Human Resource Management

  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Part-time (day & evening)
  • Location: City site
  • Starting: September 2016
  • Course duration: 2 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The role of HR has developed dramatically over the years and now business leaders are recognising that people are the biggest drivers within their organisation providing them with the biggest risk and value, therefore need to be treated differently.

In response to these changes the CIPD have developed numerous courses which help develop HR professionals to help enhance your skills which will benefit your organisation.

Nottingham Business School has an established reputation for providing high quality CIPD approved courses and has offered the equivalent of a CIPD Foundation Level course for over 30 years.

The CIPD MSc in Human Resource Practice is an advanced level course which presents an exciting opportunity for human resource practitioners to develop their personal and professional knowledge of HR issues to Masters.

This course gives human resource practitioners an exciting opportunity to:

  • Develop your personal and professional knowledge of HR issues to Masters level,
  • Enhance career development at a time when employers in all sectors of the economy are increasingly recognising the value of a Masters qualification,
  • Develop your key managerial skills for personnel and development, enabling you to promote a critical and analytical approach to the use of information in human resource situations.

The course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) as meeting the knowledge requirements that are pre-requisite for Chartered Membership or Chartered Fellowship of the CIPD.

Accredited by:


What you'll study

This course develops your knowledge and critical understanding of conceptual frameworks, perspectives and issues associated with the management of human resources and enables you to apply this to practical, organisational situations. It will increase your awareness of the changing context for the practice of human resourcing via a range of compulsory and specialist elective modules.

With our specialist elective modules you can develop skills and knowledge in an area of your own particular interest. Whilst completing your dissertation in your second year you will also undertake three elective modules.

  • Core Modules

    HRM in its Business Context

    The aims of this module are to provide learners with an understanding of: 

    • 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. 
    • Managerial decisions which have shaped different organisations’ differing responses to these dynamic environmental contexts. 
    • The extent and limitations of managers’ and HR professionals’ decision making in an uncertain and changing environment. 
    • Current HR practices in their managerial, organisational and external contexts, and how they shape the present HR agenda.

    People Resourcing and Talent Management

    Theoretically, the module will engage students to consider how future developments may affect people resourcing processes. This may be reflected in the increased use of proactive diversity management, employers branding, work-life balance initiatives and innovative approaches to job design. The module also introduces learners to major debates about theory and practice in the specific fields of flexibility and change management.

    Learning and Talent Development

    This module explores the related aspects of learning and development – firstly as a driver of economic, social and cultural change at governmental, organisational and individual level and secondly as an enabler of these changes. The module examines critically the meanings of ‘talent’ in the context of organisational effectiveness; learning and development policies and strategy. It also explores the extent to which learning and development professionals can influence the organisations they work within, having regard to ethical and professional standards of competence. The module develops skills of team working, critical analysis, problem solving and decision making through exploration of theoretical frameworks relevant to espoused and in-action learning and development strategies and policies. The module requires students to reflect critically on theory and practice based on their own experiences and upon case studies from a range of organisations. Students will be provided with opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

    Research Methods and Professional Skills

    The purpose of this module is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills to be able to formulate, plan and conduct effective research projects either individually or as a team member. Specific content includes: the choice, design and application of research and analytical methods; developing conceptual frameworks; planning a research project and writing a research proposal; developing sound analysis and arguments; research ethics; summarising and presenting research findings.


    The aims of this module are:

    a) To enable students to make effective use of the full range of academic and other published materials which deal with issues of HRM and employee relations.

    b) To help students develop confidence and skill to support assignments and the dissertation, through the use of published materials, reflection on their own experiences and the carrying out of personal research work.

    The project or dissertation should enable students to:

    1. Focus on a complex and important issue in human resource management and its strategic context,
    2. Undertake effective, competent and ethical research (normally this will be primary research and analysis)
    3. Integrate theory and practice to demonstrate creativity in problem solution,
    4. Incorporate understanding taken from a critical review of the appropriate literature,
    5. Be sensitive to the requirements of the different audiences for the project,
    6. Demonstrate the ability to critically reflect on the process and outcome of the project.
  • Specialist Modules

    Managing Employee Relations and Employee Engagement

    This module will provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates, both national and international, from a theoretical and behavioural competency perspective. Notions of participation, involvement, commitment and engagement will be explored for their utility in enhancing employer/employee relations. Upon completion of the module learners will be aware of and able to critically appraise approaches, practices and skills associated with employee relations and employee engagement. They will also have had an opportunity to appreciate and evaluate an interdisciplinary perspective as a way of beginning to understand the employment relationship.

