MA Human Resource Management - work experience
For the MA in Human Resource Management students, the purpose of this work experience is three-fold: 
  • To gain some work experience in any aspect of human resource management
  • To understand current human resource management practices in British business
  • To undertake any HR-related project work needed by that organisation
Consequently, for shorter work experience opportunities, a student could shadow a member of staff. For longer placements, the student might undertake a short project, at no cost to the business.

The student could be asked to tackle an issue that, due to a shortage of resources, has been shelved temporarily. The following are some suggestions of potential projects:
  • Research current best practice in any area of HR, e.g. appraisal, recruitment, HR strategy, employee engagement, equality and diversity.
  • Develop a new HR policy/procedure or review a current HR policy/procedure.
  • Identify training needs or evaluate some recent training initiative.
  • Research the impact of social media on recruitment, selection or discipline.
  • Examine the organisation’s approach to performance management and appraisal.
  • Review the relationship between the HR department and the organisation’s line managers.
This short project would not be assessed but if suitable, the student may consider developing it or an element of it further and basing their assessed dissertation project on it. 

Students can be asked to sign an agreement so that expectations are managed on both sides and confidentiality is respected. 

As part of their learning experience, students can present the results of their findings to the organisation at the end of the piece of work, either verbally or in writing. 

If you would like to work with either individuals or a small team of ‘MA in Human Resource Management’ students, please email:


"The work being done will create the foundations to support the accreditation of our courses. It will professionalise our image and prepare the business in developing relationships with associates. It’s a complete joy to sit down with them and listen to their ideas. We really value their contribution. Their work will underpin what we’re doing to develop the business and get coaching into every school in the UK! We're delighted with what the students are doing for us. They are a credit to the Plymouth Graduate School of Management."
Liz Scott, Co-Founder, Coaching Connect

“It is good to be involved with a real work problem and to be able to apply some of the knowledge I have gained from the course (HR policies, contracts).”
Simon Truscott, Student, MA in Human Resource Management

“The work based learning been a great addition to the MA in Human Resource Management programme, benefiting the students as well as the host organisations."
Dr Virginia Fisher, Associate Head (Graduate Studies) and Associate Professor (HR and Leadership)

“Tara undertook and delivered a research presentation as part of her work experience with us. She was very good at planning and managing a multi-faceted project efficiently, developing our campaign to publicise Harassment Advisors.  Tara created a comprehensive, ‘hands-on’ plan with suggestions and recommendations for the next phase of the project that was well received by the Department Head.”
Rachel Jagger-Thomas, Head of Resourcing (Diversity and Inclusion), Talent and Organisational Development, Plymouth University

As part of the Employee Resourcing module on the MA Human Resource Management (HRM), students attended local football club Plymouth Argyle for the afternoon.

They spent a few hours with the Manager who has responsibility for HRM at Plymouth Argyle and were treated to a tour of the grounds. All had a great day and it was wonderful to discuss at length how the theory we studied in class translates to real-life HR issues.