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International Human Resource Management


Oxford Brookes Business School

Human Resource Management (HRM) is a growing profession, driven by organisations’ needs to recruit, develop, retain and effectively deploy their employees.  It is for graduates of any discipline, who are fascinated by people, their working lives and the contribution they can make.

The MSc in International Human Resource Management will equip you with the knowledge, skills and commercial awareness to join this exciting profession, making a significant contribution to both domestic and international organisations. It will also enable you to critically engage with contemporary debates about the role and contribution of HRM so you are equipped to adapt and develop your professional practice in new directions.

The programme examines international business and cultural contexts, drawing on the international experience of staff and students, and opportunities such as an international study trip. Professional skills workshops help you to develop as professional practitioners.

You may also be interested to have a look at our Business and Human Resource Management and International Management (Human Resource Management)

If you don't meet the entry requirements for our degrees, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take one of our pathway programmes.


Please come to our Postgraduate Open Day or Master's Online Information Session

Available start dates

September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 12 months
  • Part time: 2 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

This course is suitable for individuals from a variety of educational backgrounds, who may have no previous work experience, wanting to further their knowledge and understanding of business and management to support their career aspirations.

The course is designed to be highly flexible to accommodate students with interests in a variety of different subject areas/roles/sectors.

Our student cohorts are made up of many nationalities and students will benefit from working with staff and peers with varied experiences and perspectives.

Staff teaching on this programme come from a variety of academic and non-academic backgrounds which generates a comprehensive and diverse learning experience.

Students benefit from varied opportunities for business/industry exposure such as company visits, field trips, guest lectures, student projects.

A key element of our teaching and learning ethos is that theory must, at all times, be linked to practice through workshops and seminars, company visits, external speakers and assessment. The programme frequently invites professionals to visit and deliver guest lectures to provide students with practical insights to the world of business and management and to discuss trends and challenges in specific industries. Speakers typically hold the position of managing director. Over the last few semesters we have welcomed speakers from Harley-Davidson, the RAF, the UN, Barclays Bank, and Taylor Wimpey.


As a student at Oxford Brookes Business School you will also benefit from the following:

  • Employability: Many of our modules, such as Developing Skills for Business Leadership, are designed to develop your practical competencies in international business. You will go on regular visits to HR departments in local organisations such as BMW/Mini, the Ashmolean Museum and O2 Telefonica, so as to build your hands-on knowledge of what it is like to work in HR. We also emphasise developing your CV and interview skills through the support of our Careers Centre.
  • Teaching and learning: Oxford Brookes University Business School offers a great environment for studying International Human Resource Management. We have a track record of over 30 years of excellence in practice-informed teaching, learning and research in HRM, which means you will be well-supported and intellectually challenged throughout your studies.
  • Professional networking: The programme team has close links with the premier HR professional body: the Chartered Association of Personnel and Development (CIPD). This gives the opportunity to take part in networking events with the local HR community, some of which are hosted by the University.  Brookes has alumni across the world so the professional networking can continue wherever your career takes you.
  • Research opportunities: We host an annual HR Research conference jointly with Oxford CIPD. This provides an opportunity for past MSc students to present their research to those currently completing the course and to local CIPD members. At the conference prestigious speakers such as HR Directors from Amey and BMW have presented the keynote speech. As you plan your dissertation, we will help you think about what topics interest you the most and which organisations you might base your research on.
  • International focus: You will engage with the variety of HRM contexts, issues and practices across the world to foster your ability to adapt to new situations.  You will learn about the opportunities in business and non-business international organisations. You also have the opportunity to take part in an international study trip.
  • Oxford location: Oxford offers everything you could want as a student and more. As one of the world's great centres of learning, it is a bustling city. Located just over an hour from the hub of business and entertainment life in London and with easy access to international airports, you'll be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region. Buses leave for London, Heathrow and Gatwick every 20-30 minutes from just outside the university.

For more information about postgraduate study at the Business School, come to one of our Business School Open Days, or visit our web pages.

Compulsory modules

All the following modules are compulsory for the programme.

Human Resource Management in Context: This will develop your understanding of the main internal and external environmental contexts 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 become aware of how managers and HR professionals in different organisation types and international settings have varying opportunities and constraints when taking organisational and HR decisions.

Human Resource Management in Practice: This provides the opportunity to visit a range of organisations and learn about Human Resource Management (HRM) in practice, so giving you a valuable practical insights and enhancing your employability. Prior to visiting you will research the organisations and prepare questions for them and afterwards you will capture your reflections on your learning in writing.

Comparative Human Resource Management: This provides an understanding of international human resource management through an investigation of both organisational imperatives and local institutional environments. The approach is international-comparative and the focus is on institutions (formal and informal) more than on cross cultural differences. A comparative perspective explores the idea that several successful models of managing people do exist, and study of international organisations such as the UN agencies, offers a perfect opportunity to develop an original view on managing people in an international context, that is characterised by organisational complexity and by political and cultural pluralism.

