Human Resource Management MSc (CIPD Accredited)

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MSc Human Resource Management at Aston University

Course Director Kathy Daniels explains some of the main features of studying MSc Human Resource Management at Aston University

Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    1 Year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • Entry requirements:
    A good UK honours degree (2:2 minimum) or equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • For International Students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information

Key Dates

40th in Europe and 12th in the UK in the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2017

Qualify in Level A & B Psychometric Testing

Course Summary

Our MSc Human Resource Management is your stepping stone to a rewarding and fulfilling career. Learn the complex yet subtle art of managing people in organisations, and develop skills for analysis and in-depth policy formation as well as the broader discipline of management. 

This is a fully accredited CIPD course, which is the the largest internationally recognised HR professional body.

Our recent graduates have gone onto to secure roles with prestigious national and international organisations, including KPMG, Unilever, Kier and the Civil Service. With a reputation for graduate employability, we can help you fulfil your career aspirations.

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English Language requirements.  Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements. Find out more about our English language requirements
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the 4 IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of the Professional Development Programme (PDP).  There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Why choose us?

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), this course will open doors and enhance your career prospects offers. Graduates of this degree have the knowledge required to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD, an essential requirement for progression in a HR career.

We’re one of just 1% of business schools in the world to hold triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

We have an excellent reputation for student satisfaction and teaching quality. We’ve received a Gold Award, the highest possible accolade, from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). TEF stated that our students achieved ‘consistently outstanding outcomes’, with very high proportions of students going into highly skilled employment or further study.

Our students have been successful in securing positions with prestigious, international companies and at leading consultancy firms. We benefit from strong partnerships and close links to business and industry, both in the UK and internationally.

With our focus on doing business, you’ll have many opportunities to gain practical work experience as part of your programme. You’ll be able to undertake work placements lasting up to one-year and Aston Business Clinic gives you the chance to support small businesses and start-ups with consultancy projects. By gaining work experience whilst you study with us, this will fast-track your pathway to CIPD Chartered Member status.  

This course enables you to gain Associate membership of the CIPD after successfully completing the course. If there is sufficient demand from students you may also be offered a chance to undertake Occupational Test User (OTU) training and gain a certificate which is accredited qualification by the British Psychological Society (BPS) in psychological testing.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU: £10,400
International:  £17,950   

Scholarships: Find out more about our scholarships here

Professional accreditation and exemptions

This course is fully accredited by the largest internationally recognised HR professional body, the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), providing you with the ideal qualification for developing your career in HR.

Course outline

This course provides you with a detailed theoretical knowledge of Human Resource Management, whilst at the same time giving you the relevant vocational skills needed for a range of HR roles.

You’ll also benefit by developing a broad range of business skills. This can help you to secure management positions in various areas of business.

You’ll study fascinating subject areas, including Organisational Behaviour, which considers what motivates different people. Then Employment Law explores the legislation businesses must adhere to, whilst learning and development looks at how organisations ensure their people have the skills to give them the competitive advantage. Given this breadth of knowledge, you’ll develop a well-rounded understanding of HRM theory and how to practically apply it.

You’ll also learn the practical skills required of HR practitioners in any organisation. We teach you useful recruitment techniques, how to apply employment law, effective training and development tools and approaches, as well as negotiating skills, which are key to dealing with difficult workplace situations. By gaining these skills, you’ll be well-equipped for a range of graduate roles.

Our teaching staff are recognised as experts in their field. We boast a mix of leading academics in HRM, such as Pawan Budhwar, who is world-renowned for his research into the international aspects of HRM. We also have teaching staff who are actively working in consultancy, such as Kathy Daniels who works extensively with the CIPD.

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There’s practical workshops, case studies, group work, lectures and tutorials. They allow you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt in a way that’s suited to you.

Subject guide and modules

Core modules 

  • Organisational Behaviour 
  • Strategy, Change and Leadership 
  • Strategic and International Human Resource Management
  • Assessment, Performance and Reward 
  • Learning and Talent Development 
  • Employee Relations in Context 
  • Employment Law 
  • Research Methods  
  • Managing and Interpreting Financial Information
  • Ethics in Academic Practice
  • Professional Development Programme (PDP)
  • Business Project 
Learning, teaching and assessment

What makes us stand out from other universities is our focus on the practical application of course material. You’ll be taught various theories and perspectives relating to human resource management, but you’ll also spend a large proportion of your time applying these to real-life or simulated business scenarios. This will enhance your understanding and make you better equipped for skilled, graduate roles.

