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Strategic Human Resource Management (part-time) MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


The MSc Strategic Human Resource Management course presents an exciting opportunity for human resource practitioners and anyone who has an active role in managing people, to consider and challenge the application of theoretical perspectives to real organisations, including your own. Delivered through a work based approach to gain a Master’s qualification, this course will further enhance your knowledge and understanding of organisational development and people management as well as to develop your commercial awareness and strategic capabilities in modern organisations.

Our lecturers will help you to further develop your ‘thinking skills’; to become a critical thinker and reflective practitioner is not only a valuable skill in an academic context but essential in the development of your people management capabilities which can have a significant impact on wider organisational activities.

The course is designed and underpinned using the principles and components of the CIPD Profession Map.

This course is ideal for those who :

  • have a direct impact on the strategic management, engagement and development of employees to optimise workplace productivity and promote professional growth.  e.g HR managers;
  • are responsible for HR decision-making within an organisation at an operational, tactical or more strategic level
  • have responsibility for the HR function and activities within an organisation, including HR development
  • wish to extend their professional practitioner qualifications to an MSc.
  • Roles may include HR managers; HR Business Partners; specialist HR practitioners, e.g Diversity and Inclusion officers, Recognition and Reward advisors; HRM or HRD Consultants.

Upon completion of the MSc you will be professionally recognised and have the professional level of Membership Associate (Assoc CIPD). Becoming a professional member of the CIPD can enhance your career prospects and earning potential. You can apply to upgrade to Chartered Membership once you have gained the relevant HR experience and developed the appropriate HR competencies and behaviours.

You may want to consider our PGDip Human Resource Professional Practice course if you wish to only gain the core knowledge required of a Level 7 CIPD accreditation, this course is Phase One of the MSc programme.

For more information about our CIPD accredited programmes please contact Course Leader, Antonia Genghi or Subject Administrator, Nalni Griffin.

Nottingham Business School has an established reputation for providing high quality CIPD approved professional courses for over 40 years.

Nottingham Business School have both EQUIS and AACSB accreditation.

  • Upon completion of the MSc you will be professionally recognised and have the professional level of Membership Associate (Assoc CIPD).
  • Nottingham Business School has an established reputation for providing high quality CIPD approved professional courses for over 40 years.

Course accreditation

  • EQUIS logo

What you’ll study

The modules you will study throughout the course provide a basis for the integrated study and contextualisation of contemporary HRM principles and practice.

Phase One is 16 months and incorporates eight modules that make up the core learning for the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Professional Practice.

In Phase Two, over 6 months, you will have the opportunity to undertake a major Applied Research Dissertation, based on a research area in a people related subject that may have an impact on your own organisational policies and practices.

HRM in the contemporary business environment (15 credits)

You will learn to appreciate the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations, including the managerial and business context, within which managers, HR professionals and workers interact in conditions of change and uncertainty.

You will gain an understanding of the extent and limitations of managers’ and HR professionals’ decision making in an uncertain and changing environment. You will also consider the current and changing HR function and practices in their managerial, organisational and external contexts, and how they shape the present and future HR agenda.

You will also become familiar with contemporary debates in the HRM field and be able the critically evaluate the aims and objectives of the HR function and HR roles.

Strategic performance management (15 credits)

This module allows you to consider the business models of organisations and the role HR professionals can offer to develop processes and practices which will support the chosen model.  It encourages you to think about the creation of value within and by human resource management and its impact and integration with corporate business mission and objectives.  The module will also consider how organisational business health and performance is measured through the use of HR data analytics. Consideration will be made regarding how this information supports or develops systemic thinking and decision making.  This module will include some limited aspects connected to financial management; performance management measurement using KPI’s from the HR perspective.

The role of strategic HR in organisational culture and change (15 credits)

This module encourages you to appreciate the importance of effective and ethical behaviours to promote effective HR practices through inclusive, fair and transparent behaviours. You will gain an understanding of the different ethical perspectives and how organisational realities could influence HR professionals’ decision-making process including the role of HR practice to maintain high behavioural standards. You will also become familiar with the effectiveness of behavioural and cognitive perspective of organisational change and the role of HR in implementing successful change management programmes.

Strategic human resourcing practices (15 credits)

This module will explore considerations of employer branding, succession planning and organisational growth and development through succession planning and talent development. The module also considers contemporary versus conventional practices towards management of individual performance, also taking into account major contemporary debates such as high performing teams; developing a flexible and agile workforce, and talent management.

