Plymouth Business School

MA Human Resource Management

Equip yourself with the skills and capabilities required for a strategic role in HR on this full-time programme. Through lectures informed by active research and opportunities to gain important work related competencies, you will develop the necessary skills for contemporary HR management, in a business and organisational context.

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CIPD accreditation

We are pleased to confirm that students who complete our programme can benefit from accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) reflecting how our course aligns with professional qualifications in this sector. Upon successful completion of the programme students will also have the necessary knowledge criteria to upgrade to Chartered or Fellow membership (depending upon their level of work experience).

Key features

  • Tailor your time at university to meet your needs by balancing your study around your work and personal commitments. Lectures take place in the afternoons on set days, thereby minimising the impact on everyday work commitments.
  • Learn from research-active academics with professional and industry experience.
  • Add value to your professional development by combining academic knowledge and rigour, and build important work-related skills and competencies.
  • Complement your professional qualification with a masters’ degree in Human Resource Management when you successfully complete the HR masters dissertation with a research methods module 
  • Join a diverse student body – this course appeals to both recent graduates who wish to enter the HR profession as well as those working in HR who wish to gain professional chartered status and strengthen their employment prospects. 
  • Deepen your knowledge by studying a range of modules such as the critical role a human resources professional plays within the work environment, how best to lead, manage and develop employees, appropriate HR policies and strategies, maximising the contribution, growth and wellbeing of employees, including an ethical sensibility towards the practice of HRM.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • This programme equips you with the skills and capabilities required for an HR role at an influential and strategic level – regardless of whether you have professional aspirations in HR or are already experienced and looking to build upon your knowledge. It aims to add value to your professional development by combining academic knowledge and rigour with the need to build important work-related skills and competencies. These enable you to enhance your understanding of complex and challenging issues in international business, and in public as well as third-sector environments. The programme enables you to gain the knowledge criteria required for full chartered membership of the CIPD.

    Core modules
    • HRL700 Leading Managing and Developing People

      This module will provide an introduction to the complexities of leading, managing and developing people in the workplace. It is one of the core areas in the field of Human Resource Management, and through an exploration of both relevant theory and practice, it seeks to develop a critical understanding of the complexities and contested nature of leadership and management and the opportunities for developing people, groups and organisations

    • HRL701 Contemporary HRM in Context

      This module provides an understanding of the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations, within which managers, HR professionals and workers interact in conditions of environmental turbulence, change and uncertainty. The module examines how managers and HR professionals respond to these dynamic environmental contexts. It demonstrates that corporate decisions and HR choices are not always shaped by managers alone.

    • HRL702 Employee Resourcing

      This module aims to equip learners with the knowledge and skills required to undertake core resourcing activities to a high standard. Students will focus on mobilising an effective workforce through the practical and strategic aspects of recruitment, selection, talent management, retention and dismissal. The module will also introduce students to a range of different and more critical perspectives than purely a managerialist/practitioner approach.

    • HRL703 Managing Conflict and Employment Relations

      This module provides a comprehensive critical framework of knowledge and understanding of the management of employment relations within contemporary workplaces. This focuses on the processes through which organisations seek to address and manage conflict with and between employees with the context of key principles of employment law. In doing so, it provides both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge needed for HR practitioners and managers to function effectively and contribute to the development of productive employment relationships.

    • HRL704 HR Research Methods

      This module enables learners to understand the nature and processes involved in business and management research, equip them to carry out their own research and to be aware of the philosophical and ethical contexts in which research takes place. Students will be expected to develop a suitable and realistic research proposal.

    • HRL705 Managing Equality and Diversity

      This module will introduce students to the key concepts of managing equality and diversity in employment. Workforce diversity is a major issue in many countries facing managers and organisations and indeed governments. There is however evidence of unrelenting stereotypes and discriminatory behaviours and attitudes that permeate both the workplace and society in general. This module will explore different theoretical perspectives underpinning the topic and critically evaluate actual and potential organisational responses.

