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
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
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
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
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
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
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality
assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from
those listed here.
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. 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-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.
We're investing over £30m to create a modern teaching and learning facilities and creating a new home at Headington for the Faculty of Business.
Set to be complete in 2017, you'll see:
- the Faculty of Business brought together in a modern, professional environment
- 30 teaching rooms and a collaborative lecture theatre
- a new Main Hall with soundproof wall, perfect for teaching and events like graduations
- social learning spaces and a cafe
- a new gateway into the Headington Campus.
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.
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.
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