MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Human Resource Management (International)

Entry year
Course code
Bristol Business School
12 months
Full-time, starts September
Programme leader
Dr Mahwish Khan

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 7 December 2023


For over 40 years, our courses have been recognised in independent audits as among the best taught and managed postgraduate HRM courses in Britain.

Accreditations and partnerships:

There is growing worldwide demand for professionals and leaders who can devise and apply creative human resource solutions across national and international contexts.

Success in these roles requires mastery of comparative HR practice, combined with sensitivity to context and insight into both employers' and employees' needs.

This course will equip you with a critical grasp of the issues, themes and challenges central to managing people, whatever the context.

The course will suit you if you're seeking, or have already started, a career in managing people or as a specialist HR professional anywhere in the world. Its international focus is particularly relevant if your career plans involve working in:

  • other countries
  • international organisations within your home country (including the UK), or
  • home country organisations which emulate the highest standards of HRM practice worldwide.

If you're pursuing an HR career in the UK, we also offer a popular MSc in Human Resource Management, which is tailored to the needs of British HR professionals.

Join us on LinkedIn to find out more.

CIPD recognition

We have one of the largest, longest established, and most diverse teams of HRM subject experts of any British university.

The high quality of human resource management teaching and research at Bristol Business School has been recognised by the British professional body for HR practitioners, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The course leads directly to Associate Membership of the CIPD and also satisfies the knowledge requirements for the higher grades of membership. Student membership of the CIPD comes free with this course.

Strong links with industry

Alongside up-to-the-minute, practitioner-focused teaching, we also arrange regular opportunities for you to spend time in a local organisation shadowing the work of HR professionals.

We also hold regular speaker events where you can hear from inspiring and influential HR professionals discussing leading practice within their organisations.

Personal development     

A particular feature of this course is the very personal interest we take in your development. Using people analytic tools, behaviour development workshops and a range of practical activities, we'll profile your unique attributes, develop your strengths and offer extensive feedback on your progress throughout.

If you need any help with your English, we offer English language and study skills classes free of charge. You can also complete a Pre-sessional course in English to help you to get the most from our course.

Studying in Bristol

Discover Bristol - a buzzing place to study, with an exciting cultural scene, outstanding music, and a night-life to rival any city outside London.

One of Britain's most historic and beautiful cities, Bristol attracts tens of thousands of students from elsewhere in Britain and around the world. It's within easy travelling distance of London, Bath and Oxford.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The course content has recently been reaccredited by the CIPD and the modules listed are aligned to core knowledge and behaviours on the new Profession Map.

At the beginning of the course, there is dedicated tuition in skills associated with postgraduate study in the UK.

Our MSc in Human Resource Management (International) course will equip you with:

  • a critical grasp of issues, themes and challenges central to managing people in different contexts
  • expertise in designing and adapting core HR strategies, systems, processes and practices
  • diagnostic models and conceptual frameworks for matching HR solutions to specific national, international and organisational requirements
  • personal and professional qualities, behaviours and knowledge suitable for leadership roles in HRM.

Compulsory modules

The first stage of the course consists of the following compulsory modules which place international human resource management in the context of political, economic, social, legal, cultural and managerial developments across the world.

They engage with ethical and professional issues in managing people, and introduce core concepts and functions of management.

  • Change - considers the causes and nature of change, issues of structuring for change, the cultural and political contexts for change, how to lead change as well as the more practical considerations of designing, planning and implementing change.
  • Critical People Analytics - explores the needs and purpose of critical people analytics, searching and evaluating data suitable for critical analytics, evaluating analytical methodologies, as well as addressing ethical issues in critical analytics.
  • Culture and Behaviour - explores the role played by organisational systems/ processes (including organisational culture and leadership) and individual differences in achieving organisational success and employee wellbeing. Topics include personality and work performance, motivation, leadership, understanding individual differences, organisational and national culture.
  • HR Professional Portfolio - evidences the core behaviours which, along with core knowledge and specialist knowledge, comprise the CIPD 2020 Profession Map. The core behaviours are relevant to all people professionals, and the profession map sets the international benchmark for the HR profession. There is a focus on ethical and evidence-based decision-making, the portfolio reflecting the CIPD's stance that certain ways of thinking and acting should be universal and consistent, even in changing situations.
  • HRM in the Global Business Environment - considers how human resources contribute to the organisation's business strategy that both reacts to external influences in the global environment and identifies future changes that provide opportunities for advantage in an extremely competitive world. It provides a wider understanding of the global context in which business decisions are taken and the major influences on those decisions, critically analysing the role of HR professionals in these processes.
  • International People Practice - analyses the theoretical and conceptual frameworks relating to international people practice and the link between IHRM strategy and practice and organisational effectiveness. It explores the cornerstones of HRM in practice through reviewing how concepts such as international people resourcing, rewarding effort, learning and development and employee relations are applied in an organisational and national contexts.
  • Research in International Human Resource Management - this final stage of the course is an opportunity to develop relevant skills to produce high quality research. You'll be supported to work in groups on a research issue emanating from a real-world organisation. Each group will be facilitated by a group supervisor, working as a critical friend. This approach to designing research means that you are both empowered and encouraged to pursue your own research interests, whilst developing your cognitive and information literacy skills in a rich learning environment through participation, peer learning and collaboration.

Optional modules

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change. Modules need at least twelve students to run.

