The MA HRM and PG Dip HRM are practice-based and academically rigorous, providing you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for the challenging role of a human resource professional. Both programmes are fully accredited by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and mapped against the Advanced Diploma in HRM. Both programmes enable you to gain Associate Membership of the CIPD and as these qualifications are at Advanced Standard, this enables higher membership grades of the CIPD to be achieved with experience, rather than further study.
Please refer to the following course subject charts:
MA Human Resource Management structure chart
Postgraduate Diploma Human Resource Management structure chart
The MA stage is a research-based programme that has been developed to help you progress to management roles or consultancy. Combining theory and practice, it gives you the opportunity to gain specific insights into organisational design, then to focus on an area of HR that is of specific interest.
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.
Employment Law: It is essential for everyone working in HR to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required to brief organisations on the consequences of current and future developments in employment law, and to give up-to-date, timely and accurate advice concerning the practical application of employment law in the workplace. Key principles that underpin UK and EU law, their purpose, the major defences that employers are able to deploy when defending cases, and the potential organisational costs and reputational risks associated with losing them, will be considered. We will also critically reflect on the application of the law from an ethical and professional standpoint and provide opportunities for continued professional development in this field.
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 weaknesses 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 others associated with developing personal effectiveness. You will develop your skills of reflexivity to explore the implications for professional practice and support career development.
Human Resource Management in Context: This will develop your understanding of the main internal and external environmental situations 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 be aware that managers and HR professionals in different organisation types have opportunities and constraints when taking organisational and HR decisions.
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. You will focus 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 it contributes to high-performance work organisations.
Managing Employment Relations: This will develop your understanding of managing employment relations within a global business. 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 includes a practical skills workshop.
Postgraduate Diploma in HRM
In addition to the modules above, you will take:
Management Research Report:You will investigate a HR management or organisational practice issue using primary and secondary data, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts from literature. You will make recommendations for implementation and practice. A number of skills workshops throughout the course are designed to develop your thinking and skills and you will be assigned an individual supervisor to support you. One of the key skills for professionals in HR is to be able to investigate, diagnose and report on relevant business issues and make practical recommendations for change or improvement within an organisation. During this module you will be taken through the key areas required to successfully complete the management research report. The applied nature of the report develops a critical evaluative approach, your empirical investigation and analysis skills, and your academic research and business report writing skills.
MA HRM and MA HRM Top Up options
For students taking the MA HRM the module and dissertation listed below will be studied in addition to those for the PG Diploma listed above. For those arriving as direct entrants to year two and who already have a PG Diploma, the module and dissertation below will be the only requirements to top up the PG Diploma to the full MA HRM award.
Understanding and Researching Organisations: You will develop a framework for understanding, analysing and researching organisations. In so doing, it contains both a (traditional) focus on core research methods but also ensures that you have a sound understanding of the organisational context in which management research takes place. The module draws on a range of perspectives from organisation theory and supports a critical awareness of organisations including such things as job design, internal processes, cultural dynamics and change. This awareness will be developed in a manner which prepares students for the completion of, high quality, rigorous and systematic management research required for a dissertation. As part of this, you will also develop an appreciation of the use of primary and secondary data common in organisational research as well as the full range of generic methodological issues, procedures and study skills.
The dissertation: is an in-depth research project into an organisational issue. You will generate high quality, rigorous and systematic applied research. You will reflect critically on the theoretical and philosophical assumptions, alongside the ethics of undertaking management research. Throughout your dissertation you should show sensitivity to the perspectives of others, and a willingness to try and put yourself in the shoes of others, seeing things from alternative perspectives. You will be assigned an individual supervisor to support you. One of the key skills for professionals in HR is to be able to investigate, diagnose and report on relevant business issues and make practical recommendations for change or improvement within an organisation. During this module you will be taken through the key areas required to successfully complete the management research report. The applied nature of the report develops a critical evaluative approach, your empirical investigation and analysis skills, and your academic research and business report writing skills.
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from those listed here.
Teaching and learning
On-campus sessions involve tutor input, analysis of case studies, problem-solving activities, virtual business simulations, presentations, analysis of data for decision making, and directed reading and research. Some skills development is best addressed in more intensive workshops and such events will focus principally on:
- team building and problem solving
- people management skill sets (eg. interviewing, negotiating, managing disciplinary and grievances)
- leadership and influencing skills
- data handling and presentation skills using IT applications
Online sessions will involve the use of:
- Highly structured, user friendly written lecture and course materials
- Audio and video podcast materials specially recorded by course tutors
- Virtual tutorials, in real time as well as over a period of time
- Discussion fora - student and tutor led
Both on-campus and online learning are fully supported by our library, with almost all resources (journals, reports and many books) now being available electronically 24 hours a day.
Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Business and Management within the Business School. There are some contributions from specialists in other departments. Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.
Approach to assessment
Each module is assessed individually with a range of assessment methods being used. These include individual assignments, group work, presentations, examinations, a portfolio to demonstrate continuing professional development, and individual research reports. Some assessments include an element of peer and/or self-assessment.
At Headington we have developed outstanding facilities. Our John Henry Brookes Building is 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. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.
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.
Our library provides specialist business resources (both hard copy and via online access) to UK and overseas companies' annual reports, statistics on all aspects of business and management, a wide range of constantly updated key texts, and postgraduate MA, MBA, MSc and PhD theses.
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 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.
The course is mainly delivered through two taught semesters per year running from September to May. Each individual module consists of up to 12 sessions offered through a blend of on-campus and online learning. For each semester the on-campus element will take place through up to five early evening sessions (5-8pm) and three full-day Saturday sessions. In year one the evening sessions are on a Tuesday; in year two evening sessions are on a Wednesday. In addition, there is one full weekend workshop in the first year. Those sessions offered online will on occasion require you to join a virtual classroom at a specific time in the early evening but will mainly be completed in your own time, using online learning materials and taking part in online discussion fora.
If you study the full MA Human Resource Management rather than the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management you also complete your dissertation over a third semester in the summer of the second year. If you’re completing the full MA, you have the option to do your research methods and dissertation modules entirely online. Note: this revised course delivery pattern is subject to CIPD approval.
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