Human Resource Management MSc

Learn the complex yet subtle art of managing people in organisations, and develop skills for analysis and in-depth policy formation as well as the broader discipline of management on our fully accredited Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) course.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format


1 Year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Human Resource Management MSc at Aston University
Pay your deposit early and secure our Early Payment Discount of £2,000 off your course fees. With limited number of discounts available you must accept your place and pay your course deposit in full by 12:00 Midnight UK Time (BST) on Monday, 2 October 2023.

Starting in January?

Pay your deposit early and secure our Early Payment Discount of £2,000. 

For more information visit here.

MSc Human Resource Management graduate Ruth Kanu talks about her experiences studying at Aston. Whilst highlighting the additional benefits of the embedded Professional Development Programme.

MSc Human Resource Management and Business at Aston University

Aston University graduate Folkert Van Dam discusses his experience of studying MSc Human Resource Management and Business.

Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

Choosing the right course and university

Nikoleta, MSc Human Resource Management student explains how she made the choice of coming to Aston University. 

Discover how Human Resource Management graduate Alberta benefited from the support of the Careers and Placements team.


“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, Management Consultant, KPMG


“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, Management Consultant, KPMG

Course outline and modules

Our fully accredited CIPD course focuses on developing an understanding of the complex relationship between business environment and Human Resource Management (HRM). Applying an international perspective and exploring a range of HRM practices enables students to engage critically with their chosen discipline and develop key professional transferable skills.

This course provides you with a detailed theoretical knowledge of Human Resource Management, whilst at the same time giving you the relevant vocational skills needed for a range of HR roles.

You’ll also benefit by developing a broad range of business skills. This can help you to secure management positions in various areas of business.

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There’s practical workshops, case studies, group work, lectures and tutorials. They allow you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt in a way that’s suited to you.

How will my skills develop?

You’ll study fascinating subject areas, starting with a module which examines how the management of human resources can contribute to business performance. You will study how this can influence the motivation and engagement of employees, and also explores the legislation businesses must adhere to. In the second term you will examine how organisations select, recruit and develop employees to give them the competitive advantage. New for this year, students will have the opportunity to delve into the growth area of HR analytics.  Given this breadth of knowledge, you’ll develop a well-rounded understanding of HRM theory and how to practically apply it.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

During The Aston Global Advantage, you’ll will also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

You’ll learn the practical skills required of HR practitioners in any organisation. We teach you useful recruitment techniques, how to apply employment law, effective training and development tools and approaches, as well as negotiating skills, which are key to dealing with difficult workplace situations. By gaining these skills, you’ll be well-equipped for a range of graduate roles.

Our teaching staff are recognised as experts in their field. We boast a mix of leading academics in HRM, such as Pawan Budhwar, who is world-renowned for his research into the international aspects of HRM. We also have teaching staff who are actively working in consultancy, such as Kathy Daniels who works extensively with the CIPD.

Our recent graduates have gone on to secure roles with prestigious national and international organisations, including KPMG, Unilever, Kier and the Civil Service. With a reputation for graduate employability, we can help you fulfil your career aspirations.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The course concludes with a Business Project, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. 


Core modules

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 to understand how to manage people in working environments and how to be managed.

Strategic and International Human Resource Management

In this module we will look at 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’ll discover the benefits of managing people in different settings in different ways and learn to identify the appropriate people strategy for the context.

Assessment and Performance

In this module you will be introduced to the 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 reward can be used to enhance performance, how to measure staff performance and how to manage employees who are under-performing.

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.

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’ll learn how to comply with employment law but also consider how organisations can go beyond their legal requirements and treat people fairly.

Research Methods

This module will help prepare you, for your dissertation. We will introduce 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.

Managing and Interpreting Financial Information

Students are encouraged through this module to link financial information to their HRM knowledge to make more balanced, sustainable, decisions, with good understanding of how people may react in different situations. Rather than relying on the financial information alone, this (non- credit bearing) workshop encourages HR professionals to be aware of their internal and external customers in order to deliver business solutions.

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.

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.

HR Analytics

This module will provide you with a firm understanding of the role of AI and analytics in the context of Human resource management. An appreciation of how data analytics and HRM use / interpret data, which in turn can inform HR decisions that benefits business performance will be explored. By drawing upon relevant perspectives a better understanding of HRM’s contribution to the bottom line can be achieved. Using practical examples from a range of organisations, the module will help you to understand how AI and HR analytics can be used to address organisational challenges.

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 transferable skills you will gain throughout the year.

MSc Human Resource Management Research Project

The research project is a chance for you to 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.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree, minimum Lower Second Class (2:2)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date A completed application form.


International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • 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. 
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

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.


Speak to our Admissions Team

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


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Our programme directors are our experts

Matthew Carter

Dr Matthew Carter
Programme Director, MSc Human Resource Management

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying you can email me via this link and I will be happy to answer your queries.


Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching 

What makes us stand out from other universities is our focus on the practical application of course material. You’ll be taught various theories and perspectives relating to human resource management, but you’ll also spend a large proportion of your time applying these to real-life or simulated business scenarios. This will enhance your understanding and make you better equipped for skilled, graduate roles.

