Focusing on both operational and strategic issues, and covering contemporary debates and challenges in the field of human resource management, this masters degree provides an excellent foundation for a career in general or specialist HR management roles.
The course has two particular strengths – an evidence-based approach that ensures you are learning the most effective concepts and techniques, and a focus on HR management in an international context. You’ll learn about current practice in the established industrialised world and in emerging economies, encouraging you to compare diverse ways of working and analyse the impact of different approaches on people management. This global view will prepare you for a career overseas or in a multinational organisation.
We also emphasise the importance of analytical thinking throughout the course, encouraging you to think precisely and take a rigorous approach to your own research.
This programme will be of interest if you are keen to specialise in HR management following your undergraduate studies; many of our students come from a business studies or social sciences discipline. Or you may be a professional who is seeking to advance or change your career.
View the programme specification document for this course.
The MSc in Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), demonstrating that the course meets the CIPD’s exacting educational standards. This accreditation entitles you to CIPD membership; during your studies you will be a student CIPD member, and on successful completion of the course you will become a CIPD Associate Member. As well as enhancing your CV, this provides you access to specialist online resources and a community of HR practitioners.
This is a one-year, full-time masters degree. You will take compulsory and optional modules during the first nine months of the course; the final three months will be spent on your dissertation.
The course covers contemporary organisational policy and practice as well as key operational and strategic topics. For example, you will:
- Explore the relationship between human resource development and an organisation’s strategic objectives
- Learn about key aspects of employee relations, including the complex impact of emerging economic trends on employee relations
- Take a critical and analytical review of current ideas in human resource management
- Gain an understanding of organisation development
- Develop the practical skills needed to become an effective HR professional
- Choose from optional modules covering topics such as European labour markets or comparative and international people management in more depth
Depending on the subject matter, some modules will hone your critical and analytical capabilities, while others offer a more practice-based or self-reflective approach. For example, the Key Skills for Human Resource Management and Contemporary Issues in People Management modules use group exercises and role play to encourage you try out your management skills and reflect on your own professional practice.
A module covering quantitative and qualitative research methods will equip you to undertake your dissertation, which is an opportunity to study an area of interest in more depth. Our research-active academics are well placed to help you identify and formulate your research proposal and advise on suitable methodologies.
Action learning sets
A key feature of this degree is the use of action learning sets, where you are placed with a group of fellow students at the start. See Learning & Assessment tab for more information.
Our academics include researchers at the forefront of various HR management specialisms. Their involvement in research activities enables them to bring the latest findings to the course. For example:
- Dr Guy Vernon, the programme leader, has an impressive track record of research in employee relations, with a focus on cross-national comparative and internationally oriented studies. He is also an author of a widely used text book, International Human Resource Management. Guy leads two modules: Employee Relations, and International and Comparative Human Resource Management.
- Professor Yehuda Baruch is a leading researcher whose specialisms include career mobility in the context of globalisation and the concept of ‘boundaryless careers’. He has extensive research and teaching experience and has undertaken consultancy work for UK and multinational firms. He leads the Strategic Human Resources Management module.
An evidence-based course that offers a distinctive international perspective on human resource management issues.
A blend of learning methods will enhance your critical and analytical capabilities, your practical skills and your capacity for self-reflection.
The use of action learning sets – a structured peer-group approach to learning and self-development – will enrich your learning experience.
Taught by academics who are at the leading edge of research in areas such as employee relations and career mobility.
The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; you can opt to become a student member of this professional body and upgrade your membership on graduation.
Typical entry requirements
2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent.
Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.
Acceptable subjects: Social science eg business admin, communication, economics, education, government, linguistics, sociology, political sciences – a wider range can be accepted if applicant has work experience
Required module areas: Evidence of essay based study
Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies
Work experience can compensate for a degree subject not listed above.
You are able to progress to this MSc programme via the University's Pre-masters programme.
The University’s Admissions Policy, available at www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_policy, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.
If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.
The following scores are accepted for direct entry:
- IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in all components.
All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.
For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.
If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.
Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.
This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about
entry requirements and qualifications for your country.
Typical course content
The modules for MSc Human Resource Management are detailed below.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
View the full list of course fees
Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are
listed for UK,
EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course
Explore funding opportunities
Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you
through your course.
Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or
your country of origin.
These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.
Costs associated with this course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
|Stationery||You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.|
|Books||Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.|
|Printing and copying||In most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student.
The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing|
|Travel||Some modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.|
|Other||Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.|
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.