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
Please refer to the following
course subject charts:
Human Resource Management structure chart
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
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
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 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
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.
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.
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