Human Resources and Business Management

BSc (Hons)

Do you want to play a leading role in a company’s performance by understanding and utilising people to deliver competitive advantage?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

BBB (standard offer)

BBC (contextual offer)


4 years with integrated placement year (international students may opt out of the placement year)

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course overview

As organisations change, grow, and develop internationally, insight and professional knowledge of the part people play in the organisation is essential. This course gives you the opportunity to develop specialised knowledge of factors such as motivation, commitment and emotions at work, which can then be applied to wider business management issues including productivity, work engagement and leadership. 

The course is accredited by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) and is mapped to the core knowledge and core behaviours of the Profession Map at Associate level. Therefore, on successful completion of the BSc (Hons) Human Resources and Business Management programme you will gain Associate (Assoc CIPD) membership status, giving you additional standing as it is nationally recognised by employers.

You will be taught by experts from Aston Business School which is part of an elite group of global business schools that hold the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.


“One of the reasons I chose Aston University is the fantastic opportunities it gives you for the placement year. I was lucky enough to spend my placement year with IBM and I put that down to attending Aston because they have a really great relationship with IBM and other big-name brands.”

Lucy Baines
Head of Communications, Hiscox USA, New York City

Why Human Resources and Business Management at Aston University?

Professionally accredited
On successful completion students will gain Associate membership status from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
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Our academics are clear
100% of Human Resources and Business Management students felt that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023)
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Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)
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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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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

BSc (Hons) Human Resources and Business Management

Our BSc (Hons) Human Resources and Business Management degree has been developed with a diverse range of modules to enable you to choose whether to progress into a business management role or a specialised human resources role when you graduate.

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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. Our lecturers bring many different perspectives to the classroom – not only are there HR specialists including employment law, but some are psychologists and industry professionals using their experience and knowledge to bring our modules to life.  

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 and a willingness to learn. Staying motivated and sharing your own perspectives and ideas coupled with an ambition and drive to excel will ensure you get the best out of your experience.

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What skills we teach
You will learn an appreciation of the central importance for human resource strategies for all organisations. This will enable you to think strategically about how people, processes and structures interrelate. You will also learn to analyse data to inform decision-making together with the softer skills, such as presentation skills, communication and writing effectively.

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Placement year
We all know that taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. It’s for this reason that we encourage every student to take one. The placement year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.

The placement year is compulsory for BSc (Hons) Human Resources and Business Management students. International students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Human Resources and Business Management graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Our recent graduates have gone on to work across the public, private and third sectors for organisations including: BMW, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Nike.

Successful completion of the course also provides you with associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), making you more attractive to employers. 

How you will learn

Our teaching approach is both modern and innovative. Alongside traditional lectures and interactive seminars, you'll gain valuable hands-on experience during your placement, enhancing your overall learning. At the beginning of your course, you'll be assigned a personal tutor for individual study guidance and support. Module tutors are readily available to answer questions, and all lectures are recorded for future reference.

Our emphasis is on practical knowledge application, and bringing industry into the classroom with guest lectures from prominent businesses and human resources leaders offering unique insights. We work closely with industry, our renowned Visiting Professors, and top UK business figures to share their expertise and expectations from students and graduates.

Complementing traditional teaching, our virtual learning environment provides electronic support materials. You'll have access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals. University-wide services like the careers service, Jobshop, counselling and advice services, sports facilities, and Chaplaincy enhance your overall university experience and prepare you for your professional career.

What you will learn

This course will provide you with the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and application of core human resources and business management theory and practice. As you progress through the course you will gain insights into individual attitudes and behaviours at work, which are essential to understand and solve wider people and business management issues such as leadership, developing strategy for organisational change, increasing productivity and work engagement.

First year

You will develop an understanding of the historical context within which work and the people profession has developed and changed. This will equip you with an appreciation of the skills required for the human resources profession whilst also developing knowledge of key elements of business management such as economics, marketing, law and accounting.

Second year

You will gain a deeper understanding of the issues around individual attitudes and behaviours. You will study modules such as Creativity in Organisations and Psychology of Work, alongside continuing to develop knowledge of wider business management issues and Human Resources Practices including Employee Resourcing and Solving HR Issues. You will also develop theoretical knowledge to consider the ways in which people behave and how human resources contributes to organisations.

Placement year

The Aston University placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Placement stories

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you could study overseas at one of our partner institutions during your placement year and graduate with two undergraduate degrees for the price of one.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Final year

The final year brings all of your learning together with a study of strategy and management, where the combination of human resources and business management takes focus. You will develop specialised knowledge of employment law and the skills to use evidence to make persuasive arguments. You will draw on your placement experiences to make sense of critical HR issues.