Employment law in practice (15 credits)

The amount of regulation covering the employment relationship and the workplace has grown substantially in recent years as have the number of claims made to employment tribunals. Employment law continues to expand both in terms of volume and complexity. Whilst organisations can source specialist advice on more difficult and unprecedented issues from their legal advisors, senior HR managers need to be in a position to give basic advice, which is accurate, timely and appropriate.

The purpose of this module is to provide learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to fulfil each of these requirements to a professional standard. As this module forms part of a management qualification and not a legal one, it is focused on enabling learners to fully grasp the key principles which underpin employment law rather than to demonstrate advanced knowledge of legislation or case law.

Strategic development of the employment relationship (15 credits)

The cornerstone of all human resource (HR) management activity is the employment relationship – a legal, social, economic and psychological exchange. This module will provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates, at organisational level as well as from national and international perspective. This will come from a theoretical and behavioural competency and practice perspective. Notions of participation, involvement, commitment, and engagement will be explored for their contribution in enhancing employer/employee relations.

Employee development and engagement (15 credits)

Contemporary HR research has proven the interconnection between the development of employees, their engagement and well-being. You will explore this and its consequential impact on individual and corporate performance and success. You will study the theory and practice regarding measurement and management of employee performance and consider whether corporate policies and practices support or hinder a holistic integrated approach. You will critically assess organisational strategies from a HR perspective considering the opportunity to provide integrated policy frameworks.

Business research in practice (15 credits)

HR professionals are presented on a daily basis with complex organisational issues. It is therefore vital that you have the knowledge and skills to examine these issues with credibility, make sound justifiable recommendations and decisions, take appropriate action and influence others in their decision making.  Alongside the daily activities, senior HR professionals must also be able to demonstrate competences such as strategic awareness, have business orientation and a concern with adding value through human resource (HR) practice. Furthermore, you must be able to deal with a range of stakeholders demonstrating competence and capability in a range of senior level skills to be able to influence, persuade and negotiate with subject to the situation.

In this module you will identify a real work-based area of study to produce a detailed research plan. You will learn to research and collect data, critically analyse findings, develop work-based recommendations and appropriate implementation plans all against a background of cost considerations. These skills are developed through opportunities to research work-based issues.

The first module is 20 credits aiming to explore contemporary issues in HRM. The second module is 40 credits requiring you to conduct a research on specific aspects of the subject. The Contemporary Leadership in HRM module will be delivered within 10 weeks and the remainder of the second year is devoted to the completion of the Applied Research Dissertation.

Contemporary leadership in HRM (20 credits)

The role of HR professionals in organisations has grown significantly in influence and credibility. Yet the role of the HR professional covers many diverse and complex areas which have an impact on organisational growth and success as well as every element of the relationships with many stakeholders. This module seeks to consider and critically appraise contemporary leadership challenges in the HR arena from a theoretical and applied practice perspective. To achieve this, the module will provide learners the opportunity to actively participate in a series of discussions focused upon key contemporary leadership issues. Guest speakers are invited to present research and / or case study which speaks to a contemporary issue. Speakers are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and offer students the ability to engage in discussion with those at the forefront of HR research, practice and consultancy.

Applied research dissertation (40 credits)

This module provides the opportunity for learners to demonstrate the ability to identify an area of research which can / will be of significant and material interest to their own organisation.  The subject, which may lead to introduction of new approaches or changes in current practice, will be located within the body of contemporary research; will enable the collection and analysis of data and derive supportable conclusions and relatable business recommendations which could increase or enhance current practice. The applied nature of the research requires a critical evaluative approach, empirical investigation and analysis and a combination of academic research and business writing skills. Consideration regarding ethics and ethical practice will be given through each stage of the research project from inception through to recommendations and implementation considerations. It will also require reflection on the wider implications of professional practices from an ethical, professional and strategic perspective.

You will also engage in specific professional development activities throughout the duration of the course. You are required to pass the module in order to successfully complete the course. The aim is to raise your awareness of the skills needed to maximise your learning experience and academic successes as well as to satisfy CIPD requirements.

How you’re taught

This course is designed to offer you a blended, theoretical and work based learning experience that fits your development journey. You will enjoy a teaching and learning environment that is shared by your fellow students and academic staff who will be from different backgrounds and with whom you will have the chance to share your current and previous work-place experience. Working with other students during the course will allow you to experience different approaches and learning styles. The different teaching, learning and assessment modes will therefore enable and enhance a number of essential skills, including but not limited to; communication, presentation, negotiation, report writing, analytical and, most importantly, critical thinking skills.

For Phase one, each module will be delivered over a seven-week period, with teaching delivered in six weeks and the seventh week left clear for support and completion of assessment work. Although this enables you to focus on one subject at a time, the philosophy of the course is to demonstrate integration and impact across the HR areas.