Our adaptable teaching staff deliver this course in a way that suits all learning styles. This means we use a range of teaching methods, from lectures and tutorials to practical workshops and group work. All sessions are delivered in an open and supportive atmosphere, helping you to get the most out of your studies. 

We use a variety of assessment methods as part of this course. There’s a mix of exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments we use real or fictitious business situations and ask you to apply the knowledge you have learnt to solve a business issue. These practical assessments help to prepare you to take on specific tasks in a work environment.

Our online learning platform will also support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.

Classroom activities

Flipped classroom – In the Learning and Talent Development module, a flipped classroom approach is used whereby students can access pre-recorded lecture content and digital reading materials from our online learning platform. You will then attend weekly seminars to discuss the key aspects of the material and participate in group activities that helps you to apply your knowledge. You will also have opportunities to put theories into practice using case studies, design your own training interventions and present your ideas to your classmates. This innovative approach provides greater interaction and engagement with the module content and helps to enhance your knowledge, understanding and practical skills in learning and development.

Skills workshops – The majority of the modules contain a skills workshop element, which give you the chance to hone key HRM capabilities and enhance your employability. The Strategic and International HRM module involves an ethical decision-making task, where you will have to advise a company on what action to take in a variety of challenging scenarios. You’ll need to ensure you consider the possible human resource and business implications of your proposals, which is great reflective practice and a crucial skill for human resource management roles.

Professional development programme

More than a Masters

The Professional Development Programme (PDP) is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK, or overseas, or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

Learn more

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.


You’ll have the chance to gain valuable work experience as part of this course.

Spend as little as one month or as long as 12 months on a work placement with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas. This is a fantastic opportunity to take what you’ve learnt and apply it day-in, day-out. A work placement will also enhance your CV and help you stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate roles.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. Students have recently spent time with companies such as Tesco, Pirelli Tyres and Vodafone and have worked in a range of roles, from general HR Assistant roles to specialist HR positions, such as Recruitment Officer or Learning and Development Coordinator.

We also give you the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem for a company.

Our careers team is always on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team can also lend their expertise to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

Your module leaders will organise a series of networking opportunities and guest lectures for you. HR professionals will give you with an insight into specific HR roles, practises and challenges.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

There’s also a number of field-trips and leisure activities that take place throughout the year, led by various Schools, societies and sports clubs.


What our graduates say

Folkert Van Dam
MSc Human Resource Management and Business

Watch the whole interview to find out more about his experiences on this course

January Start 2020

For January Start 2020 the structure of the course will differ from September 2019 start.

January to April 2020

You will study the first set of taught modules from January to April 2020.  There are a total of 8 modules plus a Business Project or Dissertation and the Professional Development Programme (PDP).  You will study these in two groups of 4 modules.  

April to September 2020

You will then study the Professional Development Programme (PDP) module, and complete your business project/dissertation from April to September.

There are three possible streams to choose from for the Professional Development Programme (PDP):         

  • Work experience: If you select to gain work experience you will need to have your proposed work approved before proceeding. We will support you in finding work experience, and we do source a number of projects for students to undertake, however we do not find work placements for students.
  • Business simulation: (This will involve attending a series of on-campus seminars and activities over a five-week period during May/June.)
  • PIPE Club: (support in setting up your own business). (This will involve attending a series of on-campus seminars and activities over a five-week period during May/June.)

Please note

Due to the timing of the second set of taught modules it is not possible for January Start students to study abroad as part of the Professional Development (PDP) module.

Business Project/Dissertation

The business project/dissertation is a major piece of work, with the exact requirements varying according to your degree programme. Your programme director will explain the requirements for your degree to you.

You will be assigned a supervisor to support you in your studies. You will be able to apply the knowledge that you have learnt from the first 4 modules in completing your project/dissertation. Your research and reflections will, no doubt, raise new questions about business and you will be able to explore these further in the second set of taught modules.

Sept 2020 to December 2020

The remaining taught modules will then be studied from September through to Christmas, with the exams taking place in early January.

Students will join with the new starters who join us in September for this set of modules. This gives the advantage of meeting a new group of colleagues, and broadening out the learning experience.


September 2020 to January 2021

You will study the second set of taught modules from September to December.  Exams will be undertaken in early January.

"I joined a graduate scheme which involved a Masters degree and I chose Aston. I really benefited from the support from tutors and forward thinking academic research."

Amy McCarthy
Management Consultant, KPMG
"Studying at Aston has been really awesome, the tutors and course directors are really helpful and patient in answering the questions I had."

Ruth Kanu
MSc Human Resource Management and Business
Find out more

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