Tolu Olugunju Business and Politics student

My placement year experience

Tolu Olagungu completed two placements as part of his degree - at Redbull and Mercedes Benz. His experiences opened his eyes to the world of opportunities out there.

Course objectives

  1. Develops your ability to demonstrate an understanding and application of core human resource management theory and knowledge. 
  2. Develops your ability to work effectively as part of a group.
  3. Develops your awareness of cultural diversity and effectiveness at working within and across different cultural/international contexts.
  4. Enables you to recognise social responsibility, sustainability, accountability, and ethical practice in business contexts.
  5. Enables you to recognise and evaluate effective leadership.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Skills for Human Resource Management15
Introduction to Human Resource Management15
Introduction to Organisational Behaviour15
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Introduction to Marketing Management15
Principles of Operations Management15
Law for Business15
An Introduction to Business Economics15

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Understand the different departments and functions within a single organisation and begin to appreciate the systemic nature of these functions. 
  • Understand the role of human resource management within any organisation. 
  • Work effectively in teams to successfully engage in problem solving. 
  • Recognise the different behaviours and attitudes within the workplace that have implications for various dimensions of productivity for individuals in an organisation.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Employee Resourcing15
Psychology and Work15
Fundamentals of Strategy15
Digital Marketing15
Effective Teamwork15
Developing Creativity15
Business, Government and Society15
Solving HR Issues15

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Identify factors that shape the development of companies’ corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
  • Explain and evaluate the contribution of HRM in recruiting the right people to the organisations.
  • Analyse the ways in which creativity and innovation work both at individual level and team level.
  • Understand critically the theory applied to strategic HR recruitment.
  • Carry out problem-based research within organisational contexts.
  • Understand the need for an organisation to develop an effective strategy.
  • Demonstrate the ability to put teamwork theory into practice.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Make an effective contribution to an organisation.
  • Practice and develop informed strategies for working effectively as part of a team within the organisation. 
  • Demonstrate how different organisational functions are systemic and analyse the way that people contribute to the success of an organisation.
  • Demonstrate effective critical self-reflection, goal setting and professional development planning.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Strategic Human Resource Management15
Employment Law for Human Resource Management15
Employee Relations15
Learning and Development15
Global Working15
Strategic Management15
Theories and Practice of Leadership15
Critical Issues in Human Resource Management 15

Final year outcomes

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of key conceptual and theoretical values and principles relating to HRM practice.
  • Demonstrate an ability to review, synthesise and critically evaluate academic literature.
  • Give advice to management about compliance with employment law. 
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of how cultural and international differences influence HRM practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues and their relevance for HR practitioners.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of theories of effective leadership and its application in practice.

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

  • A Levels

    BBB (standard offer)
    BBC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BBC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma DDM - (contextual offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

31 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,5 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics and grade 5 in English Language.

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3.

You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction.

Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.


The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - grade D 

5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:

  • GCSE Maths – grade C/4
  • GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate 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, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

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

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

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

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.


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.

Explore our scholarships 


Assessment is provided through a mix of coursework and examinations. In addition, you will also be assessed on your portfolio that will be produced as part of your placement experience. You will reflect on your experience and evidence your analysis of a situation identified within the placement organisation which draws on learning from your previous studies.

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Human Resources and Business Management programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

Successful completion of the course also provides you with associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), making you more attractive to employers. Being an active member of the CIPD is an expectation of the majority of roles within the profession.

The transferable skills that our HR and business management programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Recruitment consultant
  • HR generalist
  • Management trainee
  • Compliance analyst
  • Business services trainer
  • Human resources coordinator

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Balfour Beatty, DHL Supply Chain, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Goldman Sachs International, KPMG, Latham and Watkins, Saudi Aramco and The Barbican.


Dreams do come true

Maggie Krasteva had always dreamt of working in New York City. Aston University supported her to achieve this ambition.

Aston Business School graduates achieve some amazing things - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates


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 resources and business management?

Across the four years of study and the opportunity to practice in a workplace through the placement, you will develop a deeper understanding of psychological mechanisms that play a role in decision making and teamwork, as well as how leaders can strategically bring about change processes, and why individual employees play an important role in organisational productivity.

The BSc in Human Resources and Business Management at Aston is fully accredited by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) giving it additional standing as it is nationally recognised by the employers. 

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Find out more

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 is the Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway at Aston Business School?

You can deepen your learning and stand out from other graduates whilst gaining a fantastic learning experience overseas. The Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway is similar to an exchange programme, but during your placement year you’ll follow a particular curriculum, setting you on track for our partner institution’s degree award. This means, if successful, you will graduate with two undergraduate degrees. Find out more here.


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