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Human Resource Management (MSc)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time

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Why study this course

This academically challenging course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and expertise, and the professional CIPD qualification, needed for a successful career in Human Resources.

Our part-time MSc in Human Resource Management is both academically challenging, with input from world-leading academics, and practically focused, giving you the opportunity to develop the confidence, knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in Human Resource Management.

As a student on this programme, we will equip you with the specialist knowledge and skills to succeed in a career within the Human Resource Management profession. In addition to classroom teaching where you will have the opportunity to study advocacy, debate and negotiation skills, you will also benefit from networking with members of the Human Resource profession through our programme of guest speakers and through our links with the CIPD. Practical workshops will help you develop your problem-solving skills. You will also acquire the ability to understand and to undertake high-quality research to aid your decision-making within industry.

As well as learning from the cutting-edge research of our faculty members, you will work towards a professional qualification, Graduate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a qualification required by most employers for UK Human Resource Management positions.

Distinctive features

You will:

  • be part of a community which is committed to delivering social improvement alongside economic development in the world’s first Public Value Business School.
  • benefit from studying at a Business School ranked 1st in the UK for its research environment and 6th for the excellence of its research outputs (REF 2014).
  • study at the only business school in Wales - and one of only 5% Worldwide. - accredited by AACSB international 


Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We're an AACSB International accredited Business School with a clear purpose: to make a difference in the communities of Wales and the world.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

Suitable for applicants who possess an upper second class honours degree (2:1, GPA 3.0/4.0) in business, social sciences, humanities, law or other relevant subjects, from an approved university or the international equivalent.

Applications will be considered from recent graduates with an upper second class Honours degree from an approved university or those with a similar level of qualification gained by other methods. Non-graduates with approved professional qualifications or work experience may also be considered under certain circumstances.

English Language Requirements for non-UK applicants

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each category (or an equivalent English language qualification).

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit

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

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.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit

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

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.

Career prospects

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. 


Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps


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