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MA Human Resource Management

Course Overview

Challenging, inspiring and increasingly valuable in today\'s global work environment, human resource management (HRM) is an exciting discipline to master. With the power to influence the direction and success of an organisation, HRM can be harnessed to great effect by a variety of professionals, from company directors to line managers and specialist HR advisers. Whether you\'re at the beginning or mid-stages of your career, postgraduate study of HRM will enhance your managerial capabilities and career prospects in a diverse range of organisations.

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Middlesex course attracts students from all over the world and remains the UK\'s most popular university for international students to study HRM, according to British Council statistics. This is because this flagship course covers a wide range of HRM skills and theories whilst providing opportunities to specialise in specific HRM disciplines that are unique to Middlesex.

Taught by some of the UK\'s top HRM academics and practitioners, this course explores the key theories and practical skills including increasingly important areas such as organisational learning, sustainability, public policy, globalisation, and development and law, ensuring that you graduate with a thorough and practical understanding of HRM that will give you the ability and confidence to embark on, or further underpin, a stimulating career.

As part of this course, we also offer you the option to specialise in one of our unique pathways that give you a named exit award in addition to your masters. These pathways include:
• Human Resource Management (Human Resource Development)
• Human Resource Management (Employment Law)
• Human Resource Management (Employment Relations)

Key information

    Course name

    MA Human Resource Management

    Total academic credits

    180 credits

    Qualification awarded


    Awarding body

    Middlesex University

    Professional recognition

    Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

    Academic level

    Postgraduate (QCF_NQF Level 7)

    Study mode

    Full time


    1 year

    Tuition fees



    October & January

    Work placement


    Course location


Academic entry requirements

• a second class honours degree (2:2, 50%) or above
• Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of two years continuous workplace experience gained in a managerial or professional job following graduation
• Applicants without an honours degree need to demonstrate relevant workplace experience

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, you may be able to take an intensive Pre-sessional English course.

Progression route

Further academic study at postgraduate level including MPhil, DBA, PhD or professional career.

Career opportunities

HRM course will offer you access to a rewarding and lucrative career where you will be able to develop your industry expertise and pursue your professional goals. This course provides an excellent base for a career in roles such as HR Manager, People Business Partner and HR Employer Services Manager.



  • Strategic Human Resource Management (30 credits)
  • Research and Professional Practice with Dissertation (60 credits)



  • Discrimination and the Law (30 credits)
  • Employee Relations and Engagement (30 credits)
  • Employment Relations and the Law (30 credits)
  • Globalisation and Work (30 credits)
  • Human Resource Management and Public Policy (30 credits)
  • Individual Learning and Development (30 credits)
  • Learning and Management Development (30 credits)
  • Organisational Learning and Development (30 credits)
  • People Management for the Diverse Workforce (30 credits)
  • Recruitment and Termination Law (30 credits)
  • Resourcing and Management Development (30 credits)
  • Sustainability and Human Resource Management (30 credits)
  • The Resilient Workplace: building wellbeing at work (30 credits)
  • Total Reward (30 credits)


Assessment methods
You will be assessed by means of exams, your dissertation and other coursework, including reports, presentations, group assignments and your record of learning and development. You will receive regular feedback on your work.  


Course highlights

  • One of the country's largest and most respected HRM departments with one of the UK's top research profiles in the discipline, ensuring you receive every academic opportunity and resource available to give you the best start to your career
  • Close collaboration with colleagues from across the Business School, providing real world context to all HRM teaching and equipping you with tangible skills that you will call upon in your career
  • Unique and specialist optional modules allow you to select a themed pathway during the course, enhancing your employability by giving you an area of expertise that will help you stand out from other graduates
  • CIPD accreditation gives you the chance to become a CIPD Student Member with exclusive access to journals, reports, time-saving resources, guides, library services, as well as professional development guidance and networking opportunities to enhance your academic experience and future career in HRM
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module


What you will learn from modules of this MA

Strategic Human Resource Management 

The module aims to provide students with a critical understanding and awareness of the internal and external environments and how they impact on organisational and human resource strategies. Strategic human resource management and development will be critically reviewed in terms of its implementation and contribution to the organisation and the interactions of human resource management with other functional groups.

The module will also go on to explore and critically evaluate key concepts and theories in organisational behaviour and characteristics and approaches of effective managers and leaders. Students will also be required to critically review the implementation of theory, contemporary working practices and the management of the change process.


Research and Professional Practice with Dissertation 

This module provides students with knowledge and skills to be an effective HR practitioner. Students are given the opportunity to consolidate and synthesise their learning in HRM through a predominantly self-managed in-depth study leading to an in-company dissertation. In order to achieve this, it is this module s purpose to provide students with, the knowledge framework and key skills, that will not only help them to successfully undertake this dissertation, but that are essential to an HR professional in general. This module matches the CIPD professional standards developing skills for business leadership and investigating a business issue from a HR perspective.


Discrimination and the Law

This module aims to provide a basic knowledge and understanding of anti-discrimination law in relation to nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 and other relevant areas of discrimination. These include gender, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. The relevant laws and regulations will be introduced, as will the practical, social and philosophical context in which these operate. Attention will be given to the limitations of laws in these areas. Students should gain an overview of this field of law and an opportunity to develop any specific interests in discrimination regulation.


