Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£9,450 for the full course* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start dates

September, January


Derby Campus

The highlights

100%agreed that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teachingPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2023
100%agreed that the course has challenged them to produce their best workPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2023

Accelerate your career development

This course puts you on the fast track to a qualification which raises your professional standing and improves your career prospects. It fully prepares you to meet the CPD requirements of the HR profession.

If you already have a Postgraduate Diploma in HRM or HRD – or a CIPD Advanced Level Diploma – you can top these qualifications up to the full MSc award in just a year.

You may also be interested in our Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management which is ideal both for specialist HR practitioners and for general managers who would like to improve their portfolio of skills. 

HRM from a business perspective

This MSc in Human Resource Management is suitable for both specialist HR practitioners and for general managers who would like to improve their HRM skills.

Our emphasis is on how HR strategies and decisions have an important and lasting impact on the performance of organisations, whatever their size, type and sector. We set the HRM specialism firmly within the broader field of business, management and corporate strategy.

You’ll gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of organisations, how they are managed and the external challenges they face. We draw on the latest thinking, pioneering research and fascinating case studies, including looking at HRM in an international context. 

Professionally approved

One key benefit of this postgraduate course is that it's a stepping stone towards Chartered Membership of the CIPD. This can advance your career further still — opening doors to promotion, a higher salary and an increased range of job opportunities.

From the start of the course you will join the CIPD and gain full access to the restricted member areas of its website and to local branch network events — all of this will support your studies.

As long as you achieve the Postgraduate Diploma stage of this degree, you will have completed the 'knowledge' criteria requirements for Advanced CIPD membership and you will automatically gain Associate status of the CIPD. When you can also demonstrate evidence of the necessary 'activity' and 'behaviour' criteria, you will be ready to apply for Chartered Membership status.

During your studies, we’ll give you help and guidance to make your online application for the appropriate CIPD membership level.

Deliver genuine business impact

All your assignments and reports reflect real-world scenarios and are usually based on your own workplace practice and experiences. By investigating current business issues from a HRM perspective, you can add substantial value to your organisation as you work towards your qualifications.

At stage three (masters level), you will undertake a research project within the workplace that is directly relevant to your role and the goals of your employer. Recent independent study projects have covered areas such as talent management, employee engagement, the evaluation of learning and training, organisational change, HR analytics and knowledge management.

Build your networks

As well as using our own in-house expertise to teach you, we invite figures from industry to come in and share their knowledge with you. For example, we run ‘expert witness’ sessions where you can question senior HR managers about their careers. You’ll also be invited to masterclasses and guest lectures delivered by influential thinkers, such as our Visiting Professors in HRM, Dr Linda Holbeche and Professor Lynette Harris. 

As well as our national links with CIPD, we work closely with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire branch, which has over 3,000 members from a wide range of organisations. This branch holds events at the University, which you can attend, enabling you to make new contacts in a professional forum. You’ll hear first-hand what happens at the sharp end of the HR business — from the challenges of identifying talent to how it feels to attend a tribunal. 

Chart your career path

Career development planning is at the heart of this course and you will be fully prepared to meet the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements of your profession. From the outset, you will reflect on your experience, practice, ambitions and skills gaps to create a clear route to future success. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will help you develop your critical self-analysis skills and build your professional identity.

Diverse and supportive

You will be inspired by our expert lecturers with wide-ranging experience of HRM. They have designed the course to be intellectually challenging but offer support and guidance all the way to help you excel.

This MSc attracts a diverse mix of students — established and aspiring HR practitioners from different age groups and from different roles across the public, private and charitable sectors.

Sarah Bell

The tutors were incredibly knowledgeable and most had real life experience of working in industry, which was really important to us as a group of working professionals.

Sarah Bell
MSc Human Resource Management
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

The course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

To complete the MSc Human Resource Management, you'll study modules such as: 

You’ll be introduced to the study of HR and gain an understanding of concepts, ideas and competences relating to vocational aspects of the discipline.

