Skip to main content

Human Resource Management (MSc)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time

Course options See other modes of study
Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Develop professional HR skills from our academic and practitioner experts on this CIPD-accredited programme.


Management retreat

Participate in a three-day management retreat and put your negotiation and conflict resolution skills into practice.


Industry insights

Get the latest insights on HR research and practice from high-profile business speakers and company visits.


Change business for good

Address a contemporary business challenge in your Human Resource Management Project.


Socially responsible

As the world's first Public Value Business School, we're committed to delivering social improvement alongside economic development.

Attracting the right people and nurturing their talent is crucial to the success of every organisation and a key source of competitive advantage. However, in a culture that values and rewards ‘a live to work’ mentality, balance and wellbeing are increasingly under threat.

This must change.

Highly skilled and knowledgeable HR professionals who can question, critically evaluate and make effective judgements can be this change.

The business of changing the world is ours.

Our MSc in Human Resource Management focuses on the differences you can make to organisations and their employees. You’ll develop the confidence, knowledge and skills to question, evaluate and make effective judgements on strategies and practices that deliver impact and value.

Our team of academic and practitioner experts will prepare you for a career as a HR professional, developing your critical analysis, negotiation, and problem solving and conflict resolution skills. They’ll use internationally recognised research to illustrate how HR practitioners shape and influence an organisation’s recruitment process, working culture and performance.

Woman in graduation cap and down
“After working as an accountant for the best part of 20 years, it was time for a career change. I decided to retrain to become a HR professional and thought an MSc in Human Resource Management would help me achieve this change of direction. I really enjoyed the challenge of taking on a totally new subject. It was great to use my brain again and really get stuck into learning. I loved the dissertation part of the course, choosing a topic that I was really passionate about and conducting research on it from start to finish.”
Sarah Reypert MSc Human Resource Management

Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We’re an AACSB International and AMBA-accredited Business School with a clear mission: to make a positive impact in the communities of Wales and the world.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as business, humanities, law, social sciences or other relevant subjects, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 7.0 with 6.0 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This is a part-time programme that will take just over two years to complete (27 months). Taught components will give you a thorough grounding in all aspects of Human Resource Management.

You will complete a self-directed project from June of Year two to December of year two.

 By the end of the programme you will have studied eight compulsory modules and completed a project.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year one

You will take four taught modules in the first year, weighted at 15 credits each

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Management of Human ResourcesBST22115 credits
Reward ManagementBST22315 credits
Employment LawBST22615 credits
HRM, Context and StrategyBST23115 credits

Year two

You will take four taught modules in the second year, weighted at 15 credits each.

From June of the second year, you will undertake a self-directed piece of research examining a live HR issue. You will write a 15000-word project on this issue and make recommendations for improvement.  To support you in your project, you will receive research methods training during your second year.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is heavily informed by research and combines academic rigour with practical relevance. Our internationally leading faculty consists of academics who are at the forefront of knowledge within their field. They bring the lessons learnt from their most recent research into the classroom, giving you access to up to date real life examples and scenarios and critical business thinking.

We will provide your teaching and learning resources and will be responsive to your needs and views. For your part, you will need to put in the necessary amount of work both during and outside formal teaching sessions, and to make good use of the facilities provided.

Methods of teaching

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures and small group teaching (called classes, seminars, workshops or tutorials). 

In a lecture, you will be provided with an overview of a particular aspect of the module content (as well as giving opportunities for the student to ask questions and be reflective), while in classes and workshops you will have an opportunity to practice techniques, discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding in the topic. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but across your degree scheme as a whole you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects.


Reflective logs

You will be required to maintain a reflective log which will record aspects of your learning during the MSc programme. During the programme you will develop study skills, personal effectiveness skills and specific HR skills and write reflective accounts detailing how these skills will be used and developed. 

This reflection will be used to help you identify links between the different modules and develop the range of skills required to operate successfully in an HR role.

The reflective logs are a requirement of the course and must be completed to an acceptable standard before you can complete the MSc programme. 

