Human resource management is more than just managing the relationship between professional development and productivity; it’s about supporting senior and line managers to facilitate the well-being of their employees and helping them achieve both personal and overall business objectives.
MSc Human Resource Management course seeks to equip students with the knowledge and skills to develop a successful career in a range of Human Resource Management roles and specialisms.
The nature of work and people management across the globe is constantly evolving. HR professionals today require skills in critical thinking and problem solving and working in collaborative and inclusive ways to address the significant organisational challenges of our time.
MSc Human Resource Management gives you the knowledge, skills and understanding to become a successful leader and practitioner in this increasingly complex business function. You will learn to address practical human resource issues in innovative and sustainable way, while considering the ethical obligations of the human resource practitioner.
You'll experience rigorous and practical training in core HR areas throughout the course. You also have an opportunity to choose from a range of elective modules which reflect your career and/or research interests.
MSc Human Resource Management covers contemporary management issues, such as:
Equality and diversity
The ethics of human resource management
Employment relations in context
Agile and hybrid working
Managing organisational change
Our course has been designed to meet the needs both of newly qualified graduates and experienced professionals looking to enhance their career prospects. After studying our MSc Human Resource Management you’ll be prepared to take a role at the forefront of any human resource department and its parent organisation.
You study at Essex Essex Business School. We don’t just think about business as being a collection of equipment, buildings and stock, instead we consider a business to be an interconnected group of people. People who have the power to influence, and be influenced by, the operations of that business. This approach to understanding the human aspects of why businesses operate in the way they do lends itself perfectly to the study of human resource management.
Professional accreditation gives your career a head start by allowing you to move into a professional role faster. Our MSc Human Resource Management is accredited by by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). For more than 100 years, the CIPD have been championing better work and working lives by setting professional standards for HR and people development in the UK and across the globe.
You will become a student member of CIPD when you sign up for the programme, giving you access to research resources, HR professionals networks and events. Your membership lasts 18 months, meaning it extends beyond the end date of your course and enables you to continue to access CIPD resources and events as you enter the world of work. Your CIPD student membership is paid for by Essex Business School for 18 months.
You will achieve a level 7 CIPD accredited qualification. Alongside this qualification you will gain Associate CIPD membership and the knowledge component from applying for Chartered CIPD membership. Both of these membership levels are considered essential around the world for HR practice and progressing your HR career.
Our academics work with business and public sector organisations to ensure your teaching is right up-to-date.
100% of our business and management research environment is world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2021).
This course provides a solid foundation for a career in human resources.
Our expert staff
Essex Business School has an international reputation for research on workplace inequalities and injustices. Research by our organisation studies and human resource management group covers:
job insecurity and its consequences across cultures
organisational change, transition and leadership
sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility
workplace wellbeing and mental health
agile and hybrid working and its impact on employees
You’ll have the opportunity to hear from experts such as Dr Danielle Tucker Senior Lecturer in Management at Essex Business School and Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Dr Tucker’s research focuses on evaluating complex change management initiatives for public sector organisations (including the Police, local authorities, local government, NHS Trusts and health and social care providers). Our researcher led teaching team on the programme also includes:
Dr Maria Hudson is a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Studies and HRM and is the module leader for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Dr Hudson’s research interests include the management of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and ethnicity, ‘race’ and employment with a focus on discourses of institutional racism and intersectionally sensitive approaches.
Dr Ian Roper is a Reader in Organisational Studies and HRM whose research interests include; the impact of employment regulation on equality-related issues; the 'professional' nature of HRM; the relationship between corporate social responsibility and HRM and how these relate to the issue of 'Modern Slavery'. Dr Roper’s research is published in world leading journals and he is the module leader for Principles and Practice in HRM on this programme.
The research activities of academics in our organisation studies and human resource management group is supported by the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) which brings together interdisciplinary research on work, society and organisational life. The Centre’s research draws on the humanities and social sciences, bringing in perspectives from disciplines such as cultural studies, history, literary theory, philosophy, psychology, sociology and political economy.
You’ll be studying at Essex Business School, home to the first zero carbon business school in the UK – demonstrating our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, with shared spaces to encourage collaborative working, you’ll find a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones:
learn in modern lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
utilise study booths in our winter garden and versatile break out areas for group working throughout the building
networking opportunities with visiting businesses and careers events
Bonds café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink
You'll also benefit from fantastic University facilities located close by, including our state-of-the-art Silberrad Student Centre, complete with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub and a cutting-edge media centre.
Our building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, home to some of the region’s most exciting enterprises in the science, technology and creative sectors. The Knowledge Gateway provides potential networking and career opportunities for students directly on campus.
