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Human Resource Management

MA or PGDip

Key facts

Start dates

September 2023

Course length

Part time: PG Dip: 20 months, MA: 24 months, MA direct entrants: 12 months

Accreditation(s)

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Overview

Progress your career and enhance your HR professional practice with our Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and the MA in Human Resource Management.

You will develop core HR skills and knowledge. As well as the ability to understand and evaluate issues of strategic importance to Human Resource Management (HRM).

These part-time courses use a combination of on-campus and online learning. You will benefit from the flexibility of our virtual learning environment and face-to-face interaction with tutors and classmates.

In Year 2 you can choose to study for the full MA in HRM or opt for the Postgraduate Diploma in HRM. Both lead to Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD and there is a full briefing during Year 1 to help you make this choice.

The programme is fully accredited by the CIPD against the Profession Map (2018).  The Profession Map specifies the Knowledge and Behaviours expected of people working in HR and gaining membership of the CIPD. 

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Applicants are normally graduates with at least one year's experience in a full-time HR role. Non-graduates require at least 3 years' experience in an HR role or a role with significant responsibility for people management.

Students who already hold a Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Mamagement from a recognised institution can apply to take the MA in one year using their diploma as a fast-track entry route; that is “Admission with Credit”. 

For Direct entrants for the MA: A Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from a recognised institution.

Candidates are required to provide a reference evidencing their work experience and may need to provide a supporting academic reference as well as proof of qualifications.

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:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in listening and speaking).

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

Pathways courses for 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) part time
Masters - £8,875 (Year 1 - £3,825; Year 2 - £5,050)

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £8,875 (Year 1 - £3,825; Year 2 - £5,050)

Home (UK) part time
Masters - £9,230 (Year 1 - £3,980; Year 2 - £5,250)

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £9,230 (Year 1 - £3,980; Year 2 - £5,250)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) part time
Masters - £8,875 (Year 1 - £3,825; Year 2 - £5,050)

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £8,875 (Year 1 - £3,825; Year 2 - £5,050)

2023 / 24
Home (UK) part time
Masters - £9,230 (Year 1 - £3,980; Year 2 - £5,250)

Home (UK) distance learning
Masters - £9,230 (Year 1 - £3,980; Year 2 - £5,250)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Fees quoted are the full price of the course.

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

These courses will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for the challenging role of a human resource professional. Both are practice-based and academically rigorous.

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.

Student studying with laptop and headphones

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip award, unless you are taking an Apprenticeship programme, you will take a shorter version of the Critical Investigation Module described below and you will not do a Research Project.

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

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.

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.

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

You will be provided with:

  • highly structured, user-friendly written lecture and course materials
  • audio and video podcast materials recorded by course tutors
  • virtual tutorials, including in real time
  • discussion forums - student and tutor led.

Our teaching staff are from our Department of Business and Management within the Business School. You will also learn from visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies and research bodies.

You'll develop the following skills in more intensive workshops:

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

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, including:

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

Research

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

You will develop practical knowledge, expertise and valuable insights from visiting HR professionals and specialists from a wide range of industries who run workshops and deliver lectures.

This programme is an excellent way of providing you with a springboard for progress in your career in HR. The programme enjoys a high completion rate and is supported by a tutorial team comprising research active and experienced HR practitioners.

Through workshops and group working you develop your team working skills and build long-lasting networks, enabling you to share your experiences as you progress in your career.

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.