Human Resource Management MSc

Many organisations claim 'our people are our most important asset', and the human resource management function is increasingly significant to business strategy and success. Activities such as recruitment, selection, managing labour relations, training and career development are important to the effectiveness of organisations wherever they are located.


Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 1 year full-time

Start date: September


Quick links: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and Funding |
Entry RequirementsHow to apply


The MSc HRM pathway offers a suite of core and elective modules that explore and critically assess relevant and contemporary HRM-related theories and research, giving insight into their practical applications. 

By the end of the programme you will have a high standard of knowledge and understanding of the current practical, intellectual and policy challenges facing practitioners in the field of human resource management. These include:

  • The relationship between HRM and business strategy
  • The impact of HRM on company performance
  • The challenge of developing HRM strategies in an international context
  • The implications of new individual and collective employment rights
  • Managing change and introducing new forms of work organisation
  • Ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge.

12 month programme

The 12 month programme begins in September. Students are required to undertake 120 credits of taught elements and a 60 credit dissertation. You will receive training in research methods so as to enable you to carry out the dissertation, undertaken between June and September. The training will also prepare you for doctoral research, should you choose to continue your studies.

24 month programme

A 24 month programme is available where students take a general business qualification to develop their knowledge and expertise in functional and strategic business areas; find out more about the 24 month programme.


During the course of the year you will undertake a research dissertation on an appropriate topic, to be submitted in September. You'll choose your own topic in consultation with academic staff, usually building on a particular area of interest from one of the taught modules. You'll also work with the guidance of a supervisor in carrying out the research and submitting the final dissertation.

Why study this course

The Human Resource Management function is increasingly significant to business strategy and success. Activities such as recruitment, selection, retention, managing labour relations, training and career development are highly important to the financial performance of organisations as competition between companies increases.

The programme caters for graduates wanting to develop a career in human resource management, an area in which there are many opportunities. It is distinctive in being internationally oriented, and devotes attention to issues related to HRM theory, policy and practice.

Students also have the opportunity to attend a personal development course at an outdoor pursuits centre in the UK.



Semester 1

Core Modules

Elective modules (subject to change)

Semester 2

Core Modules 

Elective modules (subject to change)

Fees and funding

  • UK/EU - £8,010
  • Overseas - £16,525

Please check with the School for the latest fees information, learn more about fees and funding

Business School Scholarships may be available, find out more about our scholarships.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government; find out more.

Entry requirements

At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent. For those not qualified for direct entry to the one-year MSc programmes, a preliminary year may be available (see MSc programmes – flexible route).

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements 

English language scores of 7.0 IELTS (no less than 6.5 in any band), 95 TOEFL (with no less than 22 in any band), or 67 (in all skills) Pearson Academic Test of English are required.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

A general guide to postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham, featuring students speaking about the postgraduate experience.

The programme begins in September and runs for twelve months on a full-time basis.The first nine months of the programme are spent developing knowledge through six taught modules.

In addition, you will receive research training. This will form the basis for your final dissertation, which will be your focus during the last three months of the programme.

The programme is led by Dr Rory Donnelly and includes members of staff who are internationally recognised in their fields of expertise. These include:


Assessment methods

Taught modules contribute towards two thirds of your final assessment. The dissertation contributes one third. Modules are assessed using written examinations and coursework. Coursework can take a variety of forms, including reports, essays, group presentations and practical assignments. Some coursework is group based.


Two MSc Human Resource Management graduates discuss their highlights of the course and their future career plans.

Strong industry links

We enjoy active and close links with industry and the financial community. Many of our programmes have input from organisations such as GE, Biersdorf and Accenture. Companies such as HSBC, BP, Unilever and Deloitte visit the School to run workshops and business games, ensuring that you have the opportunity to put the theory you have learned into practice.

Particular programmes also offer the ability to obtain first-hand experience in the form of either work placements abroad or UK based consultancy projects with companies such as Jaguar, Aston Villa Football Club and Cadbury.

Careers in Business

As a postgraduate at Birmingham Business School you will have access to our specialist careers service, Careers in Business. This service is only available to postgraduates and provides support with job applications and interviews, job seeking and skills development.

Services include:

  • Individual appointments to review your CV or application form, discuss your career plans and provide advice about job seeking
  • Workshops to help you develop the skills that multinational employers look for
  • Events and exercises to help you get through the graduate selection process include practice interview sessions and a mock assessment centre
  • Opportunities to interact with employers and recruiters at sector specific events such as Careers in Banking and Careers in Consulting.

Postgraduates can also access Employer presentations and Career Fairs organised by the University’s central service, Careers Network.

Please get in touch if you have any questions before starting your programme and would like to speak to a Careers Consultant;

students careers fair