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies. Normally, your personal tutor will teach on your own degree course and you will keep the same personal tutor throughout your course.

Your personal tutor will be able to give you advice on academic issues, including module choice and assessment. If you encounter any problems which affect your studies, your personal tutor should always be your first point of contact; she/he will be able to put you in touch with the wide range of expert student support services provided by the University and the Students' Union as appropriate. You are required to meet with your personal tutor at three points during each academic year but you are also encouraged to get in touch with them at any other point if you need help or advice.

For day-to-day information, the staff of our Postgraduate Student Hub are available, in person, by telephone or by email, each weekday during term time to answer your questions.

We will also make use of Learning Central, the University’s virtual learning environment. All programme and module materials are posted here.

 The University offers a wealth of support for postgraduate students that can be viewed on our central student support pages.


We’ll provide you with regular feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback, personalised feedback on written work, and generic written feedback.

You will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following all examination periods and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.

When undertaking the dissertation/project you are expected to meet regularly with your supervisor to review progress and discuss any questions. Your supervisor will be able to provide feedback on your research plan and drafts of your work as you progress.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and understanding of current theoretical and empirical research work in the broad field of Human Resource Management and of its underpinning research methodology
  • Knowledge and understanding of the key dimensions of the social structure and organisation of work, of different approaches and theoretical perspectives of organisational processes, and of the nature of managerial control and strategies of control available to managers.
  • A good knowledge and understanding of the main activities and tasks involved in the management of human resources
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principal methods of employment regulation, including national systems in a variety of countries

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • That you are able to critically assess social science in the field of HRM and to undertake an original research project with a management report
  • The ability to discuss contemporary issues and debates in organisational theory and practice
  • That you can evaluate how economic, social, legal and political forces shape employment relations
  • The ability to evaluate the propriety of research-based material encountered in the study of organisations and HRM

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to contribute to policy development and review in HRM within management, public policy and labour organisationst
  • That you are able to write a literature review and design a research proposal to study different HRM issues
  • That you have acquired the necessary skills to carry out and write up the research proposal designed above

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

That you have acquired skills in:

  • library-based research
  • teamwork and team discussion
  • written and oral presentation
  • advocacy, debate, arbitration and negotiation
  • ICT, including Photoshop and SPSS

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £6,100 None
Year two £6,100 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £13,600 £2,500
Year two £13,600 None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Career prospects

At Cardiff Business School, you’ll receive a career-changing education from world-leading academics that have different points of view. They’ll challenge your thinking as you consider the world of business from a range of alternative perspectives.

As well as learning from the pioneering research of our faculty members, you’ll work towards a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development level 7 professional qualification, required by many employers for UK Human Resource Management positions.

You’ll also benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our Career Enhancer Team. They’re ready and waiting to identify events and opportunities to help you achieve your future aspirations.

Graduate employers:

  • Whitbread
  • Capita HR Solutions
  • Pantechnicon
  • Associate British Ports
  • Cartrefi Cymru Co-operative
  • Behavioural Insights Team
  • Focus Enterprise Hub
  • Cardiff University

Graduates from our Human Resource degree programmes have gone on to successful HR careers in a range of industries including public and private sector businesses both nationally and internationally.

A number of students have also pursued further learning by undertaking a research degree after completing their masters.

Graduate careers

  • HR Manager
  • HR Advisor
  • HR Assistant
  • HR Systems Administrator
  • HR Co-ordinator
  • Recruitment Co-ordinator
  • Reward Manager
  • Enterprise Hub Co-ordinator

Graduate employers

Logo for beverage company Logo of telecommunications firm Logo of children's clothing store

Headshot of woman in sunshine
“I got awarded my Chartered Fellowship within six years of completing the MSc HRM at Cardiff Business School. The programme really enabled me to fast-track my career to a strategic level practically, whilst also providing the platform to continue my professional development through the CIPD upgrading process!”
Ceri James MSc Human Resource Management

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


Learn more about our truly global university.

Discover more

Related searches: Business, Management

HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.