About this course
Specialise in human resource on this UK HR management degree at the University of Southampton. MSc Human Resource Management takes an analytical approach to teaching processes worldwide, preparing you for a career in HR management.
A HR management degree is an excellent graduate opportunity to learn about human resource and advance or change your current career.
This is an analytical and evidence-based master’s degree in human resource management. Your course lecturers will focus on operational and strategic issues, and will bring their own research and experience to their teaching. We’ll encourage you to develop your analytical and practical people management skills.
This master’s in HR management teaches concepts and techniques proven to work in the HR management field. You’ll compare different approaches and analyse the impact they have on people management. The course explores different practices across Europe, Japan, China and USA, preparing you for an international career.
Some modules expand your critical and analytical skills and others will be practical (such as role play) or self-reflective. We’ll help you develop important skills so you can pursue a career in HR management.
As part of this master’s degree, you’ll explore:
- the relationship between HR development and an organisation’s strategic objectives
- key aspects of employee relations
- current approaches in HR management with an analytical approach
- organisation development
- practical skills
You’ll be a part of a supportive peer group, known as an action learning set. These groups are set up at the start of the course and will help you to collaborate on group assignments. You’ll learn from your peers’ experiences, so you can reflect on your own performance.
During your degree you can become a student CIPD member (there is a fee to join). When you graduate, you’ll automatically become a CIPD Associate Member. This will provide you access to specialist resources and a community of HR practitioners.
Your course leader is Dr Guy Vernon. He specialises in research into employee relations, focusing on cross-national comparative and internationally focused studies. He wrote the popular book, International Human Resource Management and will teach 2 modules on this course. Visit Dr Vernon’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree subject with evidence of qualitative (essay-based) study in a social science, such as:
- business administration
- government and political sciences
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
We do not accept the following subjects:
- Language Studies – degrees that focus on learning a language or how to translate, such as 'Business English', 'Applied English', or 'Translation', are not acceptable. However, this restriction does not apply to ‘English’ and ‘English literature’ degrees of the kind taught in the UK.
- Art/Design/Vocational Studies – degrees that focus on learning a particular form of art, craft or vocation. These include degrees in art, graphic design, photography, television broadcasting, script writing, or performance/dance.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2), you'll study the taught part of this human resource management degree.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from. You’ll be able to choose to study either:
- European labour markets
- comparative and international people management
During semester 2 you’ll begin preparing for your dissertation.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Contemporary Issues and debates in Human Resource Management
This course introduces contemporary themes associated with HRM, with the objective of creating an in-depth and critical exploration of some of the challenges that we face in the workplace today. Such issues include topics such as, managing diversity, chan...
The dissertation stage of your Postgraduate programme involves an extended, independent investigation of a topic of your own choosing and the preparation of a 15,000 word dissertation describing your work. Essentially, the dissertation is a test of your a...
Employee relations is an ambiguous term, but one widely used in academia and amongst practitioners. Employee relations as an area of study and practice evolved from industrial relations, and has as its primary focus conflict in the employment relationship...
Key Skills in Communication and HRM
This module first provides students with an understanding of academic writing at Masters Level in UK Higher Education, with regard to essay writing and then with regard to the practical skills necessary for presenting a clear and concise business report. ...
This module focuses on organisation development (OD) and facilitation and provides you with a core body of knowledge necessary to understand and practice organisation development within contemporary organisations. You will be introduced to the underpinnin...
Quantitative and Qualitative Research (HRM/OB)
This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to develop an appreciation of management research in theory and practice. There are two broad objectives: (1) to enhance your knowledge of the research process and enable you to be aware of the problems ...
Strategic Human Resource Development
The need for specialist personnel or human resource managers plus line managers to effectively understand the development needs of businesses and their employees is increasing as organisational and environmental pressures for change gain momentum. This co...
Strategic Human Resources Management
This module covers the area of strategic human resource management, offering a comprehensive cover of the advances in the HRM field for PG students.
You must also choose from the following modules:
European Labour Markets
This module offers a comprehensive analysis of global and European policy and politics of employment and skill formation. Far from becoming less important in the context of a serious recession, these issues are all the more important because demographic t...
International and Comparative Human Resource Management
Consideration of people management must increasingly be cross-national comparative and international in complexion. This exciting new agenda is challenging and problematic. This module examines international developments and comparative difference in the ...
Learning and assessment
You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, group work and private study.
Our lecturers use a range of teaching methods, including:
- group discussions
- case studies
- problem solving exercises
- role play
A key part of this degree is the use of action learning sets. You’ll be placed with a group of fellow students - your action learning set. You’ll work in this group on collaborative tasks and assignments in class. You’ll meet regularly to discuss your learning experiences to help you improve your performance.
Working within an action learning set will help you:
- learn from your peer’s ideas, knowledge and experience
- improve how you approach team dynamics
- appreciate the contributions of a diverse group of people
- receive feedback
- reflect on your own learning approach and management style
This course has a focus on self-reflection to help you become a better HR practitioner.
One form of assessment will be personal reflective reports. You’ll need to use your learning logs (a record of structured reflection on key skills and knowledge gained) to identify your understanding of past and current organisational problems and experiences.
Other assessment methods include:
- group assignments
- reflective engagement in class
- group work in class exercises
You'll need to use the skills you learn in the taught part of the programme to carry out an independent investigation of a topic of your choice. As a result, you’ll need to write a 15,000-word dissertation describing your work.
You’ll have access to a range of facilities and support services in the Southampton Business School and will be allocated a personal academic tutor who can answer any questions you may have about the course.
This course provides a foundation for you to specialise in HR or general people management roles across the world.
This includes careers in:
- organisation human resource departments
- line management positions
- management consultancy
Following this postgraduate degree, you can choose to study human resource management at PhD level.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £14,756.
- EU and international students pay £26,352.
When you accept your offer to study on this course you’ll be asked to pay a deposit. This is non-refundable. The deposit amount is:
- UK students: £250
- EU and international students: £1,000
Full terms and conditions and details of how to pay this deposit will be sent to you in your offer letter.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Business School Deans International Scholarship
A scholarship of £8,000 is available to international students studying for an eligible postgraduate master’s at Southampton Business School.
Find out more about the Southampton Business School Deans International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Southampton Business School Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for an eligible postgraduate master’s at the Southampton Business School.
Find out more about the Southampton Business School Postgraduate International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Southampton Business School Excellence in English Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau who are studying for an eligible postgraduate master’s at the Southampton Business School.
Find out more about the Southampton Business Excellence in English Postgraduate International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
The deadline for applying for your course for the 2023 year of entry depends on where you’re domiciled (where your permanent home is and where you have the closest ties).
This is because:
- students from different countries tend to apply at different times of year
- we want a diverse and balanced mix of international students with exceptional academic ability
|Place of domicile||Deadline|
|China||7 December 2022 (closed)|
|Anywhere else (except the UK)||31 May 2023|
|The UK (and others eligible for home fees)||7 July 2023|
We must receive new applications by 12pm GMT.
Applications for 2023 are now closed to those domiciled in China. The deadline for applicants domiciled in other countries may still move to:
- an earlier date if we have already received enough applications before the deadline
- a later date if there are still places available on the deadline
We receive many high-quality applications, so places for many of our courses are very competitive.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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