Human Resource Management

MA or MSc or PGDip

Find out more about our courses by joining a live master’s webinar

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: MSc 12 Months for international students or 12 or 24 Months for home students (on campus)

Part time: MA 24 Months; PG Dip 18 or 30 Months with apprenticeship route (blended learning)

Location: Blended learning, Headington

Department(s): Oxford Brookes Business School

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Human Resource Management at Oxford Brookes University builds your knowledge to excel in international people management. Our Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)-accredited programme equips you with confidence and skill to manage and lead in challenging and ever-changing worlds of work. 

Taught by research-active and professionally experienced tutors, you will learn how to unpick complex issues and critique taken-for-granted assumptions, develop alternative perspectives, and design creative pathways to resolutions. Teaching and learning is informed by academic research, hands-on, experiential learning, creative assessment design, organisational visits, and guest-speaker lectures.

Oxford Brookes University facilitates a collaborative approach to learning, reflected in the many social learning spaces in our award-winning buildings. Based in a diverse and vibrant city that blends the historic with the modern, you’ll have a wealth of resources around you.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Pedagogic Excellence

    We've designed this course based on innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including experiential learning.  Be ready to take part in engaging activities including a mock tribunal,  negotiation exercises, and a pilot research project

  • Thought Leadership

    Teaching draws on current research from the University's centres of excellence including our International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring, Centre for Diversity, and Centre for Business, Society and Global Challenges.

  • Flexible Learning

    Study in person over 1 or 2 years (MSc) or 2 years, blended (online and in person) (MA/PGDip)

  • Industry Networking

    You'll hear guest speakers and participate in an annual HR conference showcasing your own research. You'll meet previous graduates and engage with local businesses to expand your professional networks.

  • Supportive Learning

    You’ll have a personal academic adviser and programme team to support you throughout. Assessment is via coursework rather than exams, allowing you to produce your best work and providing for neurodivergent students.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

    • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Approved Centre

Course details

Course structure

If you are a graduate of another subject and keen to open the doors to an HR career, our full-time MSc course could be for you. If you are already an HR professional and looking to progress your career, our part-time MA or PgDip course allows you to study while you work. 

On the full MA/MSc, your final research project will be your chance to apply everything you’ve learned. You’ll develop an academic study based on a management or organisational issue within HR, the findings for which inform an implementation plan and costed recommendations for future practice. You’ll be invited to present your research at our Annual HRM Research and Alumni Conference.

Student studying with laptop and headphones

Learning and teaching

On these courses you'll be able to take advantage of:

  • Developing your study skills, building and integrating knowledge
  • Access to electronic and printed resources including latest edition texts 
  • Skills workshops and classroom based interactive exercises
  • Regular student ‘drop-ins’ and academic advising sessions
  • Discussions in class sharing professional knowledge and ideas
  • A virtual learning platform.

Our diverse team of international teaching staff are from our Department of Business and Management within the Business School.  We draw on research and reviews produced by authoritative sources. You’ll learn from guest speakers and through lectures, group seminars, and practical workshops where you'll develop the following skills:

  • people management - such as interviewing, negotiating, managing disciplinaries and grievances
  • leadership and influencing
  • team building and problem solving
  • data handling and presentation skills, using IT applications.


Most of your 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, including:

  • individual assignments
  • individual or group reports
  • group work and presentations
  • individual presentations
  • portfolio, to demonstrate continuing professional development or research skills
  • individual research dissertations.

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

Field Trips

For MSc students we also provide a non credit bearing module which introduces students to a wide range of HR practices. Recent students have taken part in an annual visit to a local business to learn about HR practices.

Learn more about about a field trip taken to meet the HR team at the London Marriott Marble Arch hotel.

Study modules

For the PGDip award, you will complete your studies with a shorter version of the Critical Skills Investigation module which will prepare you for conducting research projects in your own workplace. If you want to complete your own research project, then the route would be a longer version of Critical Investigation Skills and the  Research Project (full MA).

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MA/MSc award only)

    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.

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 a critical understanding of how contemporary organisations elicit employee engagement and performance, and the challenges associated with doing so. It presents theoretical perspectives on  individual and collective employment relationships as the basis for 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 of 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 understanding required to create a coaching programme in the workplace, and facilitate 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

    This module will help you develop and improve a range of definable skills which are pivotal to successful management practice and effective leadership. You’ll develop self-awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as an effective leader and team player.You’ll progress essential skills such as the confidence and the ability to articulate your skills and attributes that are required for professional development, lifelong learning and employment. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore different leadership perspectives on topics such as ethics, coaching, career management, wellbeing, presentation, and communication.

  • Critical Investigation Skills

    This module provides students with a framework to critically assess and investigate organisations and organisational processes. You will develop an understanding of research methodology as both a practical and philosophical enquiry to enhance your organisational knowledge and research skills. In linking paradigms in organisation theory to those in methods of enquiry, the module introduces you to all stages of research: problematization, research design, data collection and analysis methods, & research ethics.  You will carry out a pilot project to trial out various methodologies. Based on your acquired theoretical and methodological understanding, your own interests, and your ideas about a future career, you develop a viable research proposal (MA/MSc/PgDip) for your capstone research projects (MA/MSc). 

Optional modules

Human Resource Management in Practice - MSc Award only

This module is aimed at  gaining practical, organisation- based knowledge about contemporary Human Resource Management (HRM) in practice, in different types of human resource management in a selection of organisations, including public sector and not-for-profit ones.

You’ll have the active support of tutors for your future career and to help you enhance your employability. You’ll get to appreciate the complexities of the relationship between HRM and organisational strategy. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and question HRM professionals and sector experts in the classroom, online and, where possible, through organisational visits. 

You’ll closely observe and reflect on how HRM interacts with organisational priorities and business context. Through this module you’ll develop your own expertise as an HRM professional of the future.

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


By the end of our Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) accredited courses, you’ll be ready to make a difference in the workplace.

If you studied our MSc programme, prepare for an international human resources career in a range of commercial, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. Whatever course you have taken, you will be conferred automatic associate membership of the world-renowned CIPD on completion. You’ll also have a broad and deep range of expertise and insight to take back to the workplace, springboarding your career progression in HR. 

Through your programme of learning, you have the possibility to develop long-lasting contacts where you can share your experiences and ask for advice as you progress in your career.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
MSc - £11,950

Home (UK) part time
Masters - £9,700 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £5,520), Diploma - £8,330 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £4,150). MSc - £5,975

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £9,700 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £5,520), Diploma - £8,330 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £4,150)

International full time
MSc - £17,350

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
MSc - £11,950

Home (UK) part time
Masters - £9,700 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £5,520), Diploma - £8,330 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £4,150). MSc - £5,975

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £9,700 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £5,520), Diploma - £8,330 (Year 1 - £4,180; Year 2 - £4,150)

International full time
MSc - £17,350

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are the full price of the course.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

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 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

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.