International Organisations: You will examine the nature, diversity and the environment of a range of international organisations and their differing purposes and functions. You will learn to apply the theories and knowledge required to successfully manage in international organisations. It also aims to increase the knowledge of organisational interrelationships and complexities that is needed by international managers.

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.

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. This module focuses 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 this contributes to high-performance work organisations.

Managing Employment Relations: This will develop your understanding of managing employment relations within different types of organisation. 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 like many others includes a practical skills workshop.

Developing Skills for Business Leadership: Successful leaders have different approaches to their work, sharing a range of diverse personality traits, attributes and beliefs. They are central determinants of an individual manager's effectiveness and are developed consciously over time and with an awareness of the differing cultural contexts and operating environments. A key purpose of this module is thus to encourage learners to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and of their own strengths and weaknesses as managers and colleagues. In addition it seeks to help learners to develop and improve a range of specific skills which are pivotal to successful management practice and to effective leadership in particular.

Researching Organisations: This module prepares you for completing high quality, systematic business and management research, drawing upon a range of secondary and primary data sources in preparation for your research project. You will be introduced to a range of tools required for research including methodological issues, data collection techniques and different approaches to data analysis.

Dissertation: You will investigate a HR management or organisational practice issue using primary and/or secondary data, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts from literature and a relevant research design. You will also make recommendations for improved future practice.

Course Structure

View the full-time course structure chart here

View the part-time course structure chart here

As we review our courses regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules may vary from the list shown above.

Teaching and learning

On the course you will experience a variety of teaching and learning approaches. These will include lectures, seminar discussions and practical workshops, as well as facilitated online learning through our virtual learning platform (Moodle). A stimulating mix of theoretical and practical inputs is offered to help you understand the challenges of HR in practice as well as improve your employment prospects. Teaching staff at the Business School are researchers and/or come from an industry background with an in-depth practical experience of HR and wider business and management issues. Visiting speakers from business, industry, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or visual presentation work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include reports, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, visual and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations, oral exams (viva) and practical exercises. The majority of assessments are based on individual assignments, but there is some assessed group work.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes Business School is on the Headington Campus, at the heart of the University. £30m has been spent to provide a first-class new home for Business School students and staff, with lecture theatres, teaching rooms, social learning space and a café. There is a new modern hall for teaching and special events like graduation.

The Headington Campus is also home to the 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.

The majority of our student halls are close to the Headington Campus.

Field trips

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.

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.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2020/21: £10,500

Home/EU - part time fee: 2020/21: £5,250

International - full time: 2020/21: £15,400

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

The Department of Business and Management is pleased to offer scholarships in all disciplines for students wishing to undertake full-time taught postgraduate MSc programmes. Some part-time courses may be eligible for scholarships for UK and EU applicants.

Applicants to this course are eligible to apply for a Simon Williams scholarship.

Scholarships will be awarded for academic excellence and each award will be paid towards the tuition fee for a taught master's degree. These scholarships do not include a maintenance grant.

For further information, visit: /business/postgraduate/fees-scholarships-and-loans/

Entry requirements

This course attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. A minimum of a second class honours degree (2:2) in any academic discipline, or equivalent overseas degree from a recognised institution or equivalent professional or other qualification is required.

Applicants who possess a diploma rather than a good degree may be eligible for entry provided they have compensatory work experience and can demonstrate career development.

Applications are welcome from those in work and seeking continuing professional development.

Entry will also be subject to two satisfactory references (one of these must be an academic reference).

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to satisfy the university's English language requirements:

  • IELTS minimum level 6.0, (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing, and 5.5 in listening and speaking).
  • If you have completed your undergraduate degree in the UK (at least one full year of study) you will automatically meet our English language requirements

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • If you need to take a pre-master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course, you can take our two year master’s course. This course combine the pre-master's diploma and your master's in one application. You can apply for one visa for the two years of study.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Please contact business@brookes.ac.uk if you need help with your application or require any further information.

Apply for this 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.

How this course helps you develop

The course provides you with the knowledge, skills and experience to help you start a successful career in HR Practice, HR Consultancy or general management.


Our graduates are highly employable, following a number of different career routes. Many are in HR departments across a wide spectrum of organisations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), governmental bodies, large global commercial organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Some develop academic careers and others follow consultancy opportunities or go into general management.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We take great pride in the pastoral, academic and career development support provided to our postgraduate students. Our student support co-ordinators ensure that whatever problem you may have it is addressed rapidly.

Our dedicated careers centre provides advice and workshops to help develop the key skills needed to develop your career and get the right job. The programme lead and all academic staff provide open office hours so that you can walk in without an appointment to discuss academic or personal concerns. A dedicated team of postgraduate programme administrators ensures efficient and effective support of students, delivered in a friendly and approachable manner.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research areas and clusters

Related to this subject there are two research clusters in the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice.

Research clusters