    • HRL713 HR Research Project

      This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and investigate a live, complex business issue from an HR perspective, to locate the work within the body of contemporary knowledge, to collect and analyse data, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical, actionable and costed recommendations for change, improvement or enhancement of current practice. It will also enable learners to understand the nature and processes involved in business and management research in the context of their own research.

    • HRL714B International HRM

      The module will introduce students to International and Comparative HRM issues. After appraising the implications of globalisation for HRM and labour, students will learn how to compare HRM across Countries with the aid of cultural and institutional theories. HRM issues of Multinational companies will be addressed. Finally, the focus will shift to the arguments for and against international regulation of labour standards.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Human Resource Management Programme Specification Oct19 4328

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements


A good honours degree (first or second class), or equivalent. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.


Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements.


Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,500 £7,800
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) £500 £450
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Human Resource Management case studies

Find out what our current students have to say about the course and why they chose to study here.

Read the case studies

Graduate viewpoint

Students on this programme come from a range of backgrounds and business sectors, from those with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to those looking to start a career HR.

Graduates Isobel Ryder, Donna Ronan and Julie Wills share talk about the course and how it has benefited them personally and professionally

Jasmine Kelland – MA Human Resource Management Programme Lead

“Jasmine is the most helpful lecturer, she really wants you to do well and will help with anything she can. After hearing about her employment career it makes me extremely excited to start mine. I hope one day I can have the success and achievement that Jasmine has after working incredibly hard. I would like to say a massive thank-you to Jasmine for inspiring me and keeping me focused on my end goal.”

Valerie Stephens – postgraduate student

"Jasmine is an amazing lecturer and person whom inspired myself and others to continue into postgraduate this year for the MA Human Resource Management course. Jasmine's not only a lecturer but a great support. She deserves to be recognised for being a true inspiration and I can't thank her enough!"

Chloe Pearson – postgraduate student

"We offer a programme rich in expertise with the development of each individual at its heart." Jasmine Kelland, Programme Lead

Learn more about Jasmine

Study part-time

Tailor your time at university to meet your needs by fitting your study around work and personal commitments. Studying part-time gives you the flexibility to:

  • study at a pace which suits you
  • obtain CIPD accreditation and develop your academic skills 
  • benefit from professional networking and the shared experiences of other part and full-time students

  • continue to work and develop professionally
  • plan ahead - teaching takes place on one day per week, Tuesday in year one and Wednesday in year two
  • complete your studies within two years. 

Further information

Two year part-time option 

Research opportunities

The People Organisations and Work (POW) research group brings together academics who undertake critical interdisciplinary research that contributes to the promotion of positive and sustainable organisational environments and fulfilling and rewarding work. 

Find out more about research opportunities


Let our graduates inspire you

Nadine Mashingaidze – MA Human Resource Management graduate

Nadine graduated from BSc (Hons) Business Management (Leadership and HR), then studied MA Human Resource Management, before moving into a role as HR Manager at GA Solicitors in Plymouth.
Read more about Nadine's journey

Jayne Marsh – MA Human Resource Management graduate

The modules at Plymouth were practically relevant to the workplace and delivered by an academic team who inspired thought-provoking and inspiring debate, which translated into the reality of working in an HR team.
Read more about Jayne's experiences

"I found a really good job in a HR position and this is thanks to how the masters was designed.

"The position is within the company that I was working for as a waitress. They were looking for someone with a good background knowledge of HR issues such as recruitment, training, staff development and awareness about the HR legal framework."

Natalia Juarranz  – MA Human Resource Management graduate

“Thank you for all of the support you have given me in the last few years. I have greatly enjoyed the whole experience. 

"I have developed and matured as a reader, thinker and writer. I have hopefully helped my Corps in some way too; be that LGBT awareness, the retention paper and just being better able to offer constructive critical advice to marines or generals.”

Lieutenant Colonel Aldeiy Alderson Royal Marines – MA Human Resource Management graduate