Course overview

Delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, this adaptable, inclusive programme is open to graduates of all disciplines and will provide you with the extensive knowledge and skill set required to compete in a global market. Fully CIPD accredited, this course aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the complex relationship between business environment and human resource management. You will gain detailed theoretical knowledge, exploring topics such as motivation and strategy, and consider how such areas can impact organisational performance.

You will learn the practical skills required of HR practitioners in any establishment such as recruitment techniques, development tools and negotiation skills. With these capabilities, you will be equipped for a range of roles in multiple fields, across an international landscape.

You will be taught by leading academics who boast a wealth of experience and have conducted research in areas such as consultancy and international human resource management.

“I joined a graduate scheme which involved a masters degree and I chose Aston University. I really benefitted from the support from my tutors and forward-thinking academic research.”

Amy McCarthy
MSc Human Resource Management
Management Consultant, KPMG

Why Human Resource Management at Aston University?

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Professionally accredited
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Management
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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
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5th in the UK
We have been ranked 5th in the UK (Human Resource Management; Eduniversal Best Masters Rankings, 2024)
Cerficate
Gain the advantage
Get ahead of the competition with the Aston Global Advantage professional development module
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Double degree
This course provides the opportunity to study for and graduate with two degrees
QS World University Rankings logo
66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

MSc Human Resource Management

Our MSc Human Resource Management programme offers a flexible balance of theoretical knowledge and practical skills, which will prepare you for a wide array of graduate roles.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and constructive assessment. You will engage in workshops, insightful discussions and hands-on opportunities to apply your knowledge effectively.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel. You must have an interest in people and how an organisation can create strategic impact through the workforce.

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What skills we teach
This programme will develop you into a strong, strategic leader who can effectively manage their workforce. You will refine your communication capabilities, perfecting your ability to negotiate and handle conflict. Additionally, you will master emotional intelligence and become commercially aware, efficiently interpreting the impact of external forces on performance.

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Career prospects
This dynamic programme sharpens both business and human resource management knowledge. Developing as a concise communicator and leader who understands business strategy will make you an invaluable asset to employers across the public and private sectors worldwide.

How you will learn

Our programme is designed to offer you a flexible learning experience, enabling you to explore, test and apply your knowledge in a manner that suits your preferences. We employ innovative teaching methods ranging from lectures and tutorials to practical workshops, case studies and presentations. Group work fosters the sharing of insights and gathering of diverse perspectives in an open and inclusive environment, while also refining your communication and negotiation skills. Regular visits from guest industry speakers, such as those from Network Rail and the Civil Service, allow for the communication of their expertise.

The degree places a strong emphasis on practical application throughout, providing ample opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to business scenarios via case studies and simulations. You will hone your strategic thinking and decision-making skills as you recommend the best course of action in response to a variety of challenging scenarios. Through the Aston Business Clinic, this learning experience can be elevated to assisting real-world businesses in addressing their issues.

In the Aston Global Advantage module, you will enhance your employability and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice. Dedicated employability support, skill-building workshops and diverse learning streams will prepare you for both academic and professional success.

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Gain the advantage

Our flagship professional development module provides a range of opportunities to apply your learning and increase your employability.

What you will learn

Throughout this programme, you will cover a large breadth of human resource management topics from recruitment and performance to leadership and employment law. You will look at how motivation and engagement of employees can impact business performance and explore the legislation businesses must adhere to. You will improve your management and leadership skills as you delve into manager-employee dynamics and how to effectively address under-performance amongst the work force.

Understanding how organisations select, recruit and develop employees is crucial for business prosperity and will provide you with a competitive advantage. You will learn to manage people in various settings and identify the appropriate people strategy for each context.

In the dissertation phase, you will complete a research project on a cyber security management topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods.

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you can spend an additional year at one of our international partner institutions. If successful, you will graduate with two masters degrees.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Ruth Kanu

Opportunities for growth

Ruth Kanu found the Aston Global Advantage module instrumental in boosting her confidence. She gained first-hand experience working for RSS Infrastructure, where she acquired transferable skills invaluable to future employers.

