MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Human Resource Management (part-time)
Please note that new student recruitment to this course has been suspended for the September 2023 intake. Applications for 2024 should be made from October 2023.
Page last updated 24 October 2022
Bristol Business School has been a leading provider of professional HRM education for nearly 50 years. With one of the largest teams of HRM subject experts, long-established links with CIPD, and up-to-the-minute, practitioner-focused training, we are widely regarded as a leading name in the field.
Imaginative and expertly-designed human resource management (HRM) is seen by today's leaders as central to an organisation's success. HR practitioners are an integral part of that success, and as recognition of the distinctive contribution of human resource management grows, it is increasingly valued, both as a career in its own right and as a foundation for careers in other branches of management.
The MSc in Human Resource Management (part-time) is for students who are pursuing an HR career in the UK. Tailored to the needs of HR professionals the course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), providing a route into the people profession in a wide range of industry sectors. We'll consider applications from graduates of any discipline, as well as those with CIPD level 5 qualification and/or significant HR experience.
Bristol Business School has one of the largest and most diverse teams of human resource management subject experts of any British university. Many of the tutors on our HRM Master's are active in HR-related research and have worked in the industry across a diverse range of sectors.
We have long-established links with the CIPD and share their aim of championing better work and better working lives. Our courses lead to associate CIPD membership and satisfy the core knowledge and core behaviours standards of the new Profession Map. We have close links with the CIPD and encourage you to play an active part in your local CIPD branch.
Whether you study the course full or part-time, the Human Resource Management Master's is designed, above all, to target the needs of practitioners, with education that is intellectually stretching, practically relevant and up-to-the-minute. A particular feature is the 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. Our mentoring programme offers every student a personal link to a local HR professional who will discuss your progress with you and help you to relate the content of the course to practice.
Preparing you for a leadership role in HR
Our intensive course prepares you to contribute immediately in an entry level HR role, or (if you are already employed within the field) to take your career to a more senior level. As a Level 7 qualification, the MSc Human Resource Management is designed to enhance your insight into the strategic role of HR in contemporary organisations and to equip you with a fundamental knowledge of organisations and management that will prepare you for a leadership role in HR. Our careers guidance programme offers practical tips and skills for developing your career. Past students say that the course helped them to advance within their own organisation or to move on to more fulfilling, challenging or senior positions elsewhere. Local employers approach us directly to fill HR vacancies.
Studying on the Human Resource Management Master's course means you will also have many opportunities for networking with fellow-HR practitioners across the South West.
Join us on LinkedIn to find out more.
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 of the new Profession Map.
The part-time course is intended primarily for employees who have already started their HR career, who are looking for a professional qualification to enhance their professional standing and career prospects. It's also ideal if you're employed outside HR and wish to join the profession. Contact Programme Leader Dr Tinkuma Edafioghor for more details.
The flexible structure of our human resource management postgraduate curriculum means that you can choose to complete the course to either a Master's level or a Postgraduate Diploma level, if you are not concerned about achieving a full Master's. Students who opt for the Postgraduate Diploma will complete the same taught programme as Master's students, but do not go on to complete the Research in HRM dissertation module.
The elective modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
The first year provides an introduction to the theory, practice and context for human resource management. It consists of the following compulsory modules:
- 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 well-being.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 Business Environment - considers how human resources contribute to the organisation's business strategy that both reacts to external influences in the environment and identifies future changes that provide opportunities for advantage in an extremely competitive world. It provides a wider understanding of the context in which business decisions are taken and the major influences on those decisions, critically analysing the role of HR professionals in these processes.
- People Practice - analyses the theoretical and conceptual frameworks relating to people practice and the link between HRM strategy and practice and organisational effectiveness. It explores the cornerstones of HRM in practice through reviewing how concepts such as people resourcing, rewarding effort, learning and development and employee relations are applied in an organisational context.
In the second year of the course, you'll complete the remaining two of the above compulsory modules, as well as two elective modules, which allows you the opportunity to focus on more specialist interests. You'll select two electives from the following list but they may be subject to change and only the most popular four will run:
- 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. Plus 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 the 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.
Research in HRM module
If you wish to complete the full Master's course, then you will need to complete this module, which is designed to develop your applied understanding and research skills. Students typically base their research project on their own organisation.
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 will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
We use a range of teaching methods on this course, with the aim of making the content as interactive, theoretically accessible, and practically focused as possible. You will learn through a combination of tutor-led and student-led activities, including small group work, group presentations and discussion, student-led seminars, case studies and role plays. Practical skills development is integral to the course and a number of skills workshops are included in the curriculum. The tutors come from a mix of academic and practitioner backgrounds.
For more details, see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
The course starts in September. The part-time MSc takes two years eight months. During the 20-month taught phase, you will attend classes on one afternoon and evening a week, with occasional all-day training events. Although it is possible to finish the course in two years eight months, you can tailor your rate of study to suit your circumstances, or spread the commitment and cost by studying on a module-by-module basis. The part-time Postgraduate Diploma can be completed within two years.
As some students join the course without an undergraduate degree, or after a long break from education, there is plenty of tutorial support while you adjust to master's level study. This includes a study skills course in the early weeks and assessment activities, with ready access to tutors' advice and feedback on your progress.
A range of different forms of assessment are used throughout the course, including written assignments, tests, exams, a reflective log, presentations and group exercises. Assessment of skills and competence also forms part of the overall assessment strategy.
For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.
The MSc in Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)which represents a worldwide community of more than 160,000 members. You're strongly encouraged to join the CIPD at the start of the course if you have not already done so. Most tutors on the course are CIPD members.
You will 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.
- the University 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.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.
Professional networking and mentoring
Studying on the Human Resource Management Master's course means you will also have many 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. Our mentoring programme offers every student a personal link to a local HR professional who will discuss your progress with you and help you to relate the content of the course to practice.
Five reasons to study MSc Human Resource Management at UWE Bristol.
Careers / Further study
Our intensive Master's course equips you with the professional knowledge and skills you will need to make an immediate contribution in an HR role, or (if you are already employed within the field) to take your career to a more senior level.
We prepare you for advancing in your career in a number of ways, including:
- analytical profiling, to offer insight into your strengths and attributes of personality which are relevant to your career progression
- guest speaker events and visits to local organisations where you can learn about current practice in different organisations
- a mentoring programme, which offers each student a personal link to a local HR professional who will discuss your academic progress with you, help you to relate the content of the course to practice, and discuss your career development and progression
- a careers guidance programme, which comprises talks by guest HR practitioners on career issues for HR professionals (such as becoming an HR Business Partner) and sessions targeting your CV and your presentation of yourself at interview.
Our award-winning Careers Service helps you develop your employability through careers coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
You will need:
- an honours degree (minimum 2:2) in any subject, or a CIPD level 5 qualification
- to be able to demonstrate a keen and informed interest in HRM.
If you do not satisfy the academic criteria of a degree at 2:2 or CIPD level 5 qualification, we will consider applicants with 5-years of HR-related work experience.
Applicants to the part-time course:
Part-time applicants would normally be expected to be working within an HR or similar environment and should explain this on the application form. You will be invited to attend a briefing meeting, to answer any questions you have, and to give you comprehensive information about the course and what it involves.
English Language Requirement
If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the UK Border Agency and Universities minimum English Language requirements such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
How to apply
Deadline for application:
The deadline to apply for this course is three weeks before the start date.