Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

This course is being updated, please keep checking back for more information.

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

100%Overall student satisfaction - BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM)**National Student Survey 2020
Why you should study Human Resource Management at the University of Derby

View Human Resources Management course overview video transcript

This degree fosters specialist HR skills and knowledge alongside business acumen so that you are fully prepared for HR roles where you can add significant value to an organisation.

It is closely aligned to standards set by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. You’ll gain up-to-date and relevant skills, learning how to plan and implement HR policies and strategies in the workplace and exploring the contribution of HR in the wider context of talent management, employee engagement and business performance.

We cover vital themes including the recruitment, management and retention of employees; how employment law can be used to tackle workplace problems; discrimination, equality and diversity; development of effective management and leadership; the role of HR in high performance working; and the contemporary issues shaping the HR landscape in modern organisations. 

Flexibility is a cornerstone of the BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM). All our Business Management students take the same core modules in the first year to give them a solid grounding in the key business disciplines. This part of the degree equips you for the broad role of the modern HR professional, so you can understand how the HR function fits within and contributes to an organisation’s wider strategies.

After that, you can choose to remain on the specialist pathway in HRM or – if you find your interests have changed – you can easily transfer to one of our other pathways in MarketingFinance or International Business. Alternatively, you could choose the core Business Management route, drawing on our extensive list of optional modules to develop a broader, fully rounded skillset.

The BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM) is offered as a four-year degree to include a placement year. You can, however, study on a three-year full-time basis, with opportunities for internships in the summer breaks.

Professional recognition

CIPD membership is a key requirement for most UK jobs in the HR field and is increasingly recognised globally too. Because this course is approved by the CIPD, you can join the Institute as a student member during your studies. On successful completion of the degree, you can then become an associate member, which will help you secure your first HR role and support your developing career.

We expect you to take up student membership of the CIPD during the second and third stages of the course. There is a wide range of membership benefits including exclusive study and career resources, local branch events and the CIPD mentoring scheme. (You will need to pay the Institute directly for membership.)

The BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM) has also been developed in close collaboration with the premier professional body for managers, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Ours is one of the few degrees in the country where you can graduate with an extra CMI qualification: the Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership. The Diploma is the benchmark qualification for full CMI membership and takes you a step towards Chartered Manager status. You won’t need to take extra exams or coursework to achieve it: our combined module and CMI assessments offer a smooth route to both qualifications.

Throughout the degree, you’ll become an affiliate member of the CMI, at no extra cost, with access to networking events, online resources and additional benefits.

CMI logo        

Specialist mentoring

Thanks to the CIPD approval and CMI accreditation, this degree introduces you to a privileged network of contacts. Ours was the first course in the country to offer every student the chance to receive support and guidance from an external CMI mentor at each stage.

Your mentor will be a senior business person – either a Chartered Manager or Fellow of the CMI with a wealth of experience and insights to share with you. They will advise and coach you from a business perspective, showing how the management and HR principles you are learning can be applied directly to the workplace.

To sharpen your focus on the HR profession, you are also encouraged to apply for a CIPD mentor to give you additional guidance in the second and third stages of the degree.  

Hands-on learning

You’ll take the theories off the page and put them into practice in real-world scenarios. You can test your ideas through business simulations, topical case studies and employer-led projects that show how academic knowledge can be translated into management practice in the workplace. You can expect to take an active role in classroom sessions ­– whether learning how to negotiate for your share of a salary pot, to appraise an employee or to design and run a training and development session.

We support you to take an optional placement year or summer internship to enhance your employability. Our students have secured invaluable experience with organisations such as the NHS, the National Trust and Lubrizol. One student completed a placement in Europe working on the recruitment of legal professionals. If you take a year-long placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice – to add to your CV.

Live consultancy projects, where you help employers to improve their business performance, will build your HR, research, project management, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Recent examples include a performance management project with PKF Cooper Parry, HR consultancy with Erewash Sounds and the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust, and enterprise projects with the Annabel’s Angels charity.

You could also benefit from fieldtrips to see business in close-up: one recent example was to the Sony UK Technology Centre, the company’s manufacturing and customer service base in Wales.

Kira Williams and Laura Rose

Year internship win for students Kira and Laura

Our students Kira Williams and Laura Rose have started a year's internship with local employer LoatesHR.

Read more about the internshipRead more about the internship

Expert teaching

You’ll be taught by an experienced and highly qualified team with an impressive track record for research and a national reputation for excellence. They have received recognition in the prestigious CMI Higher Education Awards, including runners-up places for the Outstanding Innovation and Delivery Award and the International Award in 2018.