    Performance Management

    The overall purpose of the module is to provide knowledge and understanding of the role of performance management in supporting organisational objectives, the core concepts and processes of performance management and the approaches adopted in different organisational contexts.

    Reward Management

    The aims of this module are to provide learners with an understanding of: 

    • The relationship between the environment, strategy and systems of reward management. 
    • The conceptual apparatus and theoretical debates informing reward management. 
    • Traditional, contingent and knowledge bases for transactional and relational rewards. 
    • The design of internally-consistent reward structures that recognise labour market and equity constraints. 
    • Executive and expatriate rewards in an international context. 
    • Key contemporary issues in reward management.

    Employment Law

    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, while additional duties actively to promote equality have been placed on public bodies. 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. Furthermore, they need to be able to anticipate legal problems associated with proposed decisions or plans before they are implemented and are often called upon to lead an organisation's response when a formal legal claim is contemplated or pursued.

    Finally, HR managers need to be sufficiently aware of major, current and coming developments in the regulatory environment so as to ensure that their organisations are fully prepared. 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. Because this module forms part of a management qualification and not a legal one, it is focused on enabling learners to grasp fully the key principles which underpin employment law rather than to demonstrate advanced knowledge of legislation or case law. Moreover, the focus is on situations which occur relatively regularly in workplaces rather than on more uncommon or obscure legal scenarios.

    Electronic Human Resource Management (E-HRM)

    The aims of this module are to develop the students’ understanding of E-HRM and enable them to explore how developments in this area can inform, enable and shape human resource decision making in organisations at strategic and operational levels. This module will also enable them to develop and use appropriate human capital metrics across the HR remit. In addition they will explore the developing role of the HRIS specialist and the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake this role.

    Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity in HRM

    This module focuses on two key concepts in contemporary management thinking and practice: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Organisational Diversity. These concepts will be critically analysed as applications of the discourses and practices of what is commonly known as Business/Managerial Ethics. They will also be explored in relation to both the ethical issues within HRM and the claim sometimes put forward that HRM should be the corporate champion of business ethics (including CSR and Diversity). In this context the module will start with a critical exploration of the concept of Business Ethics at the individual, corporate and international level, followed by the study of the discourses and practices of CSR and Organisational Diversity.

    Designing, Delivering and Evaluating Learning and Development Provision

    The design and delivery of learning and development always occurs in a specific context. It is important therefore that this module develops a critical understanding of the role and influence of a range of contextual factors on the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development plans and interventions. There is a well-established body of knowledge and theory on learning processes and their application in instructional design and facilitating learning that also influences design and delivery of learning and development plans and events. This body of knowledge therefore forms a significant component of the module. The module as a whole is intended to develop the professional knowledge and skills required to perform effectively in specialist roles associated with the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development. It requires learners to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Assessment is carried out through assignments and exams which will be based on your organisation.  Part of the assessment for the Research Methods and Professional Skills element will require you to provide evidence of the development of HR skills for business leadership and your continuing professional development (CPD) through the submission of a portfolio. Your portfolio will be assessed on the relevance of your reflections of in-course learning and of both planned and incidental learning at work and elsewhere.

Study and support

Teaching normally takes place in the afternoons and evenings as this is popular with both students and employers. Attendance in both years is mostly on a weekly basis. Your induction will be held over two full days and you will be expected to attend a residential during HRM in its business context.

How many contact hours will there be?
54 per module

How many places are available?

Careers and employability

This course does not currently offer placements, but the course assignments are based on real-world issues. Applicants must therefore be in employment, or be able to gain access to an organisation upon which to base assignments.

Entry requirements

  • You should have a first degree or other qualification at an equivalent level or be able to provide sufficient evidence that you are capable of successfully completing a programme of study at Masters level.
  • You should also have relevant work experience related to management and/or human resource management.
  • If your educational qualifications are at a lower level than a first degree you will be asked to provide some evidence of your capability to study on a Masters programme. Typically you might be asked to complete a short assignment that would be assessed at interview by the Programme Leader. If you have completed the Certificate in Personnel Practice or the Certificate in Human Resourcing Practice you would be assessed on an appropriate piece of work from that programme.
  • One academic OR vocational reference is required

How to apply

Applications should be made online using the apply online button at the top of the page.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

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

Still need help?

Nottingham Business School
+44 (0) 115 848 4460