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MSc in Human Resource Management

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) talks about the importance of studying for a Masters in Human Resource Management.


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This MSc combines an in-depth understanding of human resource management with a broader exploration of its organisational and management context. It provides up-to-date knowledge of organisational theory and behaviour, and the specialist skills essential to practitioners – and the opportunity to gain CIPD membership. It’s also ideal for career changers aspiring to work in HR.

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Professional recognition

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This qualification provides a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) if you wish to develop a career in HR management.

If you're committed to changing your life by doing something you love, then study with the OU Business School. It's not just a qualification, it's a way of life. The skills you learn will be with you forever.

Melanie Robinson
MSc in Human Resource Management Dissertation of the Year 2019 
Read Melanie's story

Course content

In this MSc you’ll learn about the role of the HR professional, the nature of professionalism and approaches to addressing ethical dilemmas, sustainable HR management, and EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion).

You’ll develop the people management skills that are essential for HR work such as selection and appraisal interviewing, delivering training, managing performance, organisational development and people analytics. You’ll also gain the skills and understanding needed to work at a strategic level in an organisation in relation to HR issues. This will include employee relations, learning and development, talent management, engagement with employees and stakeholders, and the ability to address change management issues.

Qualification structure

The minimum time to complete this qualification is three years by studying 60 credits a year. You should allow 12–13 hours of study per week for each 30 credit module. The maximum time to complete is seven years.

Descriptions of all modules are available on the MSc in Human Resource Management qualification page.

This diagram shows the full list of modules to study which make up the three stages of the full qualification. To gain the Postgraduate Certificate in Human Resource Management (K41) you will need to complete the following two compulsory 30 credit modules. The first module is The role of the human resource professional (B810). The second module is Human resource management in context (B811). To gain the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (E87) you will need to complete the following modules. The first module is Creating evidence-based value in people management (B812). Then you will need to choose a 30 credit module from the following two optional modules. You can either choose to study Employement relations and employee engagement (B813) or Learning and development at work (B814). To gain the MSc in Human Resource Management (F93) you will need to complete the final compulsory module: Dissertation (HRM) (B894).

Career development

This MSc develops the understanding and skills needed for HR management roles in an increasingly diverse global economy. The large and diverse community of learners (both in the UK and internationally) spans cultural, professional and role boundaries – providing you with a wide range of learning and networking experiences as you interact with one another face-to-face and online. More generally, by studying for a postgraduate business qualification, you can expect a positive impact on your career progression.

For employers, the MSc in Human Resource Management will further develop their employees’ skill set and support improvements to working practices in the organisation.

Credit transfers

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module.

For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

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