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Developing Professional Practice - This module equips you with a set of analytical tools and techniques to enhance your professional development, personal effectiveness and credibility at work. With a strong focus on how to add business value to your organisation, it covers areas such as leadership, critical thinking and decision-making, managing financial information and budgets, team working and interpersonal skills, resolving conflicts, influencing and coaching.
  • Human Resource Management in an International Context - This module will deepen your understanding of the external, internal, business and managerial contexts of different organisations, including the impact of internationalisation and globalisation. You’ll explore the constraints within which HR practitioners work and how they make appropriate choices aligned with the objectives of their organisation.
  • Leading, Managing and Developing People - You’ll evaluate major contemporary research and debates in HRM, including how HR practices influence business outcomes and how the value of the HR function can be measured. Covering issues of leadership, professionalism and ethics, this module looks at HRM developments in different sectors and different forms of organisations and enterprises. You’ll consider themes such as change management, flexible working initiatives, motivation and engagement within the workplace, the importance of the line manager role and the increasing emphasis on team working within organisations.

You’ll build on the foundation of knowledge you gained at the Postgraduate Certificate stage by studying these modules:

  • International Resourcing and Talent Development - The growth of human capital has been identified as a key driver of competitive advantage for organisations. On this module, you’ll examine a range of talent management strategies to attract, identify, develop, engage, retain and deploy individuals with high potential. You’ll look at how talent can be fostered through learning and development interventions and how to evaluate the impact of such interventions on the ‘bottom line’.
  • Advanced Diversity and Inclusion - The aim of this module is to explore strategic workplace diversity and inclusion in terms of communication and training, addressing workplace behaviour and analysis of trends. It focuses on historical and the present-day role of line managers and other stakeholders in promoting a fair workplace culture key to managing workplace effectiveness. Through the lens of UK legislation, and international equivalents, this module also covers how strategic actions and decisions go beyond legal compliance as it focuses on the well-being and engagement of the workforce and the effects of inequality and segregation.  
  • Strategic Employment Relations - This module aims to focus on different perspectives of employment relations, power, authority and the cooperation and conflict that varies between workplaces. The role that institutions beyond the workplace play in shaping people management policy and practice within organisations will be explored, including legal, ethical, and moral approaches to problem resolution. In addition, students will understand how people professionals work with employees and trade unions to mitigate organisational risks.

  • Independent Study: Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Independent Study: Dissertation (40 credits)

You can explore a theme that particularly interests you, an area in which you see your career developing, or an aspect of your current job role which your studies will benefit.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

You will develop your knowledge through:

At every stage of the programme you are encouraged to apply your learning to work-based scenarios so that you can make an immediate business impact. We will challenge your ways of thinking and behaving as you seek solutions to complex business problems.

This programme is approved by the CIPD so if their Professional Standards and programmes change, this MSc may also need to change.

How you are assessed

For each module, you will be assessed by coursework, scenario or work based assignments. At stage three (masters), you will be assessed by your independent study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,450 for the full course*

£1,050 per 20 credits


£14,900 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.



This MSc can help you progress towards the higher levels of HR management, but because people are a vital component of any organisation, it can also help you excel in more general management roles. Its approval by the CIPD means it's well-regarded by employers, and its content will ensure you leave as a forward-thinking practitioner with high levels of professionalism and a thorough grasp of modern strategic practice.

After completing this course, most of our students go on to gain promotions or secure more senior roles in other organisations. Our graduates now work across the world in HR management and director positions for public, private and not-for-profit organisations, including Boots, the NHS, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and local authorities. 

Wherever your career takes you, we equip you with some key transferable skills that will be of value in any professional role. These include: leadership, teamworking, networking, communication, and the ability to present and justify intellectually rigorous arguments. We also develop your critical self-analysis and reflective practice skills, which will support lifelong learning and encourage you to continuously grow and develop throughout your career.

Ongoing careers support

Our support continues beyond graduation. You are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

The full Masters can be studied full-time and part-time. 

The top-up can be studied part-time only.

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Optional costs not included in your fees
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