The second study phase incorporates the final two modules in order to achieve a Masters level qualification. The Contemporary Leadership in HRM module will be delivered within 10 weeks and the remainder of the second year is devoted to the completion of the Applied Research Dissertation.

Contact within modules takes the form of whole class delivery in interactive in person workshops, live online teaching sessions and structured online ‘on demand’ guided study. In all teaching sessions you will have the opportunity to ask questions, interact with other students and the lecturer on problem solving exercises, cases and discussions. Your course will be structured around the sequential delivery of the core modules.


Our assessment strategy is designed to help you develop and demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills. We use a variety of assessment methods throughout the course, including formative assessments which do not count towards your final grades, but which provide useful feedback on your progress and development and guidance towards the summative assessments which count towards your final grades.

In undertaking this course, you will experience a number of different assessment methods aimed at helping your progression through the course and skills development. Different types of assessment are used throughout the course to achieve a balanced assessment regime and this enables you to more effectively manage your workload. For example, assessment types will therefore include academic and reflective essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, and case studies.


Course induction dates are to be confirmed.

Staff Profiles

Antonia Genghi

Principal Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Antonia Ghengi's role is to both support and help manage the learning journeys and personal development of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate learners.

Sarah Pass

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Dr Sarah Pass is a Senior Lecturer in HRM at Nottingham Business School. She has been conducting research and lecturing for over 15 years, previously working at Cardiff University, University…

Stefanos Nachmias

Principal Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Stefanos Nachmias

Careers and employability

Career Development

Undertaking this course will give you an in-depth insight into the different aspects of Human Resource Management. You will have developed a wide range of skills and abilities and enhanced others that you already had when you joined.  Although you will be in employment whilst undertaking this role, we recognise that academic development can support people in reviewing their careers and future prospects.  Specialist careers advisers in NTU’s employability team are there to help you identify strategies to enable you to effectively pursue your career goals.

Graduates have reported enhanced career opportunities that enabled them to operate confidentially at a more senior level within the HR field. The roles they have secured include the Head of Learning, Training and Development; HR business partner; corporate HR officer and directorate human resources manager.


The MSc Strategic Human Resource Management (part-time) course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and successful completion of the course leads to Associate membership of the CIPD. You can apply to upgrade to Chartered Membership once you have gained the relevant HR experience and developed the appropriate HR competencies and behaviours. Nottingham Business School will pay for your student membership for the duration of the course.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we are disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From ethics, innovation and entrepreneurship to behavioural science, we are inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more:

Campus and facilities

At Nottingham Trent University, we provide first-class learning facilities for our students. Our campus has undergone substantial redevelopment during recent years, and provides an abundance of teaching space, a range of lecture theatres of different sizes, and masses of space for social learning.

In person teaching will take place at our City Campus, home to Nottingham Business School. You should expect to be taught across our Newton building and the Dryden Centre.

Dryden Centre

A short walk from the Newton building and Boots library, the Dryden Centre facilitates some on-campus teaching for Nottingham Business School’s postgraduate and executive education courses. Benefit from the newly built NTU Dryden Enterprise Centre next door that provides dedicated support for entrepreneurs, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Entry requirements

  • Employment in a HR role to enable you to undertake a work-based project;
  • Applicants with a non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants should have HR work experience that gives exposure around areas including grievances, disciplinaries, recruitment processes, organising or delivering development sessions. Applicants will be required to demonstrate a commitment to the subject they wish to study and should demonstrate how their chosen programme of study will benefit them in their future career.
  • An Honours degree is desirable;

Other requirements:

  • Academic and/or employer reference.
  • For those who do not hold an Honours degree, you may be required to undertake a written assessment as part of the application process.
  • You will be required to take part in an interview to assess whether you have the level of work experience and exposure to HR work in your job role to enable you to complete assessments.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept International students onto this course. As a part-time course we are unable to accept applications from students that require a Student Route visa.

Fees and funding

Course fees for September 2023 are to be confirmed.

Home fees for September 2022 entry

Study routeHome fees
Part-time£11,000 (£5,500 per year)
Please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one academic year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

For details on course fees and any funding available please visit our fees and funding page for further information and any additional support.

Funding your studies

This course is eligible for the government postgraduate loan scheme.

How to apply

Apply via the NTU applicant portal by pressing 'Apply' at the top of the page.

Before you apply please make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully.

For more information about our CIPD accredited programmes please contact Course Leader, Antonia Genghi or Subject Administrator, Nalni Griffin.

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