The team has extensive contacts in the business and HR community and you can draw on those connections for inspiration and insight. You will be encouraged to engage with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire CIPD branch to start to build networks with other HR professionals. The branch stages events at the University where you can make new contacts in a professional forum.

Global thinking

Your learning will be enriched by international perspectives. Ours is a global student community and the BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM) not only attracts students from all over the world to Derby but is also delivered for our educational partners across Europe and Asia. It means there is a lot of potential for inter-country debates, seminars and guest lectures delivered online, international case studies and joint projects.

In your second year, you’ll have the option to spend an exchange week in Barcelona studying at the EU Business School, one of our academic partners which runs the same degree and where teaching is in English. You could also take advantage of other optional visits overseas: a trip to Copenhagen saw our students investigating issues such as art fraud and business ethics.

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4AG500

Finance and Business Performance

This module will assume no prior accounting knowledge. You will learn how to prepare accounts for small businesses and then apply that knowledge to larger organisations.

Numbers by themselves can be misleading and you will progress to examining accounting statements to assess just how well a business is performing. Managers cannot improve the performance of a business unless they make correct interpretations of situations and learn how to diagnose problems.

Business costs will be identified and analysed to aid decision making relating to the control and viability of projects. Sources of finance will be identified and discussed. This basic financial knowledge is essential to anyone wishing to pursue a career in business, whether on a self-employed basis or in a larger corporation.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4EC508

Business Economics

Economics is all around us, present in almost every aspect of our lives. Knowledge of economics will therefore provide you with an essential insight in to how markets work and how firms and consumers make decisions in market economies.

Knowledge of economics is important to businesses as it helps them identify opportunities and potential threats they may face in the environment they operate. Therefore, this module aims to develop your understanding of the core principles of micro and macro-economics.

You will use economic models, theories and ideas to investigate current economic issues. The module will help you develop your understanding of economic information and will enable you to develop your ability and confidence to create your own independent thoughts around current economic issues.

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20 Credits

Code: 4GN501

Developing an Enterprising Mindset

Enterprising individuals are necessary within the economy as they create jobs, wealth and value. These individuals do this through applying an enterprising mindset, an individual and unique combination of enterprising behaviours, attributes and skills which can be used in a variety of contexts.

For instance, this could be in starting and growing a business (ie in an entrepreneurial context) or applying their skills to existing organisations, whether large companies, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) or not-for-profit organisations (ie in an intrapreneurial context - being entrepreneurial inside a larger organisation).

Being able to apply an enterprising mindset is highly desirable in today’s fast-moving business environment where reacting to gaps in the market or competitor actions, dealing with uncertainty, being able to make decisions and take action will all extend your commercial awareness and business acumen. Therefore, this module is all about developing your enterprising mindset and then applying it in a real life situation.

Building on and integrating the other first year business function modules, this module will overlay elements such as funnelling your creative energy, recognising the difference between a business idea and a business opportunity, deciding which approach is most beneficial, and then designing and implementing an appropriate plan of action.

The aim of the module is to help you understand the relevance and interaction of these elements within a business context, and to give you transferable skills you can apply in any organisational situation. Moreover, strong emphasis will be placed upon you to demonstrate these skills and to reflect upon your progress.

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20 Credits

Code: 4HR503

Understanding People in Organisations

This module introduces organisational behaviour (OB) theory and research to help you gain an understanding of the range of individual, group and organisational factors which can influence the way that employees behave in the workplace.

You will practice applying the theory to case study organisations to explore how it can be used as an analytical tool to gain a clearer understanding of the complex causes of workplace behaviour in order to develop effective management interventions.

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20 Credits

Code: 4IM510

Developing a Professional Mindset

Key to a successful career in business and the ability to make an impact is having an understanding of how different business departments and functions work (whether locally or globally) and how they can impact each other, such insight can be termed as having business acumen. Parallel to business acumen is having the ability to communicate effectively, network with people and demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour, this can be termed as having business etiquette or professionalism.

This module will act as a foundation in developing your knowledge, skills and professional behaviour to allow you to make the desired impact in your professional career. You will be introduced to key business subject areas, and through practical activities, develop and apply your learning to a business scenario (or series of scenarios).

The application of the key subject areas will further develop your knowledge of business functions, the impact of current affairs on business operations and your personal professionalism. In addition to the business subject areas, you will be introduced to concepts, techniques and skills development opportunities to enhance your communication and personal presentation skills.