This course provides a solid foundation for a career in human resources. Many of our graduates also enjoy roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy, with many using the skills developed at Essex to go into business themselves.
We provide you with the necessary skills to succeed in modern workplaces, fostering creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to help you tackle the many challenges of the business world.
Our graduates have entered high-profile organisations and exciting SMEs, such as:
Our Student Support team work closely with the University’s Employability and Careers service to help you with careers information and advice and CV support. They will help you find work experience, internships, placements and voluntary opportunities and provide access to employer talks on campus. We also work closely with the Essex Startups team to support our budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.
“As a part-time MSc Human Resources Management student, I am extremely grateful for having an opportunity to work around my studies. Working as a part time HR administrator at the NHS has allowed me to listen to various solutions to various HR issues in departments including employee relations, recruitment, and workforce planning. Gaining practical experience while studying has helped me to expand my knowledge in HR which I have been able to apply to my module courses including but not limited to ‘personality and work’, ‘leadership’ as well as ‘Learning and Development’. For instance, for my Learning and Development (L&D) module, I was challenged to develop an L&D plan that would help to train and provide the required skills to new staff so the organisation is able to meet its short-term and long-term goals. The knowledge and experience I gained during my internship as a part time HR Assistant at a company called GAO TEK and as a part time HR administrator in workforce planning at the NHS really helped me during this module. I am also proud to say that working around my studies has opened so much career opportunities for me in HR.”
Mariam Nakiboneka, MSc Human Resource Management (Part-time 2021-2023)
UK entry requirements
You should have a 2:1 degree, or equivalent. We particularly encourage applications from business management, social sciences and humanities backgrounds, but will consider applications from any background.
You may also be considered with a lower class degree, or no degree at all, if you have three year’s relevant work experience in a field such as: Human Resource Management or Management (please provide your CV).
We will also consider candidates with a pass in a relevant CIPD Level 5 qualification, combined with two year’s relevant work experience in a field such as: Human Resource Management or Management (please provide your CV).
You should also provide a personal statement when applying, explaining your motivation and aptitude for studying this course.
International & EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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English language requirements
If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other components
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
For your dissertation, you produce an extended, independent, piece of work based on a live organisational case study. You undertake a thorough review of literature and current knowledge and diagnose a real people management and development issue. The dissertation will demonstrate your ability to synthesise theories, relate them to practice in a critical manner and to make practical recommendations for change. You’re assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.
Principles and Practices in Human Resource Management
This module introduces current theory and practice in human resource management (HRM) and development (HRD) and applies these to different work environments. You learn about the connections between HRM and strategic management and consider employment strategies and concepts, such as flexible working, the ‘contingent workforce’, culture management and the ‘learning organisation’. You explore the distinct characteristics of the public, private and voluntary sectors and how they impact HR managers, as well as the effects of internationalisation, technological and social change. The module enables you to apply your knowledge and skills to the management of practical problems and situations in the workplace.
This module considers key debates and concepts underpinning the development of different approaches to managing equality and diversity within work organisations. You will develop a critical and reflexive understanding of theory and practice and evaluate the role of HR professionals in managing equality and diversity.
This module explores the changing nature of the employment relationship – the legal link between employers and employees - and the challenges this can bring for individuals, communities, employers and labour organisations across the globe. We discuss the different employment practices and regulatory systems around the world and you have the opportunity to focus your studies on a country of your choice.
This module encourages you to reflect upon the nature of change in organisations and consider many of the key aspects in preparing for, implementing, and evaluating a variety of types and aspects of organisational changes.
Building upon key theories and debates you will explore the process and consequences of introducing change in organisations while recognising the complexity inherent in changing organisations.
The emphasis of the module is to develop the analytical skills to understand the broad principles underlying the key stages in a change process that could be then applied to a range of different types of changes within organisations. The course is not driven by providing recipes but more by realising the value of critical analytical and reasoning skills that can be applied to the practicalities of different organisational change interventions.
How is AI influencing human resource management today? How can digital HRM aid productivity in the workplace? This module uses real-life global case studies to demonstrate the practical ways and potential challenges of using digital HRM strategies and tools. By the end of this module, you will be able to think critically about the benefits of digital human resource management in modern workplaces.
Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
Modules focus on applied skills and links with industry
Courses focus on applied skills and links with industry
We run an open seminar series focused on key contemporary HRM issues
Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations
You submit a 15,000 word dissertation designed to enable you to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding, and skills gained from the programme by integrating and applying your learning to a current issue in HRM of their choice
Fees and funding
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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