You'll study two of the following modules:

  • Employee Relations and Employment Law - considers how people professionals are expected to successfully respond to, if not anticipate, opportunities and challenges underlying the transformation of work, as well as how contemporary processes such as organisational fragmentation, individualisation, internationalisation, digitalisation, and juridification, have profound implications on the management of the employment relationship.
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion from a Comparative Perspective - critically examines equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) from a comparative, intersectional perspective, and in relation to human resource management policies and practices. It explores main theoretical concepts and latest developments in research and these apply practically and within a labour market and organisation perspective.
  • International Employment Relations - explores work and employment in different countries and world regions. A comparative and international perspective is applied to provide a fine appreciation of the cultural and historical implications of work in the global economy. We'll also explore the impact of international and regional labour standards and 'privatised' efforts of multinational corporations and other agencies to promote good employment relations and workplace practice.
  • Learning and Development - aims to blend theory with practice and focuses on the key elements of the theories of learning and skills development. These elements inform an understanding of how individuals learn, and how that affects what individuals choose to do long term in their employment.
  • Managing Reward - explores the strategic role of reward processes in developing organisational reward policies and practices, promoting flexibility and innovation. It analyses 'new pay' and different approaches to rewarding performance at individual, team and organisational level, reward and diversity (equal pay and job evaluation), the case of 'special groups', the role of international reward and the role of benefits and non-financial reward in total rewards. In addition, the design, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of reward management systems, with regard to professional standards and best practice, on the basis of an accurate diagnosis of an organisation's needs.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up-to-date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we'll inform you.

Learning and Teaching

We use a variety of blended teaching methods on this course. You'll learn through a mix of tutor-led and student-led activities, including small group work, group presentations and discussion, student-led seminars, case studies and role plays.

The overall emphasis is on active participation. As well as face-to-face learning in groups, you'll have access to our online learning platform, where you can find lectures, relevant articles and book extracts, as well as communicate with your tutors. We also draw on many real-life examples through case studies and guest practitioner speakers.

There is a significant requirement for students to work independently throughout the course, both individually and in groups. This increases as you move into the dissertation phase.

Course tutors come from a mix of academic and practitioner backgrounds.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

The MSc starts in September.

The duration of the course is 12 months.

Taught modules are delivered over a two semester period (between September and April), with the dissertation forming the main element in the summer term.

Part-time paid employment

Some students choose to work part-time to help fund their course, and  to help you do that, we'll keep  one weekday free of classes. It's your own responsibility to find a part-time job if you choose too, however there are many job opportunities advertised on campus, and you can also access the Careers Service for support too.


We use a range of different forms of assessment throughout the course, including written assignments, tests, exams, a reflective log, presentations and group exercises. Assessment of your skills and competence also forms part of the overall assessment strategy.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The MSc in Human Resource Management is accredited by the CIPD which represents a worldwide community of more than 160,000 members.

Student membership of the CIPD comes with the course, and the University pays your membership fees for your year of study. Most tutors on the course are CIPD members.


Study facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of facilities to enhance your learning experience. This includes:

  • the facilities at Bristol Business School, including our postgraduate study rooms and computer labs
  • our library, which is open 24 hours a day
  • access to HRM databases such as Business Source Premier, XpertHr and IDS Studies, where you can search for information on employment law, industrial relations and HR policy across case studies, peer reviewed journals and reports.

The course will take place in the University's new £50 million Bristol Business School, which provides a modern teaching and learning environment for business and law students.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Business Management facilities and see what's on offer here for you.

Five reasons to study MSc Human Resource Management (International) at UWE Bristol:


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

This intensive master's course equips you with the professional knowledge and skills you need to make an immediate contribution in an entry-level HR role.

Previous members of our Human Resource Management masters' courses have progressed to high profile roles in international organisations such as Avon and Somerset Constabulary, British American Tobacco, Barclays Bank, Colgate Palmolive, Deloitte, KPMG, L'Oréal (Paris), the National Health Service, Nestlé, and Towers Watson plc.

We prepare you to progress in your career in many ways, including:

  • arranging opportunities for you to work alongside HR professionals in local organisations
  • practical workshops that coach you in selection, interviewing, discipline, training and negotiating skills
  • psychometric and motivational profiling, to develop your insight into your strengths and attributes which are likely to enhance your career progression
  • guest speaker events where you can learn about HR practice in different organisations
  • access to our award-winning Careers Service.

Professional networking

Studying on the Human Resource Management Masters means you'll also have numerous opportunities for networking with HR practitioners across the South West. We have close links with the CIPD and encourage you to play an active part in your local CIPD branch.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


Entry requirements

This is an intensive full-time course. To be accepted you need:

  • a good honours degree (2:2) in any subject
  • a keen and informed interest in HRM and persuasive reasons for believing that a career in Human Resource Management is suited to your particular strengths, interests and abilities.

If you do not meet the above grade requirements but have at least 12 months relevant professional experience and/ or equivalent qualifications, we will consider you on an individual basis.

If required, English language and study skills support are provided free of charge to course participants between September and December.

Preparing your application

We want to ensure that the course will suit your needs, so we pay especially close attention to the Personal Statement which forms part of your application to the University. Please take particular care over this statement.

You should say in around 500-750 words:

  • why you are interested in a career in managing people or in specialist Human Resource Management and, if possible, which aspects of managing people or HRM are of particular interest to you
  • what personal attributes and experience that you have which make you suited to a career in HR or managing people.
  • An overview of your intended career path in HRM.
  • An outline of your proposed learning strategy and intended extra-curricular activities while studying at UWE Bristol.

Wherever possible, your statement should draw on relevant personal experience. When describing the personal attributes and qualities which you believe equip you for a career in HRM/managing people, try to give actual brief examples from your experience where you displayed those attributes and qualities.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our course, please feel free to email the Course Director Dr Mahwish Khan at

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our Pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the Pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

English Language Requirement

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration Agency and the University's minimum English Language requirements for postgraduate study, such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.

Find out more on our English language requirements pages.

How to apply

Apply now

Read more about postgraduate applications

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information