These activities will give you more confidence in business contexts such as networking meetings and interviews and are designed to provide you with knowledge and awareness of business professionalism.

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20 Credits

Code: 4MK514

Marketing Fundamentals

This introduction to the “fundamentals of marketing” module will provide you with a basic understanding of the current and emerging marketing principles and techniques within the business environment.

It seeks to establish that sustainable market success within a highly competitive environment can only be achieved by developing products or services based upon an understanding of the external environment and customers’ needs and wants.

During the module you will not only consider how to add value for customers and other stakeholders but also learn to assess the impact that marketing activities have on consumers’ lives.

Your assessment is coursework-based, designed to enable you to demonstrate your ability to approach a business challenge as a marketer and business manager. The assessment methods used on this module will also help you to develop key skills desired by employers, for example digital and visual communication and presentation skills, and business report writing.

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20 Credits

Code: 5EC511

Quantitative Skills for Business

This module develops key skills for your future employment in business - the ability to use spread sheets for quantitative analysis, and the skills to interpret and communicate the results of data analysis. These are key skills required by the Chartered Management Institute.

The skill base developed gives you the confidence and experience to prepare an analysis of real data to inform a business decision or underpin a business strategy. These skills also prepare you for evidenced based analysis required in other modules within your programme including finance, marketing and strategy. This module contributes to the CMI accreditation for BA (Hons) Business Management students.

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20 Credits

Code: 5HR506

People Resourcing and Talent Planning

This module explores approaches to talent planning and resourcing adopted by organisations in response to different labour market conditions and strategic business needs.

You will analyse the range of human resources (HR) tools and techniques used to manage the attraction, retention and departure of employees within the UK legal framework. By the end of the module, you will be able to describe HR planning, recruitment and retention methods and demonstrate skills required to undertake many of these in the workplace.

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20 Credits

Code: 5HR512

Employment Law in the Workplace

This module explores the key principles and policies which underpin employment law with a particular emphasis on the regulation of the employment relationship in the workplace. Students will explore primary sources, journal articles and leading texts and engage in problem solving and application of the law within tutorial activities.
20 Credits

Code: 5HR515

Managing Performance through People

Managing the performance of staff is essential to the smooth running of organisations. This module analyses the range of human resource management (HRM) activities undertaken within organisations to manage the performance of its employees and explores the devolution of many of these roles and responsibilities to line managers. It provides an introduction to the knowledge and skills required to undertake these activities professionally and effectively in the workplace.

By the end of the module students will be able to analyse the causes of poor performance within organisations and the principles and practices of effective performance management. They will be able to explain how these practices can be integrated into high performance work systems (HPWS) and analyse barriers to high performance working and the development of high performance cultures.

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20 Credits

Code: 5LO507

Applied Operations Management

The modern business environment is highly volatile and intensely competitive, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. The role of the operations function - how the organisation actually sources, produces and delivers goods and services to demanding customers - becomes a key contributor to superior performance and customer satisfaction.

The module provides a framework, to understand the crucial role of operations to business success. This module will provide an understanding of the systems and processes whereby, people, capital, materials, equipment, knowledge, technology, information and time are combined to produce goods and services.

This module will also provide you with opportunities to experience real workplace operations scenarios where their skills and knowledge can be applied in a practical way with real organisations or in valid case study situations.

It provides an overview of the key areas of operations management, particularly in maintaining and improving the quality of goods and services and making sure that this is also reflected in the organisations performance. The modern organisation cannot stand still, performance needs to be constantly evaluated and improved, against the standards expected in a changing marketplace.

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20 Credits

Code: 5MK520

Principles of Responsible Management

This module aims to provide you with knowledge of the responsible leadership including exploring concepts of ethics, global social responsibility, and creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value for organisations and corporations.

The module will also encourage you to consider the importance of these issues from both the organisation’s and other stakeholder perspectives. You will also reflect on the relevance of responsible leadership as a basis for sustainable competitive advantage. The module aims to equip you with the knowledge and understanding of the complex ethical issues that are encountered by organisations on a frequent basis.

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20 Credits

Code: 5IM888

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

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20 Credits

Code: 5IM889

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting.

The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.

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40 Credits

Code: 6EC513

Global Business and Strategy

This module studies the global business using a combined strategic and economic approach. As part of this module, you will explore the recent major global economic shifts and analyse current international business events.

You will study the key theoretical underpinnings, trends and challenges of international trade and foreign direct investment. You will analyse the importance of government and institutions in controlling/regulating international business behaviour. This will allow you to consider the long-term sustainability of businesses in the ever-changing, and often hostile, global business environment and help you understand the critical role played by strategic management. You will learn how to weigh up a range of complex issues like culture, leadership, corporate governance and others when developing a strategy for an international business.

