Postgraduate Course

MSc Human Resource Management

MSc Human Resource Management


The details
Human Resource Management
October 2020
1 year
Colchester Campus

How does the well-being of an employee affect the overall performance of a business? What’s the relationship between personal development and productivity? How can human resource managers best support senior and line managers to help them to achieve their objectives?

No matter the type of organisation, people need to be recruited, managed and motivated in order to create an effective and successful workplace. Our full-time, one year MSc Human Resource Management gives you the knowledge, skills and understanding to become a successful leader and practitioner in this increasingly complex business world. You will learn to address practical human resource problems in a critical and independent way, while considering the ethical obligations of the human resource practitioner

You 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 the research interests of our strongly international faculty.

Topics you study include:

  • the changing strategic role of human resource management departments
  • the ethics of human resource management
  • employment relations
  • international human resource management

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 Business School (EBS), ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2018), embedding research into degrees to provide a cutting-edge education suitable for today’s fast-paced world of work.

MSc Human Resources Management can be studied part-time and you may be eligible for scholarships or discounts. Postgraduate loans for Masters courses are now available from the Student Loans Company, worth up to £10,609, for students from the UK and EU.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Why we're great.
  • Teaching is delivered in compact sessions across two days per week to help you fit your Masters into your normal working hours and personal life.
  • Gain exemptions for future professional memberships.
  • You learn from professional practitioners via guest lectures and organised visits.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Our academics at Essex Business School have world-class research reputations. They draw upon a mixture of academic and industry experience, and use a wide range of social science theory, to explore the contemporary human resources issues affecting private, public and third sector organisations.

Academic input from the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies will also provide an understanding of the complexities of people management. On this course, you deepen your knowledge of human emotions, relationships and society.

You also hear from professional practitioners through guest lectures and organised visits. These utilise both the knowledge and expertise of our various corporate and business partners and the University’s Human Resources Section.

Essex Business School is home to the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society, which organises research seminars for staff and postgraduate students.

Specialist facilities

You benefit from the facilities in our landmark Essex Business School building, based at our Colchester Campus. You experience contemporary learning facilities, including a beautiful winter garden for group working, networking and socialising. We have our own café, Bonds, and the EBS Learning team provide a number of study skills workshop.

You benefit from a host of 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.

Your future

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. In 2018, 80% of our postgraduate taught students were in professional employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2017).

The University’s Careers Services will be on hand to provide career advice throughout your degree.

“Essex is where I belong. I did my undergraduate degree here and I stayed to do my Masters because this is where I feel at home. The academics are friendly and approachable and my course is developing my skills in teamwork, problem solving and communication.”

Christiana Markou, MSc Human Resource Management (2016)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree in Human Resource Management, Marketing, Management, Business, a relevant Social Science or Humanities subject

Degree must contain at least two of the following modules in the final two years of study:

Human Resource Management, Management, Administration, Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, Consumer Behaviour

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.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

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

Additional Notes

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.


Example structure

MSc Human Resource Management combines compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.

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.

View Human Resource Management on our Module Directory

Reward Management

This module examines reward management in the private, public and third sectors internationally. You learn how employee reward policies are planned, implemented and evaluated to support strategic organisational goals and examine their strengths and limitations in fairly promoting individual and organisational performance. You learn how to design flexible approaches to reward management and consider the challenges of international and executive pay arrangements.

View Reward Management on our Module Directory

International Employment Relations

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.

View International Employment Relations on our Module Directory

Research Methods in Human Resource Management

This module introduces human resource management research methods, enabling you to explore a complex, practical business issue from a HR perspective. You explore a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, using case studies to determine the suitability of different types of research in particular situations. You examine the ethics of research and acquire the skills to collect and analyse data in order to undertake a research project.

View Research Methods in Human Resource Management on our Module Directory


For your HRM 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.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Developing Skills for Business Leadership

This module aims to equip you with the practical skills needed to be a successful manager and leader. We develop your critical thinking, decision making, team working and interpersonal skills. We encourage you to be self-aware and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as both a manager and colleague so you can continue to learn and enhance your skills throughout your career.

View Developing Skills for Business Leadership on our Module Directory

Equality and Diversity

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.

View Equality and Diversity on our Module Directory

International Human Resource Management

This module examines the complexities of conducting human resource management (HRM) across national borders. You explore key differences between domestic and internal HRM and explore the challenges of managing globally mobile employees.

View International Human Resource Management on our Module Directory

Personality and Work: a Myers-Briggs Perspective

This module introduces students to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Students will learn the fundamental structure and concepts used in the MBTI, as well as developing an understanding of their own 'personality type' according to the theory. The theory is then applied to a variety of workplace and human resources issues. It is expected that students will engage reflexively and critically with the theory of the MBTI and their own 'type'. Topics to be covered will include the origins and ethical foundations of the MBTI, detailed explication of the theory itself and sessions applying this theory of personality to a range of work issues such as communication, conflict, stress and career selection.

View Personality and Work: a Myers-Briggs Perspective on our Module Directory

Consulting to Organisations: Depth Psychology Approaches

This module is an introduction to consultancy approaches. You will learn how to observe organisational process, explore team dynamics and how to interpret your findings. You will also become familiar with a variety of consultancy models and the process of negotiating, contracting and concluding a consultancy assignment.

View Consulting to Organisations: Depth Psychology Approaches on our Module Directory


  • Teaching takes place in blocks of up to six hours on a single day of the week to help you manage your Masters degree around your working week and personal life.
  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Courses focus on applied skills and links with industry
  • We run an open seminar series


  • Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations


  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


International fee


Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 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.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


Virtual tours

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.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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