Our adaptable teaching staff deliver this course in a way that suits all learning styles. This means we use a range of teaching methods, from lectures and tutorials to practical workshops and group work. All sessions are delivered in an open and supportive atmosphere, helping you to get the most out of your studies.

Our online learning platform will also support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.

Classroom activities 

Flipped classroom – In the Learning and Talent Development module, a flipped classroom approach is used whereby students can access pre-recorded lecture content and digital reading materials from our online learning platform. You will then attend weekly seminars to discuss the key aspects of the material and participate in group activities that helps you to apply your knowledge. You will also have opportunities to put theories into practice using case studies, design your own training interventions and present your ideas to your classmates. This innovative approach provides greater interaction and engagement with the module content and helps to enhance your knowledge, understanding and practical skills in learning and development.

Skills workshops – The majority of the modules contain a skills workshop element, which gives you the chance to hone key HRM capabilities and enhance your employability. The Strategic and International HRM module involves an ethical decision-making task, where you will have to advise a company on what action to take in a variety of challenging scenarios. You’ll need to ensure you consider the possible human resource and business implications of your proposals, which is great reflective practice and a crucial skill for human resource management roles.

We regularly invite guest speakers from industry, which have included representatives from Network Rail and the Civil Service. The department also has a close connection with an industrial fellow who is keen to connect with students on potential research projects


We use a variety of assessment methods as part of this course. There’s a mix of exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments we use real or fictitious business situations and ask you to apply the knowledge you have learnt to solve a business issue. These practical assessments help to prepare you to take on specific tasks in a work environment.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.


You’ll have the chance to gain valuable work experience as part of this course. Spend as little as one month or as long as 12 months on a work placement with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas. This is a fantastic opportunity to take what you’ve learnt and apply it day-in, day-out. A work placement will also enhance your CV and help you stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate roles.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. Students have recently spent time with companies such as Tesco, Pirelli Tyres and Vodafone and have worked in a range of roles, from general HR Assistant roles to specialist HR positions, such as Recruitment Officer or Learning and Development Coordinator.

We also give you the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem for a company.

Our award-winning careers team is always on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team can also lend their expertise to assist you with your CV and interview technique. 

Placement case studies

Find out about Ememobong Etim’s placement as a Business Strategist and Development Analyst with Vitabonna Development Limited.

Find out about Suzhen Ye’s placement as an Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.

Find out about Chloe Chan’s, Health Tech Services Internship at Holland & Barrett.

Find out about Piyushi Pawan’s placement as a Regional Marketing Coordinator for India, Aston University.

Universities Business Challenge Global Masters

All Aston University Business postgraduate students have the opportunity to take part in the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Global Masters. The UBC Global Masters is a team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors, who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company. 

Trips and visits

Your module leaders will organise a series of networking opportunities and guest lectures for you. HR professionals will give you with an insight into specific HR roles, practises and challenges.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

There’s also a number of field-trips and leisure activities that take place throughout the year, led by various Schools, societies and sports clubs.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25): £12,000

International students (2024/25): £23,500

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.

More information on fees and funding

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs.

Find out more here.


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. 

Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship


Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees. Students who have completed their first degree at Aston University will receive an automatic scholarship when applying for their course. If you are not an Aston University graduate there is still a range of UK and international scholarships that you can apply for.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our MSc Human Resource Management course, you could save...


UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)


International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Career Prospects

This course will prepare you for a wide range of general, specialist and research roles in HR and related fields. The UK is considered an international leader in HR professional practice, and the opportunities for high quality training mean that experience gained in this country is highly-valued and transferable to operations globally.


This course is fully accredited by the CIPD meeting requirements of CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in HR Management. Successful completion of this degree will give you the professional level of CIPD membership – Associate (AssocCIPD) – and the knowledge to upgrade to the higher levels of Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow.

CIPM logo

We have a partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) in Nigeria. Which entitles Nigerian students studying this course to get up to 74% exemptions in their CIPM exams.

CIPM is equivalent of UK CIPD.

Recent graduates

This course 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. Graduates have gone on to work across a breadth of sectors such as private, public, not-for-profit and the services sector.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for organisations including:

  • Amazon
  • Marriott International
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Tata Steel
  • Tesco
  • DHL
  • L’Oreal
  • Cadbury
  • Career Insights
  • Warwickshire Police
  • KPMG
  • RBS.

Roles have included; HR Consultant, HR Advisor, Resourcing Advisor, HR Management Trainee, Head of Diversity, General Manager, and HR Manager.

International students

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

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies, in order to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy.

Find out more about the post-study work visa.

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Human Resource Management at Aston University?

This CIPD accredited course will develop your understanding as well as your transferable skills to enable you to launch into your career in HR or wider business positions. You’ll gain plenty of exposure to real-world scenarios and learning experiences that will help you to stand out in the job market.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters Human Resource Management?

This course will prepare you for a wide range of general, specialist and research roles in HR and related fields. The UK is considered an international leader in HR professional practice, and the opportunities for high quality training mean that experience gained in this country is highly-valued and transferable to operations globally.

Our recent graduates have gone on to secure roles with prestigious national and international organisations, including KPMG, Unilever, Kier and the Civil Service. With a reputation for graduate employability, we can help you fulfil your career aspirations

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the pathway to a successful, and rewarding career.  

Aston  University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of  our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to  them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world  challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply  their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships.

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