Throughout this module, you will develop critical practical skills valued by employers and professional accreditation bodies. These include selecting and interpreting data, problem-solving and decision-making, positioning analysis, and developing and evaluating strategic options. Such skills are vital for successful careers in a variety of international and domestic organisations.

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20 Credits

Code: 6HR510

Developing Leadership and Management

This module is about the concepts of Leadership and Management. It explores the similarities and differences in the roles and responsibilities of leaders and managers in the workplace and the development of leadership theoretical approaches as well as the practical application of these within organisations. Students will analyse the skills and competencies of effective organisational leaders and examine alternative methods of leadership development to enhance these.
20 Credits

Code: 6HR511

Contemporary Issues in HR Management

This module will enable learners to develop a sound understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals. It explores the impact of external contexts, societal change and prevalent trends upon managing people in organisations. It seeks to present and examine new thinking about how people relate to their work, how they relate to organisations and how these shifts may affect current understandings of and approaches to HRM. The module takes a thematic approach which examines identified global issues whilst also examining real-time HR related issues.
20 Credits

Code: 6IM511

The Business Consultancy Project

Improvements to processes, services, products, people, and systems are core to the strategy of organisations. Improvements bridge the gap between current and required performance to add value and achieve and sustain a competitive advantage in the long-term.

Effective consultation and project management using appropriate business improvement and research methodologies is key to the successful implementation of change. In this module students will explore how to plan, organise, motivate, and control resources to achieve defined goals, on time and to agreed cost and quality criteria.

Using a consultative approach, students will be challenged to make decisions based on their own research to provide practical advice and solutions to real-life scenarios taking into consideration the organisation’s constraints. They will liaise with employers, establish agreed objectives and present their findings in a clear, business focused report and presentation.

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40 Credits

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.

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Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

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How you will learn

Our ‘scaffolded’ approach to learning provides a smooth transition so that you can ease your way into both university-level study and HR practice. It means that you’ll have full support in the early stages of the degree but will gradually move towards greater independence as your knowledge deepens and you start to immerse yourself in the wider business community. By stage three, you will be able to take more charge of your own learning, with module tutors advising and directing your studies.

Thanks to your contact with personal tutors and external mentors, engagement with the CIPD and participation in University events, you’ll become more attuned to professional behaviour and build your skills in critical thinking, creativity and self-reliance.

Another of our priorities is to foster a new generation of responsible business leaders with a strong moral compass. Throughout the course, you will therefore look at the role of business in wider society, exploring issues ranging from environmental sustainability to child labour, ethical governance to responsible innovation.

You’ll learn through different methods including:

How you are assessed

Assessment is mainly via coursework which can take forms such as:

Who you'll meet

You will be taught by an experienced and highly qualified team with outstanding contacts in the wider business community.

They include our Programme Leader Sheena Bevitt who is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and has extensive practical experience of HRM gained in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors before pursuing her academic career.  Since joining the University of Derby In 2005, she has maintained her professional links and delivered CIPD-approved qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate level to hundreds of students at the University as well as running a number of workshops and masterclasses for CIPD branches.

Sheena keeps her subject knowledge up to date through a developing active research role. She is currently working on a project looking at the experiences of HR professionals as they transition into new and more senior job roles, which has seen her develop strong relationships with HR departments in two large local employers as well as with successful HR directors from a range of organisations.

When working with students in the classroom, Sheena encourages them to build on a firm foundation of theoretical knowledge with practical activities that simulate how academic knowledge turns into management practice in the workplace.  Whether you are negotiating for your share of a salary pot, appraising an employee or designing and running a training and development session, expect to take an active role in her sessions.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

 Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year



£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


When combined with associate membership of the CIPD and the CMI Diploma, the BA (Hons) Business Management (HRM) makes a powerful statement about your professional credibility and management potential.

We pride ourselves on developing graduates who can work competently and ethically in global and cross-cultural environments. Our former students now work in a wide range of companies, from major names in the HR field such as Hays Recruitment and talent management specialists EMBS to public sector organisations like the NHS and local authorities.

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.

The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Derby with one of our far-reaching masters programmes, including the CIPD-accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management – which could then be ‘topped up’ to the MSc Human Resource Management – and the MSc International Business and HRM. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study. 

Contact us

Course: Sheena Bevitt (Programme Leader)  +44(0)1332 591449

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

4 with optional placement year

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.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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