, and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Understanding Organisations and Managing Change

This module provides a framework for understanding and analysing organisations with a particular reference to group processes, cultural dynamics, leadership and change. Organisations and the processes of organising are analysed from different theoretical perspectives.  Knowledge and skills are developed to enable students to manage and support change more effectively, ethically and professionally.

Contemporary Issues and Challenges for HRM

This module introduces contemporary themes associated with critical management and organisation theory, with the objective of creating an in-depth and critical understanding of some of the challenges posed in work and organisations today. Such challenges include work intensification, increasing inequalities, algorithms, managing ethically, changing patterns of work such as the gig economy, crises and the employment relationship, digital transformations, and alternative organisational forms.

The module draws on the multiple and often competing perspectives on the study of organisations (e.g. capitalist political economy, diverse economies and post-capitalist work organisation) to explore current debates and reflect on the latest developments and what they mean for HR practitioners and future HRM practice.

Developing Skills for Business Leadership

Successful leaders have different approaches to their work, sharing a range of diverse personality traits. They are central to a manager's effectiveness and are developed over time and with an awareness of the differing cultural contexts. A key purpose of this module is to encourage you to develop a strong sense of self-awareness of your own strengths and development needs as a manager and colleague. In addition, you will develop a range of definable skills, which are pivotal to successful management practice. These include decision-making skills, team-working, interpersonal skills, accounting and budgeting, negotiating and other skills associated with developing personal effectiveness. You will develop skills of reflexivity to explore the implications for professional practice and support career development.

Critical investigation skills

This module provides students with a framework for understanding and researching organisations. Students encounter organisation theory and research methods, learn to deepen their organisational knowledge and develop valuable research skills. The module shows students a range of theoretical perspectives, providing critical awareness of the complexity of organisations & organisational processes.  Students are introduced to the stages of research, (research design, data collection and analysis methods, & research ethics).  Armed with knowledge of organisational theory and research methodologies, students develop a viable research proposal. In semester 2, students take part in a pilot project, which gives hands-on experience of ‘doing’ research. Based on this, students produce a reflective essay designed to inform their own research projects. Sessions on quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the use of computerised analysis packages, and dissertation writing complete the module.

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.

Final project

Compulsory modules

Research Project

The research project allows students to undertake a self-managed process of systematic enquiry within the domain of their Masters programme. It aims to generate high quality, rigorous and systematic applied research as part of which the students have reflected critically on the theoretical and philosophical assumptions underpinning the process alongside the ethics of undertaking management research.  The degree to which the project is ‘applied’ is flexible – from addressing a broad issue in HRM to researching a specific issue within an organisation.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Download course structure chart

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching methods, including:

  • lectures
  • seminar discussions
  • practical workshops
  • online learning, through our virtual learning platform.

You'll understand the challenges of HR in practice through a stimulating mix of theoretical and practical inputs. 

Our teaching staff are active researchers. Some have an industry background with practical experience of HR and wider business and management issues. 

We also organise visiting speakers from:

  • business
  • industry
  • consultancies
  • research bodies. 

We offer an International Business in Practice Study Trip module.

Field trips

The International Business in Practice Study Trip module allows you to experience ideas and practices of global business. During the trip you will have direct interaction with management executives and practices. You will: attend presentations from local management executives and experts go on site visits to major corporations and agencies. This study trip is voluntary and you will need to fund all costs associated with the trip. It is not linked to university assessments in any way.

We also run a study trip to Chengdu, China. If you choose the study trip (which runs in July), we will give you all the details by March so that you can make your decisions ahead of the trip in July.

If you successfully complete this non-credit bearing module, it will be recorded on your transcript as P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Most modules are assessed through a combination of course-work (typically 80%) and a group based assessment (typically, 20%). There are no written exams.
We use a range of assessment methods, such as:

  • assignments
  • individual or group reports
  • group presentations.

Throughout the course, you'll develop the analytical and presentation skills that employers
look for.

Research

An annual HR Research conference is jointly hosted with Oxford CIPD. 

There are two research clusters in the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice which relate to this subject:

  • Work and Organisations
  • Management and Entrepreneurship Education.
Presenting research

After you graduate

Career prospects

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
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Some students develop academic careers and others follow consultancy opportunities or go into general management.

Our Staff

Dr Andrea Bernardi

My main research contributions relate to the co-operative sector, including Chinese co-operatives. I also work on employment relations and inequality and I have further interests in the study of time, the past, and history in management and organizational studies.

Read more about Andrea

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.