Employee Relations and Engagement

The module will develop students’ ability to critically evaluate employment relations strategies and their relationship to employee engagement and their links to organisational performance. Students will consider how engagement is measured and embedded in organisational cultural to promote high levels of individual and organisational performance. Students will be provided with opportunities to participate and reflect on their experiences of employee relations processes. This module matches the professional CIPD standard for employment relations, and employee engagement.


Employment Relations and the Law

This module aims to consider the motives, cases and underlying dynamics of contemporary employment relations. It considers the processes and outcomes of the interactions between the main actors within the employment relationship, with a particular focus on the legal institutions that govern employment relations in the UK. This module matches the CIPD professional standards for Managing Employment Relations and Employment Law.


Globalisation and Work

This module aims to examine new ways of working and new production paradigms in an internationalised economy, expressed through country and sectoral case studies. Changes in the international division of labour will be studied and government, employer, NGO, international financial institutions and trade union responses recorded. Particular attention will be focused on debates and controversies surrounding corporate social responsibility and international labour standards.


Human Resource Management and Public Policy

The aim of this module is to consider the social, political and economic context that shapes HR decision making in organisations. It examines, more specifically, the role of public policy in shaping both organisational strategies and also the influence of national-level social, political and economic factors in shaping dominant management paradigms.


Individual Learning and Development

This module aims to promote an evidence based approach to enabling the development of intellectual, social and professional skills necessary to design and implement effective and fit-for-purpose learning and development interventions to support personal and performance development of individuals in organisations.

The module will develop the professional knowledge and skills required to perform effectively in specialist roles associated with design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development. The module will provide students with the experience of a range of learning and development interventions with a specific focus on coaching and mentoring as a management development tool in organisations.


Learning and Management Development

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the potential and limitations of the contribution of learning, management and talent development policies and strategies to formulating and achieving objectives at national, organisational, group and individual levels. The module will enable the development of intellectual, social, professional and personal skills to perform effectively in the associated professional roles.

The module encompasses the development of leadership and management at all levels and draws on the established body of knowledge and theory in both leadership and management and learning and development and thus enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the complexities and contested nature of leadership and management development. The module provides an opportunity to reflect critically on theory and practice from a professional and ethical standpoint and thus provides opportunities for Continuous Professional Development.


Organisational Learning and Development 

This module aims to enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the theory of organisation design, concepts of knowledge management, organisational learning development and the principles and practice of their implementation to promote competitive advantage.

The module requires critical reflection of theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and thus provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development. This module matches the CIPD professional standards of organisational design and development, and knowledge management and organisational learning.


People Management for the Diverse Workforce

This module aims to enhance a student s abilities to manage confidently and effectively in international HRM, with a special emphasis on people resourcing and talent management issues in the UK. It does this through developing critical understanding about: the link between resourcing initiatives and strategy, the use of resourcing and talent management tools, with related English employment law, cultural differences/ similarities and skills of cross cultural analysis, psychological and structural influences on behaviours, the cultural, structural and supra- national regulatory aspects that determine human resource management strategy in an international context.


Recruitment and Termination Law

This module aims to provide an understanding of the way in which the law of contract is applied to the employment relationship and assesses the practical impact of statutory rights on the operation of the contract of employment. It also provides an understanding of the manner in which the employment relationship can be terminated and creates awareness of how the law affects workplace rules and procedures relating to the termination of employment. The module encourages a critical approach to legal regulation by examining the social and political context in which contracts of employment are formed and terminated.


Resourcing and Management Development

This module aims to develop students’ awareness of strategic and operational aspects of recruitment, selection, retention and development of employees with a focus on managers. It equips learners with the knowledge and skills required for resourcing and management development within a global context. Planning to enable an organisation to meet its future demands for skills is an increasingly important HR role and this is central to this module.

The module encompasses the development of leadership and management at all levels and draws on the established body of knowledge and theory in both leadership and management and learning and development. This module matches the professional CIPD standards talent management and resourcing, and leadership and management development.


Sustainability and Human Resource Management

This module aims to introduce students to the emerging concepts and practices in Sustainable HRM. It provides students with an understanding of the role of HRM in managing an organisations impact on the triple bottom line social, environmental and economic performance.

The module requires critical reflection on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development. For example, it will help students to formulate sustainable human resource strategies and to develop appropriate HR tools.


The Resilient Workplace: building wellbeing at work

This module offers a new area of study and expertise to promote wellbeing and resilience in today s workplace. In the context of recession, wellbeing and mental health are under pressure and there is a clear need to build resilient workplaces and skilled professionals to manage them.

Interest in and research about the link between work and mental health is developing in the UK, including the Foresight Report, New Horizons Work Recovery and Inclusion, and the Black Report, Working for a Healthier Tomorrow. The CIPD s recent research on stress in the workplace is part of an increasing body of evidence about both the importance of mental health in relation to absence and sick leave, and also the immense difficulty that organisations continue to face in handling this issue. It is also the case that recent attempts to scale up psychological therapies IAPT are tied closely to the objective of getting people back into work, based on research carried out by Richard Layard from the London School of Economics LSE.


Total Reward

The aim of this module is to introduce learners to the concept and practice of Total Reward. Total Reward is a strategy that organisations adopt to motivate staff by financial and non-financial means, whilst aiming for high performance. All the usual pay and benefits subjects will be covered, together with a substantial input on performance management. The module matches the CIPD professional standards of Performance Management and Reward Management.