Postgraduate courses

Learn business, do business

Our classroom goes beyond traditional lectures, focusing instead on real-life projects and hands-on experiences.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a programme of study that meets the needs of local, national, and international candidates, enabling you to learn through the exchange of experiences as well as formal academic study.
  2. Meets your needs whether you are a recent graduate or already in employment and wish to acquire specialist skills and knowledge in human resource management (HRM) to embark on or progress successfully in your chosen career.
  3. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff, utilising the University’s links with business, professional and public sector organisations.
  4. Provides you with opportunities to enhance your employability by developing lifelong learning and personal development skills.
  5. Develops you into a well-qualified graduate who is equipped for and aspires to senior positions.
  6. Prompts you to reflect upon and develop your own position in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics.
  7. Meets or exceeds the accreditation requirements of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) as a professional body.
  8. Develops the knowledge and skills required for the integration of HRM within wider business strategy.
  9. Develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for advising the wider management team about the effective management of people.
  10. Develops the skills necessary to manage a variety of interpersonal situations, including presentations, selection, problem-solving, interviewing and negotiating that may arise within organisations.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Assessment and Performance
In this module, you will be introduced to approaches and theories for ensuring the right people are recruited into the right business and that they then perform effectively. You will cover thought-provoking topics, such as how rewards can enhance performance, how to measure staff performance and how to manage under-performing employees.
15
Employment Law
This fascinating module will develop your understanding of the UK legal framework and its practical application in a wide range of workplace situations, from recruiting to dismissing people. You will learn how to comply with employment law but also consider how organisations can go beyond their legal requirements and treat people fairly.
15
Learning and Talent Development
For most organisations, their biggest expense comes from their people. You will learn differing views on how to best develop people and ensure they add value to an organisation. We also look at talent management and succession planning approaches for getting capable people into more senior positions.
15
Organisational Behaviour
Through a mix of theory and case studies, this module examines people and relationships within a professional context. You will explore what motivates employees, how people work together and relationships between managers and their staff. This will help you understand how to manage people in working environments and how to be managed.
15
Strategic and International Human Resource Management
In this module, you will explore the theory and practice of (international) human resource management and consider how external and internal factors shape HR strategy and policy in private, public, SME and multinational companies. You will discover the benefits of managing people in different settings in different ways and learn to identify the appropriate people strategy for the context.
15
Leadership and Decision Making
This module will encourage you to consider the role of strategy and leadership in shaping and changing organisations. Through exploring the complexities of strategic change, you will be encouraged to develop critical insights on what appear to be everyday business decisions. Reflecting on the role of the leader, you will appraise different approaches to leadership and examine their impact.
15
HR Analytics
This module offers a comprehensive understanding of AI and analytics in human resource management (HRM). Explore data analytics' role in informing HR decisions for improved business performance. Learn HRM's impact on organisational outcomes and how AI and HR analytics tackle organisational challenges through practical examples from diverse organisations.
15
The Aston Global Advantage
The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
15
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
0
Managing and Interpreting Financial Information Workshop
In this module, you will cultivate an understanding of the pivotal role financial information plays within organisations, particularly its relevance to HRM professionals. You will attain a foundational grasp of financial and management reporting, along with the associated terminology, empowering you to apply these skills effectively.
0
Total120

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour 
This module will help prepare you for your dissertation, introducing various research methods which can be used in the context of HRM, work psychology and organisational behaviour. You will also look at how to effectively use primary and secondary data and develop your quantitative and qualitative research skills as well as your analytical abilities.
15
MSc Human Resource Management Research Project
You will carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.
45
Total60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Display knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and theories relating to HRM (this would include training and development, recruitment and selection, employment law and employee relations, leadership and organisational change).
  • Display knowledge and understanding of the strategic role and contribution of HRM within a wider organisational context.
  • Demonstrate competence in synthesis, critical reasoning, evaluation and application of the concepts, principles and theories in verbal and/or written work.
  • Display the necessary research and study skills to undertake research, produce reports and draw conclusions that are well evidenced by empirical analysis. 
  • Display the necessary non-technical skills required to manage interpersonal challenges at work (this would include displaying a high level of communication and presentational skills, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills and the ability to work effectively in multicultural and/or cross-cultural work teams).
  • Reflect critically on the knowledge and skills learnt during the programme and be able to recognise and demonstrate the competencies which enhance employability.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


 

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study but also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications.

Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Sukhwinder Salh programme director Human Resource Management

Meet your programme director

Sukhwinder Salh
Programme Director, MSc Human Resource Management

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£12,000

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£23,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

There are a variety of assessment methods, including exams, coursework, poster design, presentations and group work. For our assessments, we use real or fictitious business scenarios. The practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.

Career prospects

Our MSc Human Resource Management programme will prepare you for a breadth of roles in business and HR, including employee relations, recruitment and selection, employment legislation, performance appraisal, equal opportunities, health and safety training and development. Our graduates have been successful in finding employment in a variety of roles such as: 

  • HR advisor 
  • HR management trainee 
  • HR manager
  • Head of diversity 

Graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Amazon, Marriott International, Lloyds Banking Group, Tata Steel, Tesco, DHL, L’Oreal, Cadbury, Career Insights, Warwickshire Police and RBS.

Harki Ranautta

Equipped for success

Studying at Aston University provided Harki Ranautta with the environment and credibility to thrive. She gained skills which would prepare her for success, regardless of the employer. 

Our graduates achieve amazing things all over the world – whether it’s setting up their own businesses, landing jobs with high profile organisations, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Human Resource Management at Aston University?

You will develop the extensive knowledge and vast skillset required to compete in a global market. Fully CIPD accredited, the course focuses on grasping an in-depth understanding of the complex relationship between the business environment and human resource management.

You will gain detailed theoretical knowledge, exploring topics such as motivation and strategy, considering how such areas can impact organisational performance.

You will learn the practical skills required of HR practitioners in any organisation, such as recruitment techniques, development tools and negotiation skills. With these skills, you will be equipped for a range of roles in multiple fields across an international landscape.

What is the ‘Aston Global Advantage’?

Embedded in all our masters degrees, this assessed, year-long credit-bearing module aims to develop professional and personal transferrable skills relevant to any workplace and create a bridge between the degree and the world of work.

The Aston Global Advantage

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.

MyAstonPortal

What can I get involved in at Aston Business School?

At Aston Business School, you will dive into a dynamic blend of innovative learning and hands-on experiences. With our acclaimed triple-crown accreditation, we offer you academic excellence and a track record of producing successful graduates.

Located in Birmingham, the UK's vibrant second city, Aston Business School provides you with a culturally rich environment and superb connectivity. You will benefit from real-world business engagements, international study opportunities and entrepreneur support programmes like BSEEN and Pitchfest.

You can also engage in practical consultancy at the Aston Business Clinic and collaborate with global peers in events such as the Maastricht Case Competition or the Universities Business Challenge. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, alongside a range of student clubs including TEDx and Enactus further enriches your learning experience.

Discover more

Say Hello to students at Aston University

Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

Chat to our students

 

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